What is Meditation?
Meditation is a simple process of learning how to quiet your mind. It is you sitting with yourself as you observe your thoughts without judgment and simply focus on your breath. In time the mind starts to become quiet as the unconscious rises to the surface for you to heal and release.
There are many practices and dogmas out there with meditation and they are simply not necessary for learning how to meditate. By developing your own practice, your able to start from a clear mind, without any beliefs or limitations from others. You can always branch out from there as you progress, and as you do question everything, so you can draw your own conclusions for yourself.
Meditation and Postures?
When you get hung up on certain postures you bring into your practice the beliefs from others which limit your experiences. The very purpose of meditation is to discover for yourself through observation, without the beliefs and thereby limitations from others. This also helps avoid any self-doubt in the process, as there is no right or wrong when it comes to meditation and self observation. This is about you understanding you and there is no right or wrong with that.
One of the greatest metaphysical teachers (Neville Goddard) meditated laying down. So its very simple and there is no need to make it complicated. Its ideal to keep good circulation and blood flowing to your brain, so you want to keep your back and neck straight and relaxed. From there, you can sit cross legged on a pillow, you can sit in a lotus position (or half lotus) on a pillow, you can sit on a chair, you can meditate laying down on the floor or on your bed. So pick what works for you, something that allows you to remain awake during your practice.
How long should I meditate?
If you come into meditation with the dictatorship of “I must meditate for 10 minutes” then you will be sitting in meditation with a club over yourself, forcing you to sit through it and in doing that your still stuck in thought. Your mind is still busy trying to control or force you to sit through it all. The idea is to allow thoughts to pass and just observe. When you attempt to apply force in this process you are vastly restricted in your experience, as the intent here is to let go.
As you start with your daily practice, sit with it for a few minutes and ask yourself why you are wanting to stop, see for yourself if you are running from something within you, or if you are entertaining a distraction, or if you are avoiding something within. As things progress, you will find yourself sitting in meditation for as long as you need to. You might find yourself sitting for 15 minutes, or an hour, or longer. By going with it, you are no longer controlled by thought or even time for that matter. If you have an appointment you need to attend, then set an alarm so when that goes off you know you need to stop and go about your day.
Is Meditation a religion?
Meditation itself is not a religion. However, if you are religious you will find Meditation a great compliment to your practice. As its been stated, ‘Prayer is the art of speaking to God’ and ‘Meditation is the art of listening to God’. It does not matter how you view God or a religious practice if you have one. Its just you learning you and in that learning how to quiet your mind.
So, think of it as your own practice, without any of the “Do’s” and “don’ts” which add restriction and control around your practice anyway. This allows for you to develop your own practice with out any other beliefs that could hinder your experience.
What if I can’t sit still?
If you struggle with meditation here are a few suggestions. First, focus on a time that works for you to practice daily with minimal distractions. Some of the best times to meditate are first thing in the morning or right before sleep. This is because you are still in that drowsy sleepy state which is a quieter state of mind to begin with.
Its ideal if you can do this before eating or going over your daily task lists so your mind doesn’t start-up with everything you have to do. This will help avoid thoughts on your to-do lists, or other ‘busy’ stuff you have planned for your day. If you meditate in the morning, do it first thing before eating or drinking, especially if you consume anything that’s high in sugar or caffeine as they can over stimulate your mind and add difficulty in quieting your mind.
You may experiencing some difficulties at first, but it gets easier with daily practice. At first the mind wants to remind you of everything you ‘think’ you need to do, causing you to think your wasting time sitting and observing. What you will find though, is by sitting through this and learning how to quiet yourself, you actually free up more energy, gain mental clarity, and many other health benefits. When your mind is quieter your actually way more efficient. So stick with it daily and you will have amazing experiences as a result.
Benefits of Meditation
There are a number of health benefits from meditation, such as resolving blood pressure issues, heart problems, stress reduction, physical healing, more energy, aging reduction, rewiring the brain, and many other benefits to your life.
People often find its easier to learn how to quiet your mind then it is to change your thoughts from negative to positive. So start with quieting your mind, and then later on you can work on changing any of those self-defeating habits or limiting thoughts into positive thoughts that work for you.
A disciplined daily practice allows you to gain power over your thoughts and life. In time, your able to drop into a deep meditative state with ease and in this see the source of any problem or habit you wish to change. In this, your ability to change negative thoughts, fears, or any emotional scaring can be done at the source, thereby following with immediate change in your thinking and habits that follow.
The real you
One of the greatest aspects of meditation is how it reveals to you the very depths of your being. You see the core of who you are, before all the beliefs and limitations taken on from your childhood and parents. The real authentic you. In this understanding, you find your fears no longer exist and you become totally free.
With time and practice you find yourself rising above thought and as you do, you find there is no past, no future, only the present, only NOW. You may find yourself feeling this vast freedom and love and joy and yet nothing. All of this comes naturally and yet when we try to define the experience we go back to the level of thought. So as you meditate, practice it daily and see where it takes you. You will find much joy and freedom in the process.
Until next time,