Centering Meditation – Create the Meditation that Works For You


I struggled for years trying to find a centering meditation that worked for me. It didn’t help that I had anxiety, didn’t know I had anxiety, and thought my panic attacks were just food allergies that I just couldn’t figure out.

But I’ve spent my whole life learning about different forms of meditation. And I kept trying.
Eventually, I found a way that worked for me.

I don’t believe there’s a one-way-fits-everyone meditation practice. You need to find what works for your personality, your lifestyle, your brain physiology.

I’m going to explain in detail, how I came up with the way that works for me. And although I meditate at 6:30am, everything mentioned in this post will work great for night meditation.

Let’s explore a step-by-step pathway to figure out what centered meditation works for you.

The Most Common Form of Meditation

Centering Meditation

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The simplest form of meditation is simply sitting comfortably, back straight, eyes closed, breathing slow and steady, and focusing on…nothing. Silence.

This can be done on the floor or as chair meditation. Any chair can be a meditation chair as long as your back is straight.

Let your thoughts drift away and stay focused on the silence. When a thought pops up, ignore it and refocus on the silence.

One thing meditation is not, is concentration. It is actually the opposite of concentration. While concentration is an intense level of focus, and we all know what concentration is and how to do it, meditation is a…letting go.

Releasing thoughts when they come up so you can relax mentally within a pool of calm nothingness.

Except that this never worked for me.

And that is probably more about my anxiety than anything else. But I kept trying for years until I decided to figure out what worked for me.

How Centered Meditation Works For Me

Other forms of meditation use a mantra or a mandala as a focus mechanism.

I finally realized that without an external focus mechanism of some type, I’d never successfully meditate.

Mantras or meditation with sounds

A mantra is a word or short phrase you repeat or chant slowly. The ones you find in books or online are usually in Sanskrit, a very ancient language. A typical example would be “Om Nama Shivaya.

Or simply “Om”.

Most meditation resources will tell you what the mantra means. “Om” is supposed to be a spiritual sound that vibrates at the same resonance as the Universe. It’s supposed to “tune” your body and mind to the Universe.


But I needed words that I understood and meant something to me. In my native language.

In other words, if English is not your native language, you need to find words in your formative language, so your brain doesn’t have to translate them. Making your brain work in the background will completely defeat the whole purpose of centering meditation.

meditation for anxiety and sleep

Photo courtesy of LisaDrewPhotos

In the past, I had tried to come up with my own mantra; one that worked for me. After a certain period of trial and error, I came up with:

     •  In breath. During out breath, say “peaceful” or “I am peaceful” in your mind.

     •  In breath. During out breath, say “centered” or “I am centered” in your mind.

     •  In breath. During out breath, say “surrender” or “I surrender” in your mind.

If you’re alone, you can say them out loud. Repeat as long as you need to.

Letting go’ was something I found was really important for me. Probably because of my anxiety.

These are the words that worked for me. They may not work for you.

You can try them on for size and see if they fit. If they don’t, play around with different words to see what puts you in a relaxed and centered frame of mind and body.

Meditation with Sounds – 40Hz beat

If you don’t want to use a mantra, you can do meditation with sounds. Spotify is loaded with sound recordings for meditation. Find the meditation sounds that work for you.

I recommend using something with a 40Hz beat.

Research has already established that a 40Hz beat will put you in a meditative state. What’s more, there are other benefits to a 40Hz beat.

Do a search on Spotify for a 40Hz beat and you’ll get plenty of options. It will put your mind in a meditative state which will make it that much easier to meditate.

Don’t use a sound or music that you regularly listen to such as pop, rock, jazz, blues, etc. or it will distract you.

Mandalas or meditation symbols

If you think symbols for meditation would work better for you, I recommend finding a mandala.

As meditation symbols, mandalas are usually round or square images designed to occupy the “squirrely” part of your mind that needs to be “engaged” in something until it can relax into a meditative state.

Simply do a search online for mandalas and you’ll get more than you need. They even make mandala coloring books if you’d like to have a hand in personalizing your mandala.

You can mount it on the wall or stand it on something in front of you.

Stare at it as you meditate. Not like you’re trying to burn the color off of it with your eyes. Just let your eyes rest on the image and try to let its soothing image envelop you.

And again, let your thoughts float away. They are not important. Your meditation is all there is.

Final addition to my centering meditation…

40Hz light in my living room.

40Hz light in my living room. Yep, by the bananas.

That helped but I needed something more.

So I began using my 40Hz light to focus on.

It’s a light that blinks on and off at 40 cycles per second (do not get the 40Hz light bulb. I know it’s a lot cheaper, but if you read the reviews, it fails after about two months).

Researchers have found that 40Hz light can enhance learning. MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) researchers found that a 40Hz light stimulates the brain to release the plaques that bond to the brain. Plaques are one of the key causes of Alzheimer’s.

It also can enhance learning and memory.

I bought the light originally to use because of difficulties I was having with memory (I’m 65 as I write this).

I would watch it for 20 minutes every morning. I found it a great way to relax and stay focused.


I also bought an electrical brain stimulator because they are also supposed to enhance memory (although the science behind it seems more anecdotal). It automatically shuts off after 20 minutes.

What I like about the Fisher-Wallace is it’s the only electrical brain stimulator that is FDA approved for treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia.


Yes. As it probably occurred to you, it occurred to my wife Lisa. She said, “Why don’t you use the two together?”

Fisher-Wallace electrical brain stimulator for anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

Fisher-Wallace electrical brain stimulator for anxiety, depression, and insomnia. FDA approved.


I started using the 40Hz light and the electrical brain stimulator at the same time.

And so I had a great 20 minute meditation timer that helped with my anxiety and improved memory. Every morning.

I also used my three mantras, at the same time, as I described it above.

Centering Meditation – Do Yourself a Favor and Do It Daily

One last point. You have to make meditation a daily practice. I discovered that if I skipped a day, it was really difficult to meditate the next several days. And that sucks.

Meditating should become a joy, not something you dread because you slacked off and are going to have to labor at it again.

Getting relaxed…

Funny thing. There are times I think I’m relaxed but actually, I am not, and I didn’t realize it until I’d wasted several minutes struggling to meditate.

Here are two quick tests to see if you’re actually relaxed.

•  First, check your shoulders. That is a common place for tension to gather. See if there’s any tightness that needs to be let go.

•  Second, is your tongue touching the top of your mouth? If it is, release it and let it rest in the bottom of your mouth.

•  Last test: Release any tension in your forehead. It can profoundly dissolve any tension throughout your body.

Final Thoughts…

There are all kinds of research showing the benefits of meditation. If you’ve chosen to pursue centering meditation as a self-improvement methodology, I applaud you and imagine you’ve read some of the research, too.

And if you haven’t, who cares. It doesn’t matter.

Give this method of developing your own meditation for centering a try and when it feels comfortable to you, you’ll know you’re home.

This “centering meditation” blog post obviously has affiliate links in it. If you value the Fast Track to the Good Life blog and what I’ve shared with you about how to live longer and healthier, please support my work by using the links. They add nothing to your cost and Lisa and I get a small commission. Thank you in advance for your support!

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