Monday, March 28, 2011

Meditation

Meditation is the art of shifting regular consciousness to achieve a state of awareness where thoughts are suspended, where the mind and body are at peace.
Thoughtful action to establish order. Meditation is nothing other than a relaxation technique with various larger purposes.
- Andrew Weil, on meditation.
Your thoughts can be pesky things, have you ever stopped to listen to your inner dialogue? Our thoughts are constantly buzzing through our heads, never a minute of silence. More than half the time, people don't even notice how much they think until they become aware that they can't seem to stop their thoughts. This was basically my first experience with meditation. I had read about it when I was younger while I was doing research into other religions and figured I'd give it a try. I sat down cross legged and tried to focus, it was only then that I realized just how much I thought and how uncontrollable my thoughts were. With practice, you can control your thoughts and stop them from invading every waking second of your day. Not only will you gain the ability of higher concentration, but meditation also has a variety health benefits as well. These include:
  • Increases energy
  • Boosts stamina
  • Lowering blood pressure
  • Reduces stress and stress related illnesses like heart disease, hypertension, and insomnia.
  • Alleviates present-moment and chronic physical pain from arthritis, back injury, and most other causes.
  • Improved response time, motor skills, coordination, and other physical responses.
  • Lessened anxiety and depression
  • Improved memory and intelligence
Although meditation may seem esoteric, it’s really simple and can be performed by anyone. All meditation requires is four basic things.
  1.      A quiet environment to eliminate distractions.
    [If you live in a noisy home, I suggest ear plugs. Or you can find a time of day that no one is around to distract you from practice]
  2. A comfortable position that allows complete relaxation.
  3. [Don’t lay down, you’re more than likely to fall asleep if you’re laying down with your eyes closed. Try sitting in a straight backed chair, or go cross legged. Try sitting in a chair first, a lot of people will sit cross legged and have to shift later on because their legs have gone to sleep.]
  4. A few moments to spend relaxing.
  5. A mental device, like a mantra or a prayer to help block the endless flow of thoughts generated by our waking minds.
  6. [Some meditations use breath as a mental device, try counting your breaths or focusing on the rising and falling of your stomach. You can also try drawing your awareness to a certain part of your body; when I do this I draw my focus to the center of my forehead, the position of the third eye chakra]
    A good amount of time for a beginner to meditate would be 5-10 minutes. If you notice your attention slipping away from your mental device, gently draw it back to focus. Your mind is going to go crazy when you first start, it’s going to throw a fit and you’ll notice intrusive random thoughts start popping into your head. When you start thinking, just let the thoughts float by as if they were clouds. Don’t get attached to them, just keep your focus on your device. With practice, you’ll notice that your thoughts during meditation and throughout the day will be greatly reduced. That’s the way it should be, if you think about it who controls who? Don’t let your thoughts control you, you control your thoughts.

    8 comments:

    Patres said...

    I never achieve peace, thoughts are too racy. Will give it another go with these tips maybe

    Asty said...

    I should be doing this more to relieve stress, thanks for this!

    Dade said...

    I'm too ADD I'm afraid but the benefits of meditation are no doubt real.

    Ingönyama said...

    might try this out when i got some time free

    Kevings said...

    Im afraid i dont have the patience for maditation; and must admit i always wondered if it works

    Xuian said...

    wow, I wasn't aware of all the benefits, I might just give that a try, every little bit helps these days

    Just Existing said...

    Everyone has different things they do to meditate - if someone is looking to control their thoughts they can learn how to do it in whatever way works for them. It isn't necessary for some people to sit in silence, focusing on a mental device; they just do anything they can get lost in. For me, exercise works just as well as typical meditation. I can go for a bike ride to let the thoughts and emotions out and eventually the repetitive motion moves me into a meditative state. For others, doing art can lead to better control over thoughts and emotions, despite the product likely being the result of the thoughts and emotions. It doesn't matter what form your meditation takes, it's true that if you want to master your thoughts, "When you start thinking, just let the thoughts float by as if they were clouds". The same is true of mastering emotions

    Blogs4Hogs said...

    All these things can also be achieved through the power of prayer. Just sayin'.

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