Note by Dr Suraj Manjunath: This is a guest post by Haripriya Suraj, a Reiki Practitioner with a special interest in integrating wellness therapies with modern medicine. The article explores the role of meditation as a coping strategy for cancer patients and shares a simple yet effective meditation technique that can be practiced by anyone.
Meditation can help cope with the challenges of life, including illnesses like cancer.
However, meditation is often perceived to be a practice that demands too much concentration and willpower. Therefore, the idea of meditating deters many.
While some willpower is necessary to do anything in life, the ability to concentrate is not really necessary for one to meditate.
There are innumerable ways to meditate and different approaches work for different people.
In this article, let’s look at a simple meditation practice that anyone can explore confidently. You do not need any prior experience in meditation to do this.
- Candle or diya/lamp (real or virtual)
- Three minutes of your time
- Light a candle or lamp. If you cannot light one, download a picture onto your phone.
- Play some soothing music (optional).
- Set a timer for three minutes.
- Sit comfortably and keep your eyes focused on the light of the candle. Just gaze normally like you would at a beautiful flower. It’s alright to blink. There is nothing you need to do or say.
- If you begin to feel fidgety along the way or your mind begins to race with thoughts, it’s perfectly alright. Don’t assume you aren’t capable of doing this and give up. Don’t try to suppress your thoughts either. Gently bring your attention back to the candle and continue to look at the light. It’s natural for the mind to take over because we are so used to thinking all the time. However, with practice, the chatter of the mind shall recede into the background.
- Once your timer goes off, end the meditation by saying a soft ‘thank you.’
- If you use a real candle, place it in a safe space and allow its light to permeate your environment until it burns out.
If you are new to meditation, begin by doing this practice for just three minutes. Once you get more comfortable and confident, you may choose to increase the duration of meditation.
Gazing at the light of a candle can feel very healing. Over time, you may develop a personal relationship with this light and derive strength from it in ways unique to you.