The art of Meditation!
I took up meditation!!
Just like me, all of you I am sure lead a very hectic lifestyle. The one morning after running around as usual, thinking where the time went and finding the time to get everything done, I decided to do something different. Something to calm myself and to get me centred again.
I decided to take up meditation.
What is meditation?
Meditation equals awareness. When you for example listen to birds, you are meditating. Any activity that you do that separates you from any other distraction or thought in your mind, you are effectively meditating. All the activities in the mind should be reduced to one. You are responsible for your own state of mind and how to change it.
The word meditation comes from 2 Latin words; meditari (to exercise the mind or to think) and mederi (to heal).
Meditation is when you go beyond the thinking mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness.
Some would say that meditation is only practiced in some religions. This however is not true. Meditation can and is practiced by people of different religions or no religion. Meditation is about the consciousness of the mind, nothing else, religion is of no importance when meditating.
For me there are three essential things that should be done before meditating. The correct environment, posture and breathing.
The correct environment for your meditation.
Choose a quiet room with no distractions.
Make sure that nobody disturbs you during meditating.
Your posture during meditation.
The normal meditation posture is to sit upright with your back straight, normally on a cushion and cross-legged at the shins and position each foot under each knee. If this is difficult, you can sit kneeled or in a chair. If sitting in a chair your feet must tough the ground.
Do not meditate lying down because you will most likely fall asleep.
Place your hands on your legs with palms up or down. The “palms up” position is preferred, because you are then in a receiving mode.
Always close your eyes.
Breathing during meditation.
You normally breathe through your nostrils. When meditating you must become aware of the sensation of deep breathing as it enters and leaves the nostrils. Try to concentrate on this. You should repeat this many times until your mind settles on the breath.
When your mind starts wandering of, again start concentrating with your breathing.
How long to meditate.
Allow meditation of 3-10 minutes. Most people meditate from 15-30 minutes.
People will say that there is no time to meditate. If you really want to do something, you will make the time to do so. Be patient with yourself when meditating, do not make it time-bound.
Get up earlier or watch 30 minutes less TV.
The best time to meditate is early in the morning or towards the evening, but this also depends on you as a person.
Also try to meditate at the same time every day.
How to meditate?
Relax and always sit quietly for a while before meditating.
Try to centre yourself and learn to concentrate on something, either the fire of a burning candle, or a dot on a picture.
You can also use mantra. A mantra is the repetition of a sacred word for example “AUM” for a number of times. By doing this you force your mind to focus on a single thought.
You can even listen to words or soft relaxing music when meditating. You must just learn to listen to these words or imagine a picture in your mind when listening to a song.
After you have learned to focus on only one thing at a time, you can proceed to the next step; no thoughts at all. When a thought enters your mind, you must learn to throw it out. You must try and achieve a silent mind, which is not very easy to do and takes a lot of practice. You will find that you will not achieve this the first few times of meditation.
In time you will feel peace, calmness and serenity. You will still hear sounds around you, but this will not interfere with your meditation.
Meditation is a self-care activity, giving personal attention to you. When your mind, body and spirit work together, you will have balanced thoughts and awareness.
After you take charge of your distracting thoughts and your mind becoming still, you will experience a feeling of happiness and well-being that will help you cope with the difficulties and stress of your daily life.
Meditation will also help you with;
Tension, reduces stress and improve your concentration level. You will feel more productive and in control of any situation that comes your way.
By reducing your stress levels, positive health benefits will follow for example with chronic diseases, allergies, headaches, obesity, insomnia, muscle tensions, high blood pressure and many more.
You will have a clearer understanding of your inner self and therefore you will build self-confidence.
Because of the positive effect meditation has on people, more and more people turn to meditation as their daily boost. Meditation can not cure illness, but somehow because of that inner relaxing peace it creates, it somehow makes a huge difference. There definitely is a link between our state of mind and physical health.