Centering meditation: how do you center your mind?
Centering meditation helps you feel calm, grounded, and focused. Here are some ways it can create balance in your life.
Struggling to stay on task? is the pressure getting the better of you? Centering meditation is a form of meditation that helps you feel calm, grounded, and focused. It’s especially useful when you need to stay in the moment and concentrate on what’s important.
Centering meditation has been used by people around the world since ancient times, and with this quick guide, it can help support your mental focus, and create more balance in your life.
Centering Meditation: How do you center your mind?
The goal of centering meditation is to help you find balance and your 'center' between positive and negative energies, even amid distractions, and strong thoughts and feelings. Many people use centering meditation to improve mental focus, enhance performance, and find calmness in their lives.
It's a principle woven through every stage of all meditation practices, but it can also be tied to religious and spiritual practices too.
What are the 5 stages of meditation?
Awareness of the present moment
Quietening negative thoughts
Focusing on the meditation 'object' (such as mantra, the breath, or the flame of a candle)
Observation of mental patterns
Commitment to the practice
It's clear to see how centering is present in each of these stages.
The first stage is about centering yourself in the present moment. When we focus on our breath, for example, we can become more aware of how it feels in our body and what our lungs are doing. The second stage involves quietening negative thoughts so that we can stay centered, and focusing and observing teach us more about our 'centered' space so we can return to it.
What is centering prayer meditation?
In a spiritual context, centering meditation can be tied to Christian mystic practices. For example, 'centering prayer', developed in the 3rd century, included cultivating an inner silence to develop a deeper connection with God.
Much like the breath, a centering meditation script, or the flame of a candle might be used, practitioners select a sacred word or symbol as the object of focus. Centering prayer is an early Christian form of concentration meditation.
Centering meditation is also practiced in other religions, including Buddhism, Taoism, and Hinduism.
How do you center your mind?
There are many ways to center your mind. Here are some things you can incorporate into your centering meditation practice:
Choose your environment wisely
The ideal environment is one in which you can be undisturbed, comfortable, and safe. The place should be quiet enough to allow your mind to focus on the task at hand. You may find it difficult to center your mind if you are in a place where there is noise or distractions.
If you will be meditating at home, then choose an area that provides privacy—a room with a lock on the door would be ideal.
Release tension in your body
When you settle into a comfortable sitting position relax the tension in all of your muscles. This will help you keep focused on what you're doing because it won't take any extra effort for you to hold up a weighty body frame. The same goes for your eyes: if they're squinting or blinking too much, let them close slightly so they're relaxed.
Focus on breathing while you meditate
Breathing is an essential part of any meditation practice, including centering meditation. Make sure that you can breathe comfortably without strain or interruption (e.g., no snoring). Once you've settled into this position, focus on each breath as it enters through the nose and travels down into the lungs before exiting out through the mouth. As you exhale, count in your mind for four seconds until all air has left your lungs.
Take some time to reflect on your thoughts
The first thing you will want to do once you stop meditating is to slowly start thinking about the thoughts that came into your mind.
There are many benefits of reflecting on your thoughts during meditation:
Reflecting on what was going through your head will help keep track of how far along in progress with achieving self-awareness goals has been made
Reflection allows for deeper thinking about what was experienced during meditation so further improvement can be made when doing similar practices later
Write down new ideas or insights
If you have a journal or paper nearby, write down these new ideas or insights as they come up so that they don’t get lost in the shuffle of life.
How do you lead a centering practice?
Leading a centering meditation practice with other people can be fun and rewarding. It’s important to remember that the purpose of this type of session is not to teach anyone how to meditate, but rather, to provide a space where people can explore their own minds without any outside influence.
The first step is to find a group of people who are interested in meditating together. You could start by inviting some friends or colleagues, but it’s also possible to meet new people through meditation groups that already exist in your area. Next, introduce the idea of centering meditation and see if this sparks a new interest.
Grounding and centering meditation is an amazing way to connect with yourself and others. It’s also a great way to relax and feel calmer.
If you’re interested in learning more about different types of meditation and mindfulness practices, Your Heights blog has a wealth of wellness knowledge for you.