Why I Use a Variety of Meditation Styles
As a lawyer with a background in Reiki, energy work, crystals, and mindfulness, Nicolle Kopping-Pavars helps people live with purpose and become a source of joy, wisdom, and kindness. Here, she talks about meditation, taking it slow when exploring how to start meditating, the importance of mindful speech, and how all of our needs are different.
Q: How did you find your meditation style, and why does it work so well for you?
A: I had to discover and explore many types of meditation before I found what worked for me. Meditation is not cookie-cutter in that everyone will enjoy any kind. We all have different personalities, and our minds work in various ways. Therefore, you have to find the meditation style that best suits your needs. I have a hectic brain, so repeating a mantra was frustrating; it invaded my already bustling thoughts. Connecting to my breath works to build my meditation practice. However, you also need to know why you are meditating. Sometimes, music works if I need to clear my mind; other times, gratitude or metta meditation techniques work.
Q: What's your top tip when people think about how to meditate for beginners?
A: Don't be too hard on yourself, and start slow. Starting a meditation practice is like deciding to run a marathon. Would you sign up for a 10K without any previous training?
Begin with five minutes and work up from there. The point of meditation is to help recognize when you lose focus. In that moment of recognition, go back to your meditation tool and start again. Being able to realize whenever you lose focus during sessions is essential to developing and sustaining an effective practice. With time, you'll notice that you don't veer away too often, and your mind enjoys its quiet time.
Q:What does your daily meditation practice look like?
A: My best time to meditate is first thing in the morning. I wake up and immediately give thanks for waking up to face this new day. I do a daily 30-minute meditation. In the warmer months, I go outside to do it. Throughout my day, I take deep breaths, bringing awareness into the moment — in other words, being aware of my body and mind at any given moment.
Q: What are the greatest benefits you've received from meditating?
A: My meditation practice is often like a microcosm of what is going on in my outer world. When my meditation is scattered and restless, and I feel unsettled, it is usually because I am uneasy about work or an issue in my personal life. Meditation has allowed me to develop a more mindful and insightful approach to life.
Q:What are your favorite topics to focus on in your classes?
A: I love teaching about mindfulness in everyday life; for example, how the very things that prevent us from having a "good" meditation are the same things that prevent us from moving through life stress-free.
I love sharing the importance of mindful speech and how walking through the gateway of mindful speech brings truth and awareness to our very being. I love talking about compassion and random acts of kindness. I love talking about how our mind works and how what we think is the truth often isn't.
I am also very intuitive with my classes, so I get a feel for what is needed at the moment.
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