One of the most beneficial practices for our mental, physical and emotional health is meditation. The benefits of mediation are many and touch the core of our very essence as humans. Most people think that meditation is weird or that it is something that one might do when one is bored or that it is very hard to practice. While it is true that meditation has always been associated with spiritual practitioners from Buddhists to yogi gurus one can rest assure that we are all equipped to benefit from a daily meditation practice.
In these paragraphs I will describe the many benefits of meditation as well as some tips for a successful practice.
Benefits of Meditation:
-Reducing stress levels- one of the most important goals of meditation is clearing our minds of all thought. Momentum of thoughts that make us feel uncomfortable, sad and/or powerless regarding a situation or other people’s behavior are the main causes of stress and anxiety. By stopping that momentum of thought and clearing our mind of all thought we can allow our mind to “Re-Boot” sort of speak. If we allow ourselves a moment of non-thought we will allow peace and relief to enter our minds. With 15 to 20 minutes of meditation we can create a new habit which will allow us to identify when uncomfortable thoughts are starting to creep in. The relief and peace found in meditation will also connect us to our very essence our Inner Guide. By establishing this connection on a daily basis we are establishing a more centered self and more aligned point of view regarding ourselves and the world around us. This in turn will bring us peace of mind and happiness on a more frequent basis.
-Achieving Clarity- By stopping thought and allowing our selves to enter our vibrational realm where our energy and frequency levels inhabit, we can allow our essence to flow into our every day experience. How many times have we felt disconnected, not knowing what decision to make, should I take that job or not? Should I go to that event or not? Should I call that person or not? As we connect to our Inner self or inner guidance we achieve clarity of mind. This in turn helps us with making all kinds of decisions that can lead us to many desired outcomes. When we make our decisions from a place of stress, need, desperation, or even motivation the outcome can be undesirable. That is why many experts recommend a daily meditation practice in order to have a “clear mind” allowing us to easily detect the decisions that bring us easiness and happiness and desired situations. How many times have your heard the phrase “follow your bliss” or “do what feels good” this is what is all about, clarity of mind means alignment and joy within. Nothing make us feel better than clarity and knowing our path.
-Improves our physical health- Many case studies have revealed that a daily meditation practice has helped many patients recover from many types of diseases and also helped them reduce pain levels. If meditation brings ease to our daily lives it follows that dis-ease is not a compatible outcome. By allowing our mind to clear from thought and releasing all kinds of physical, mental and emotional resistance we are allowing our cells to do what they do best: recover and heal themselves. Disease is mainly brought about by our daily habits of thought and beliefs that can bring us stress, sadness, powerlessness and depression. There are many incredible examples where people have been able to eradicate terminal diseases from their bodies just through sheer mind power. I remember when my mother was diagnosed with cancer at age 74 when the doctor gave us the news I crumbled like a pie crust in front of her. As my tears where running down my cheeks my mother looked in my eyes and with uncanny certainty said to me “ I will beat this cancer, it will not beat me”. And so it was. After a whole year of chemo in which she did not lose one strand of hair the cancer left her body never to come back again. today she is 89 and healthy as can be. She does not take one single type of medication and lives a very healthy active life.
-Opens up the creative flow- Many artists can easily identify with this since it is in their more quiet moments of bliss that inspiration comes flooding in. By allowing our minds to rest and stop all resistance we allow our connection to our inner self, that part of ourselves that is the true essence of our souls. After a week or so of meditating you will find the flow of ideas incoming on a more regular basis. This is what we call the flow, when one is engaged in a task wholly and completely living the moment and flowing easily with it as joy fills our hearts for never is the human soul happier than when living its true purpose.
-Helps reduce anxiety and depression- for people suffering from chronic anxiety and depression quieting the mind can be not only a challenge but a scary thing. I once was talking about meditation with a person who suffered from acute anxiety when I suggested meditation he said that as tempting as it sounded he was scared of going inside his mind for he did not feel he had any control over it and it might take him to undesired places. I reassured him that there is nothing more scary than momentum of negative thoughts but that the stopping of all thought can actually cause the negative thoughts to dissipate with time; as we connect to our inner self, which lives only in the realm of love and well being. Allowing our minds to be in that flow of ease and relief can train our minds to feel good again and to recognize when negative or scary thoughts start creeping and making us feel a bit anxious or sad this is the moment to stop thought and redirect it to something completely unrelated that can bring us more ease. when an uneasy thought starts creeping into our mind and we feel those negative emotions we need to stop by turning our focus onto something that will distract us such as a movie, a walk in the park, calling a good friend, etc. Even playing a game of logic such a puzzles can disengage us from negative thought since negative thoughts cannot live in a mind engaged in a logical process. By practicing meditation every day we are going to a place of calm and ease as we are learning to teach our minds to release and let go of all thought.
