There are many reasons why you might want to try meditating. It may be to calm your hectic mind so that the body can relax and invite deeper, healthy breathing and feelings of peacefulness. Or you may meditate to clear the analytical thinking brain to receive fresh creative insights about choices and decisions. Meditation also has direct healing affects for balancing blood pressure, emotional well-being, stress reduction, digestion and pain management. Ultimately though, meditation helps quiet and focus the mind so that we are calmer in dealing with challenges and more alert, compassionate and aware of inner truths.
So, how do you meditate? Some meditate while sitting erect in a straight-back chair; others sit on a cushion on the floor or ground with legs folded; others lie down flat; while some walk slowly and purposefully with focus on each step as they clear mind chatter, deepen breathing and stay present to their surroundings. Whatever method or quiet place you choose, the desired outcome is the same: inner peace and knowledge and outer calm.
Meditation is not a religion; it is a practice to strengthen calmness and focus while encouraging deeper connections to yourself, others, nature and the world. Meditation is not prayer. Prayer involves asking. Meditation is receiving, without any expectation.
Sitting quietly and still with slow, deep breaths can be more challenging than it appears; it definitely requires practice. A fleeting thought usually flows into the mind while meditating. All you need to do is gently acknowledge the presence of the thought, then send it away without judgment. Return to focusing on just breathing and emptying the mind. Easier said than done, but worth the practice and result!
One powerful benefit from practicing meditation is the discipline to observe and remain calm with less impulsive reactions or emotional outbursts no matter what chaos is thrown in your path.
Research by neuroscientists using fMRI technology measured brain waves of meditating Tibetan monks. It was discovered that through the practice of deep meditation the area of the brain for positive emotions lit up with activity reflecting the monks’ peaceful and happy state of being. Meditation is a natural mood lifter!
Where can you go to learn more or how to meditate? Yoga studios that teach Yoga Nidra techniques, Buddhist meeting groups, the ocean, your garden or other unique quiet places are all excellent sources to find your best path to calm, healthy awareness and alertness. Peace out!