Meditation has been an excellent technique for me. It has helped me to go deeper into my awareness, to get to know myself better and to see situations from a different perspective. This is why I consider this technique a crucial part of personal development, and here I share with you some basic concepts of this practice.

Most people believe that meditation can improve their quality of life, and for good reason.

Its frequent practice provides several health benefits, such as lowering the heart rate and breathing pattern, getting oxygen distributed more evenly throughout the body, attaining normal blood pressure levels, producing less cortisol (stress hormone) in the adrenal gland, clearing the mind, allowing for creativity and other abilities to flourish, improving immune system response, and getting a more positive outlook of life which helps maintain the positive attitude throughout the day.

All of these changes allow our bodies to repair themselves, reducing stress, both physical and emotional, and enhancing our life experience as a whole. This is why meditation should be a part of our daily lives, just as important as eating and sleeping.

However, many find it challenging to grasp at first. This is because we are not used to quieting our minds. It is hard to think about nothing, to leave aside our daily obligations, concerns, and ongoing inner chatter for a few moments. Add to this the enormous pressure of living in a fast-paced society, and you will clearly see why it takes time to master this skill.

You don’t need a class or teacher to learn to meditate. You can learn this practice from a good book, plus your dedication and commitment. An essential factor is to be patient with yourself. Once you accept that it will take you some time to master meditation, your mind relaxes, and it becomes easier.

While there are various meditation techniques, they are all based on the same principles. Here are the recommended guidelines for starting this practice.

Start practicing meditation

Get some quiet time

It may be a challenge, especially if you have a busy lifestyle and young children. Start by analyzing your daily routine and looking for 10 to 20 minutes that you can dedicate to yourself. Make it part of your daily routine and stick to it.

Choose a quiet place

Another challenge is if you live in a busy city. For some, the early morning hours may work. For others, nighttime is better after the kids are asleep and the TV is off. Find some quiet place where you can be by yourself and with no interruptions for a few minutes.

Learn to quiet your mind

Easier said than done, but possible.

An excellent way to start is by choosing a small object –like a pendant- to focus on. Look at its shape, colour, size, etc. Just focus on the object and let everything else go. Once you master this, it’ll be easier to close your eyes and think of nothing.

Another effective method is to become the “observer of your thoughts” without engaging in them. Do this every time you notice your thoughts creeping in. Do not fight them. Just watch the narrative going on in your mind as if you were watching a soap opera. Then, let go of the thoughts one by one as they appear.

Choose a comfortable position to meditate in

The lotus sitting position is a typical posture for meditation. You sit on the floor with your legs crossed and place your right foot on top of your left thigh and your left foot on top of your right thigh. This position may be uncomfortable for beginners, so just sitting up with your spine stable and straight will work. Lying down is not recommended.

Focus on the “NOW” moment

Let everything go. Stop thinking of your obnoxious coworker, the argument with your spouse and the tasks for tomorrow. Give attention to this moment. Contemplate you’re HERE. This is your NOW. That is the only thing that IS. The rest is either in the past or in the future. Concentrate on your present -NOW.

Benefits of Meditation

The benefits of meditation are constructive, healing, joyous and countless. A multitude of studies have demonstrated that those who meditate on a regular basis have experienced a positive impact in their lives. From reduced stress and pain management to increased immune response and the decreased ageing process, and from improved self-esteem, concentration and creativity to developing willpower and higher intelligence, the benefits of meditation are truly innumerable.

However, one of the most compelling reasons to practice meditation is that the process itself is uplifting and inspiring.

Meditation is not dependent upon the end result; the act of meditation itself is sublime and blissful. It is an experience that transports oneself to a state of contentment and serene awareness during the practice of meditation itself, not just as a result at the end of the session.

Actually, from a philosophical viewpoint, the means equals the result; thus, the meditation session truly has no beginning and no end.

As members of the human race, we all experience a constant onslaught of stress on a daily basis. This is the price we pay for living in a fast-paced world. We are bombarded by a variety of energies, including news, noise pollution, arguments, television programming, and disgruntled people.

In order to counteract this enormous and overwhelming force of negativity and distress, we must seek time to dedicate to ourselves, time to reconnect with our Higher Power and to bring ourselves to balance. Meditation offers us a way to establish that connection to replenish our energy, relax our souls, cleanse our bodies, and realign ourselves with our true inner selves.

In former times, people lived surrounded by nature in their daily routines. Back then, there were no artificial sound vibrations from cars, telephones, or machines, and no stress and disease resulting from the metropolitan industrial complexities that are part of our environment nowadays.

There was the sound of water, the hum of the wind, the beauty of the stars at night, the warmth of sun rays, and the scent of flowers, to name a few.

