Time To Meditate-You can definitely enhance your wellbeing by meditating. In fact, regular meditation practice can not only improve your emotional wellbeing, but also your physical health and mental performance. And do you know what? Mastering the art of meditation to calm the mind so that you feel more centred and balanced is relevant today more than ever.
In this crazy fast paced technological world we live in, with neural activation at a pace exceeding the generations before us, many of us are suffering the effects of mental chatter, a chaotic mind, unstable emotions and attention difficulties. We are constantly distracted by mobile phones and computers beeping at us to pay them more attention. You know how it rolls. Gotta check my emails, then my tweets, oh and better look at Facebook and Instagram and hang on, I’ve just been messaged and now there are eight sms texts to check and that’s before you roll out of bed and before the kids get up.
There’s no doubt that our busy modern lives bring us many challenges and at the same time many gifts. It’s often the challenges, suffering and struggles that can lead to breakthroughs and can reveal the silver linings. Meditation can assist you in many ways so now its the real time to meditate.
Let me share with you some of the known benefits of meditation.
Calms the mind, encouraging a sense of peace
Reduces stress and tension
Facilitates clarity and positivity
Fosters awareness and compassion
Strengthens the immune functioning of the body
Sharpens focus and concentration
Improves sleep patterns and encourages a deeper sleep
Enhances communication skills
Enables spiritual development
Meditation is an experiential practice, not an intellectual one. So, let’s not just talk about it and think about it, let’s do it and have some time to meditate.Here’s how!
YOU JUST NEED 10 MINUTES
10-20 minutes of meditation each day can truly increase human health and happiness. It’s ideal to meditate in a relaxed and quiet environment.
However, the art of meditation can be practiced in the midst of everyday life, eg while sitting in a busy airport or in a crowded waiting room, so long as you can sit with a straight back, you’re good to go.
Set yourself up either in a chair with a straight back or sitting cross-legged on the floor, ideally in lotus position for advanced practitioners or yogis. Let your shoulders drop and your neck relax. Rest your hands gently on your knees or in your lap. Close your eyes and smile softly with a half-smile that connects with your heart.
Take three slow deep breaths. As you breathe in notice the chest expanding as your lungs fill with fresh air. As you breathe out, notice the body exhaling and just let go, releasing any tension. Let your shoulders relax and your body soften with each of the three exhales.
On your next exhalation bring your attention to your body and the connection between you and the chair or you and the earth if you’re sitting on the floor. Just notice the feeling of your feet on the ground, your hands on your knees or in your lap.
Observe any sounds, smells or other sensations. Let them come and go gently, in and out of your awareness. Try not to judge them or analyse them, just notice them and let them go.
Now gently bring your attention back to your body and notice how it feels at this moment. Starting at the top of the head, scan your body down to your feet, noticing how it feels. If need be, gently readjust your sitting position to align your spine and to bring better balance to your posture and relax … and then relax and little more.
It’s normal for the mind to wander, so when it does just bring it back to the connection of your breath. Notice the gentle natural rhythm of your breath as you inhale and exhale.
As you sit in meditation, notice your underlying mood at this moment. Try not to judge or analyse it, just notice it with an awareness of where you’re at right now.
Focus on the natural rhythm of your breath. It’s easy and effortless. Nothing to do but to be here now, in this present moment. Continue your contemplation.
Then as you prepare to finish, let go of any focus at all. Allow your mind to be completely free for as long as you can which might be 10 seconds or several minutes. Let the mind do and go wherever it wants. Then come back and open your eyes.
There can be many variations on this basic meditation technique. For example, there are
different open eye meditations where your focus can be staring at a naked candle flame or by simply staring ahead. The reciting of a mantra inwardly and silently is another variation. Listening to a “guided” meditation is a different way, as is using visual mindfulness techniques. You can chant and even sing while meditating. Walking meditation is also possible.
I’ve been meditating for about thirty years, having been taught by a Tibetan Buddhist teacher, Sogyal Rinpoche who advocated that early morning meditation was most beneficial. Awakening to the day as dawn broke was considered a preferred time to sit and practice. My Tibetan Buddhist teacher of nearly twenty years, Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche encourages meditation any time of day or night. To quote Namkhai Norbu Rinpoche “There does not exist, from an absolute point of view, any teaching which is more perfect or effective than another. A teaching’s value lies solely in the inner awakening which an individual can arrive at through it. If a person benefits from a given teaching, for that person that teaching is the supreme path, because it is suited to his or her nature and capacities. There’s no sense in trying to judge it as more or less elevated in relation to other paths to realization.”
Meditation refers to a vast variety of mindfulness practices found throughout cultures all
around the world. All of them involve calming the mind to be less distracted and less reactive to bring inner peace, general wellbeing, human happiness and ultimately enlightenment so you must find some time to meditate.
Please be in touch if you have any queries about how to begin or how to deepen your