Meditation and mindfulness practice is finding stillness within a busy and technologically advanced world.
In order to return to and focus on the present moment, we must first direct our attention inwards.
How to slow down and find calm through meditation
Meditation can deeply enhance your life.
Research shows that mindfulness can improve our physical wellbeing, relationships with ourselves, and others and increase a deep sense of mental coherence.
In essence, apart from the spiritual ideals, mindfulness and meditation train the prefrontal lobe of our brain to monitor and mediate the more reactive part of our lower brain (often called the monkey brain).
Gwinganna’s Wellness Advisor, Sharon Kolkka shares her three steps to calming down through meditation.
- Observe your behaviour and own your reactivity. Put your hand on your belly; take a deep, diaphragmatic breath, and physically take a step back.
- Focus on deep breathing and audit your thoughts. How you think about what is happening is more important than what is actually happening. Notice if these are helpful or unhelpful thoughts. What would be a more helpful thought right now?
- Remind yourself this is not a threat to your body. You are not in danger right now.
Sharon says that over time and with patience, we can teach our brains to slow down and look at things from a different perspective.
Ways we practice meditation at Gwinganna (and why we believe it's important)
Many of our guests at Gwinganna are seeking stillness from within, as they become conscious they are looking too far ahead too often or spending a lot of time dwelling on the past.
At Gwinganna, we believe meditation is so important that we designed three specialty accommodation suites around this aspect of wellbeing.
The Meditation Suites are the first of their kind and bring a focus on mindfulness.
They are spacious with an open design, allowing plenty of natural light with special inclusions to provide a wonderful setting for rest.
These include a private deck with a day bed, meditation books and music, a meditation cushion and yoga mat. Ask our Retreat Advisors for more details.
At Gwinganna, we have six beautiful meditations designed for a range of needs.
Please feel welcome to practice the below Gratitude Meditation with Kish, our Senior Yoga Instructor.
You might find it easier to practice this meditation by having somebody read it to you or utilising our Wellness at Home online resource.
Meditation with Kish, Senior Yoga Instructor
Begin this meditation by finding a calm and comfortable space where you won’t be interrupted. Keeping your spine straight yet relaxed, bring your attention to your breath. Take a few slow deep breaths, allowing yourself to feel more and more relaxed and mindful with each exhalation.
Start by experiencing gratitude for your body. Silently thank your body for the wonderful job it does in supporting you. If you have physical challenges, focus on your body’s healing abilities. Send a prayer of gratitude to those areas which are comfortable and also where there are challenges. Allow yourself to feel grateful for both the freedom and the challenges you experience physically. Thank all the parts of your body for working together as a supportive whole. Your hands and feet, your heart and lungs, your face which allows you freedom to express yourself and every other part, both inside and out.
Love your physical self wholly and completely in this moment exactly as you are. Love your whole self. Think about all the gifts in your life for which you have a thankful heart. Allow each to rise to the surface in your mind’s eye and enjoy the sensation of gratitude.
Now spend a few moments thinking about the people in your life with whom you share love. Create an image of each person one at a time and as they stand before you, silently acknowledge what it is you love about them. Acknowledge those qualities you most enjoy. Allow the love and kindness within your heart to grow and swell until it overflows towards these people who you care about. Notice how good you feel as you pour this love outwards. Imagine how wonderful it must be to be on the receiving end of your own abundant love.
Allow yourself to be filled with gratitude for all the lessons you learn and the experiences you have when relating with others. Notice that these relationships allow you to see yourself more clearly. It feels good to be grateful and you can carry this feeling with you as you move through your day. Remind yourself often that life is filled with blessings.
Now gently bring your attention back to your breath. Take a long deep breath in and as you exhale, start to bring your awareness back into the room. When you are ready, wiggle your toes and fingers. Take a moment to move and stretch any way you like. When you are ready, open your eyes.