WHAT IS MEDITATION?
The Oxford Dictionary defines meditation as "Focus one's mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation."
I define meditation as "the quietening of the mind that enables a clearer, stronger connection to the divine, higher energies within."
Meditation is the practice of quietening the mind, of acknowledging who we are as individuals and what and how we think. It is a process that allows us to deepen our connection and inner knowing of ourselves, it is a tool that trains the mind to become still and present in the here and now.
CAN'T FIND THE SILENCE?
Within the practice of mediation it's worth noting that although stated it's about quieting the thoughts, it's also about sitting in the moment and just concentrating on the breath.
If you have a busy mind, like most of us do, it can be difficult to find that quiet that's spoken about. Do not worry about that too much, because it's about returning to this moment in time, and just concentrating on bringing your breath under control so that you can calm your mind into a kind of "controlled chaos" that will ultimately lead you to a place where yes, you can quiet your thoughts.
It is also a useful tool that has incredibly positive effects on our health and well being.
There are many, many benefits from practising daily meditations, some of which are:
It's really, really good!
It has massive positive health benefits like clearer cognitive function.
It aids in better sleep patterns.
It aids in bringing discipline of self.
Increases self acceptance.
These are just a few small examples, there are many, many more benefits to meditation.
HOW DO YOU MEDITATE?
This is one of my preferred meditation practices, there are many out there, it's all about finding what works best for you.
First, Sit Upright. Sit upright with a straight spine, away from the back of the chair. Place your feet flat on the floor, and your arms, palms turned upward on your lap.
Relax the body and breathe evenly. Inhale slowly, counting to between four and eight. Hold the breath for between four and eight more counts, then exhale slowly to the same count. Hold it once again for the same count, then inhale again — hold — exhale, each to the same number of counts. Repeat three times and then return your breathing to normal.
Some incense burning in the room can help create a sense of relaxation, to stimulate your senses and create a calming environment. Gentle music can also help.
You can use candles for meditating too. Simply light the flame, breath and relax and look into the flame, allow your eyes to just lose focus and be dazzled my the flame. Obviously you must do this in a safe and secure manner so as not to burn yourself or your surroundings.
You can use guided meditations to help you with your experience if you find that you simply cannot get the focus you're looking for. There are many, many of these online that will do just that for you. When looking it's best to try listen you your gut with them and go with how they feel.
HOW LONG TO MEDITATE?
It is entirely up to you, some take ten minutes, some take an hour. Make sure, however, to allow enough time after your Meditation to sit still and enjoy the calm meditative state.
Please remember to keep yourself hydrated before and after your meditations, this lets energy flow more smoothly and get to where it's meant to go quicker.