Momentum is best stopped at its onset. Momentum has what I call a snowball effect. At the beginning the snowball is very small yet as it starts rolling down the mountain it gains force and volume becoming a threat as it reaches the bottom. Same with negative thoughts therefore it is best to be able to recognize a negative thought the minute it begins. If we are better prepared and have meditated at the beginning of our day we are better prepared when those negative thoughts start coming and we can find a more positive task or thought to engage in. After a week or 2 of daily morning meditation we will feel more secure and connected enabling us to more easily “shift” into positive thought or distraction.
Once we realize the power that we have over our mind and the way it works we will feel empowered and certain of our capacity to find peace of mind no matter what.
Improves our ability to handle stressful events-
Daily meditation calms the mind and allows it to re-boot just like a computer or a phone. We are constantly bombarded with signals, information and ideas for some this is continues during the night as well. It is no wonder how at some point we can be saturated or overflowed with all of this information and then we become short fused or ill tempered when a stressful situation comes our way. Sometimes we can over react to things that are minor but are happening at a time when we have nearly reached our capacity to process ideas or make decisions. In order to avoid getting to this point we need to give our minds a chance to re boot sleep is a great way of doing this but to many this is not enough since as we dream we might keep in the vibration of our problems and have stressful dreams and even nightmares. By releasing our conscious thoughts through meditation we are allowing our mind to find a calm oasis where it can refresh and reconnect to our inner self and the universal energy, that 100% positive energy which is available to us all.
There are many other benefits to meditation that as you start your own practice you will discover this is a very personal journey and it has a different meaning for each one of us. We have all been wired differently and our minds are the best reflection of it, the way we see the world and how we process information is unique to each one of us. The most important thing is to start and then watch how your life starts to change for the better as we learn to mind our mindset.
Best Meditation practices:
-Best to meditate early in the morning- before you reach for your smart phone or your tablet or computer. Even before that morning cup of coffee.
-Where to meditate: sit in a quiet place where you know you will have complete privacy and will not be interrupted turn your phone sound off and any other sound that might be distracting.
-Set an alarm: I like to set my alarm to 20 minutes but you can start at 15. Having an alarm lets me trust that I will be able to completely let go of any concern about time.
-FOCUS: Find a white noise or a background sound to focus on. Some prefer to concentrate on their breath. Taking in air for 4 counts and out for the same. In time you will be able to forego this and just flow into you practice.
-Close your eyes softly and start letting go of every muscle of your body. Let go to the point of feeling complete numbness when you can no longer feel your legs or arms.
-It is a process: Thoughts will come just let them go softly and easily. I like to visualize a small boat on the ocean with my thoughts, another one with my stress, another one with my worries, etc. and I visualize them slowly but surely disappearing in the horizon. Do not allow frustration to creep in just acknowledge that this is a process and that even if it takes you 13 minutes to achieve 2 minutes of no thought you are benefitting tremendously from this process.
-When the alarm sounds start coming back with your breath and move your hands and feet softly to waken and reconnect your body. Finish the practice with intent for the day. My intents vary from day to day one day it can be just to have as much fun in anything I do, other days I can have the intent of being connected to my inner guidance all day.
Some people use meditation to visualize or to set intentions or use affirmations during the meditation state. This can be counter-productive to quieting the mind for obvious reasons. If you really want to include a short visualization or affirmation you can include it at the end of your practice. This is when the mind is most receptive allowing receiving these ideas or inspiration.
It is common to receive impulses and ideas immediately after your meditation follow them and trust that these are clear messages that result from your connection to your inner being. Also do not be surprised if emotions start flowing during meditation and tears start flowing this is normal when we are re connecting to our true self and it is a feeling of overjoy that can bring relief and peace of mind in many ways.
If you have any further questions or comments feel free to e mail us at: email@example.com. We would love to hear about your own journey through meditation and how it helps you. Even if it is a practical question about the practice we are here and will try to answer to the best of our knowledge.