A Youthful Way to Approach Meditation
A practitioner of various healing modalities — from qigong and tarot to shamanic journeying and spiritual constellations — mindfulness educator Tatum Barnes brings numerous influences to his work; all centered around helping children and adults live in the present moment and tap into the creative intelligence of the universe. Here, he talks about his biggest inspiration and how to allow yourself to meditate.
Q: How did you find your meditation style, and why does it work so well for you?
A: I've found my meditation style through working with children and being young at heart myself. I always struggled with meditation techniques that required a blank mind, as did my students. I found that by harnessing the imagination, engaging the mind, and directing attention toward powerful visualizations, I could step that much deeper into my Self. I was also able to keep third-graders from falling asleep.
We can access that stillness many of us seek through meditation using our imagination!
Q: What's your top tip for a beginning meditator?
A: Work with permission. Your body-mind-spirit system responds to your consent. Think to yourself:
• "I give myself permission to meditate for these five minutes."
• "I give myself permission to let my other responsibilities drop."
• "I give my body permission to relax."
• "I give my mind permission to focus."
• "I give my heart permission to open."
You'll be surprised by the results.
Q: Who's had the most significant impact on your work?
A: Through my study at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute at Columbia University, I worked closely with a gifted spiritual healer and teacher named Ron Young. There have been countless healings during the 37 years that Ron has worked with the seriously ill. Many of the people he worked with were sent by physicians who believed they were "beyond the help of modern medicine," yet due to meditation, group intention, and God's grace, they live today.
My study with Ron Young has been instrumental as I have come home to the Spirit within myself and stepped wholeheartedly onto my path of service and self-expression. Through this deep spiritual immersion, I now know what is truly possible when we open ourselves beyond what we think is possible.
Q: What are the greatest benefits you've received from meditating?
A: I've learned to soften my heart and accept love into my life. I sleep peacefully and dream vividly. I'm better acquainted with my intuition, and I'm no longer afraid of death! Meditation has been an integral part of a very fulfilling spiritual path that is truly only just beginning.
Q: What are your favorite topics to focus on in your classes?
A: I'll always be nerded out about the science of miracles, in addition to the idea that our ancestors are still with us, and they're some of our biggest fans.
Header photo: FluxFactory/E+/Getty Images