This weeks “little” meditations went well – I’m definitely seeing stress reduction from just 2 or 3 minutes of focused, counted breathing. I tried adding words to some of my longer meditations, instead of counting. So instead of in 4, hold 2, out 4, hold 2, I did Fire-and-well (inhale), and (hold), Sac-red-Tree (exhale), (pause) – almost like a slow chant in my head. I also added a visualization to this exercise, placing myself in a grove of trees with a well and a fire at the center, next to a large, sprawling, ancient oak. Various animals show up in this exercise (or sometimes none at all), but usually those that I have a connection with, either as Nature Spirits (owl, rabbit, toad) or as Deity (stag).
I’ll definitely continue to do this, as I find it more centering than the counted breaths. I may also do this with a mala or some prayer beads to count repetitions instead of using the meditation timer on my phone.* It might also be fun to look up other mantras to use, or to come up with some.
I still need to look more into adding trance-like meditations. Maybe it’s time to start really working with the Two Powers meditations, or look into some guided meditation journeying.
*I use the meditation app “Meditator“, which has some nice features and chimes in such a way that it’s not disruptive. It also will do “intermediary” tones, so you can do a 10 minute meditation with a soft “reminder” tone every 2 or 2.5 minutes, for example. I’m a fan.