There were natural tempos in every aspect of life. As people planted seeds, nurtured them into harvest, and observed the cycles of nature, they felt a connection to the earth.

Sadly, many people live their entire lives without being aware of or contacting nature directly. We live in artificially controlled climates, eat pre-packaged foods, and constantly divorce ourselves from our natural origins and our organic, original pace of life.

This is why the practice of meditation is rapidly becoming a necessity—more than ever. Meditation allows us a simple, convenient, accessible, and portable technique to enter into those lost natural rhythms and vibrations by temporarily closing out the world around us as we let go of our physical bodies and clearing the mind of all the problems and artificial stress it has gathered knowingly or unknowingly during our lives.

There is no doubt about it. The benefits of meditation are enormous. It costs nothing, it has no harmful side effects, and it won’t add calories or cholesterol to your body. Moreover, you cannot meditate and be upset at the same time… how wonderful is that?

The human body is a complex and amazing creation.

Meditation provides an eminent sense of well-being, often compared to a natural “high” that is more powerful than those induced by artificial and harmful substances. This is because the brain produces natural drugs that are hundreds of times more potent than pharmaceutical narcotics.

As one meditates, the body secretes certain hormones and chemicals that provide an incredible rush of energy and happiness. This is only one of the excellent benefits of meditation. This fact alone is proof of some of the most significant benefits of meditation, which can be embraced for enlightenment and health.

Some people use meditation in place of, or in addition to, psychotherapy. Others find it most valuable as a tool to enhance sports or work performance or to increase memory and other mental or physical functions. Yet others rely upon it to help them deal with grief or with the aftermath of trauma or tragedy and to regain contentment and appreciation for life’s beauty. And some use meditation as a creative tool to inspire them in the arts. Meditation gives us more robust and more sustainable vigour for sexual energy as well as serenity, as it provides a restfulness that is comparable to deep, exceptionally restful sleep.
There are countless reasons to meditate; what is yours?

Regardless of your reason, when you commit to taking time out of your busy life to pause and drink from the mental oasis of meditation, you will be contributing to making our world a better, more peaceful, and harmonious place for all. As you enjoy the benefits of meditation, you are helping the world.

What about Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is essential to practice meditation, and as we already know, meditation offers enormous benefits to our mental, emotional, and physical health. With that in mind, let’s continue…

The term mindfulness has its roots in Buddhism; however, it is not related to any particular faith but to the ideal state of the human being. Mindfulness refers to the constancy of the mind in the present moment. When you think of it, the present moment is all we truly have. The past is gone. The future is not here yet, and once it arrives, it becomes the present moment yet again.

Still, living in the present moment can prove quite a challenge for most in today’s fast-paced world. We tend to go through life dragging our past and thinking of—or planning—a better future, usually dismissing the precious “now.”

Our ideal state is living in the present moment while keeping a balanced and healthy perspective between the now and future events. Buddhists call this “recollection,” and it is used as a point of reference to return to focus every time the mind wanders away.

A simple way to practice mindfulness is to watch one’s breath. When you focus on your breath, you place your mind in the present by paying attention to the air going in and out of your chest cavity.

Furthermore, while you focus on this function as your main objective, you must remember to return to focus when your mind wanders.

In this manner, mindfulness means intentionally being aware of the present moment on a moment-to-moment basis while remembering what to do in the near future when/if your mind wanders away.

You can start practising mindfulness by setting signals or indicators in your immediate environment that will prompt you to truly be in the present, even if for a few moments. You do this by committing to becoming aware of yourself for a few seconds every time you see, hear, feel, taste, smell, or do something that you have previously set your mind to.

For instance, every time you smell your morning coffee, hear a bird chirping or see a yellow car, you become centred in your present state for a few seconds.

And… how do you bring your attention to the present moment? -You ask.

As stated above, one easy way to become aware of your present moment is by consciously observing your breath. For example, every time you hear a bird chirping, you take a few seconds to center yourself and observe your breathing.

When doing this, be aware that you are conscious of your body’s breathing function and notice this with your mind while you keep engaged with your outer world. In this manner, you become fully aware of your being in and a part of the whole.

When you do this several times a day, you are actually training your mind to be in a state of mindfulness on a regular basis. As you are able to hold these moments for more extended periods, meditation will eventually become more accessible, and you will be able to expand and sustain your meditative states.

Once you habitually experience mindful moments, you will start reaping the benefits of a more complete existence with less stress, more inner peace, and more happiness.

Author

Tania Gabrielle is an astrologer, numerologist, and psychic. She is the creator of Numerology Academy - the first online certification course in Astro-Numerology. The course has been taught to thousands of students across 37 countries.

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