Meditation is a practiced technique a person applies to obtain clarity and complete awareness. Some forms of meditation involve mentally focusing on a unique sensation like breathing, a sound, an image, or a repeated word or phrase.
Other meditation methods include the practice of mindfulness. That involves concentrating on the present moment and taking an inventory of one’s physical and mental status without making judgements. Many traditions, both spiritual and secular, practice meditation.
Patients at La Hacienda Treatment Center have the option of three different types of meditation to aid their recovery process.
Restful meditation sessions led by a counselor each evening in the Family Building.
Mindfulness meditation sessions led by a counselor three weekday mornings in the Quiet Room.
Spiritual meditation, either individually or as part of the Seekers Christian group.
As the name implies, restful meditation helps reduce stress, enabling a patient to be more able to rest or sleep. These meditation sessions are held in the evenings to enable patients to have a better night’s rest.
The guided meditation sessions last 35-minutes. Patients sit or lie on yoga mats in a darkened room with soft music or nature sounds playing in the background.
Using themes like short journeys–going into space, hiking in mountains, wading or swimming in the ocean, or standing on a beach–the leader talks participants through relaxing their bodies and minds.
Good sleep and stress reduction make a patient better able to focus on their therapy and what they are learning about recovery.
Healthcare research shows that meditation improves health benefits and the meditator’s wellbeing by easing the following conditions:
High blood pressure
Mindfulness meditation practices lead participants to pay closer attention to the present moment.
Like other forms of meditation, it involves deep breathing methods, guided imagery, and other practices to relax the body and mind.
In mindfulness meditation participants focus on being intensely aware of what mental or physical sensations they are experiencing in the moment.
The mindfulness process includes doing a body scan from toes to head to be aware of any physical issues, including stress or aches and pains.
Next the person meditating checks their mental health status: what are they thinking, are they feeling difficult emotions.
In both cases, they are just making note of what’s going on in the present moment with their bodies and minds. They do not judge what they find. That comes later, after meditating. They can later relate these to the doctors or counselors, or use the skills they are learning to address the issues.
Most patients who participate in mindfulness at La Hacienda come to one or two sessions and learn the mindfulness meditative techniques then use it on their own.
Mindfulness meditation can be practiced anywhere, anytime, utilizing the mindfulness training received at La Hacienda. The leader provides information on apps and other resources for practicing meditation.
There are many simple ways to practice mindfulness. Examples include:
Take time to experience one’s environment with all senses — touch, sound, sight, smell, and taste. For example, when eating a favorite food, take the time to smell, taste, and truly enjoy it.
Try to intentionally bring an open, accepting, and discerning attention to everything one does.
Treat themselves the way they would treat a good friend.
When negative thoughts arise, try to sit down, take a deep breath and close their eyes. Focus on breath as it moves in and out of their body. Sitting and breathing for just a minute can help.
The 12-step process includes a spiritual awakening and meditation of a spiritual nature can be helpful in recovery treatment. This type of meditation can be done individually–with such meditative practices as mantra meditation–or in group meditation.
At La Hacienda, Seekers, a voluntary Christian prayer, singing, and meditation group meets early each morning on Serenity Hill.
Part of the Christian Focus option, Seekers provides peer support for patients who have chosen to use their faith as one of the tools of recovery. It is a popular activity at La Hacienda and alumni have even created an online Seekers group on their own for continuing the fellowship beyond their time on campus.
When you or a loved one calls requesting admission, inquire about the types of meditation offered at La Hacienda if this is of interest to you.
Our admissions team will pass along your request to insure you have access to meditation services and the staff will guide you to find the right match of meditative practices best suited for you.
Meditation has been around for a millennium. The earliest records of meditation practice are found in written record from the first century BCE on the Indian subcontinent where it played a significant role in the contemplative repertoire of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Jainism.
In modern culture, popular meditation programs included transcendental meditation, a form of silent mantra meditation, that gained many followers in the 1950s and 60s.
Formal meditation involves focusing on setting aside a period of at least five minutes, where the sole focus is meditation. This meditation practice usually occurs in total physical stillness, such as sitting or lying prone.