Meditation has become a practice that is recommended by many practitioners including therapists, new age gurus, health specialists, religions, spiritual seekers and even doctors. So, what is meditation and why is everyone recommending it?
Meditation is the practice to clear the mind.
Just imagine a clear glass filled with water. You can see right through the glass. Next, add sand and stir. What happens? The sand swirls around blending with the water. Now the water is cloudy and you can’t see anything beyond the glass. But as time goes by, the sand slowly settles to the bottom of the glass and the water is clear again. You can see everything now. The mind is like the glass of water, and the sand is all the information that we absorb during the hours we are awake. The practice of meditation, is the time we allow for all the information to settle. Once settled, we can think with clarity.
Our mind is constantly being stimulated. We receive information both consciously and subconsciously. Things we read or listen to by choice is one thing, but we are also getting information from news, commercials, back ground music, and general pollution. Meditation gives us the opportunity to focus on our bodies, our breathing, and helps calm the mind. When we allow all the information to settle, we begin to have clarity. It helps us to focus on remembering what brings us those moments of happiness and what I call the “feel good” factor. It helps us to remember why we do the things we do.
Like all things, meditation and clearing the mind takes practice. When I started practicing meditation, I actually had more thoughts than less! Yes, I would think about all the mundane things I had to do. What I was going to make for dinner, what was on my shopping list, what was on my schedule the following day. Well, I thought I would never be able to get the “noise” out of my mind. It would just keep wandering in every direction and pop up one thought after another. At the time I thought, “this meditation is not working!”
But, over time, as I began to focus more and more on my breathing, the mind was learning how to settle. It’s like I had to train and teach my mind to relax. Now, I look forward to meditation time. It makes me feel good. If you haven’t tried meditation, I’d like to encourage you to give it a try.
Choose a quiet place where you can sit without much disturbance. Relax your shoulders, relax your jaw and gently place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Breathe through your nose and focus on exhaling. I like to close my eyes, but do what makes you most comfortable. Begin with these simple steps and slowly start to train your mind to relax. Just keep focusing on your breathing. First start with five minutes and slowly build it up to 40 minutes.
December is a busy month for everyone. We all have gatherings, parties, and festivities. We all over indulge and get tired. This is when you need to take time for yourself and meditate before your health fails you. Do try to take time to unwind and breathe. You deserve it. Have a great day! Happy meditating!