Meditation helps us in many ways that we are not even aware of. Stress is one of the world’s largest killers and contributes too many leading illnesses. With practice stress can almost be eliminated from your life. Here are some of the other things Meditation can help with:
On a Physical Level:
Lowers high blood pressure
Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
Improves the immune system
Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
On a Mental Level:
Emotional stability improves
Gain clarity and peace of mind
Problems become smaller
Meditation sharpens the mind by gaining focus and expands through relaxation
A sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration
An expanded consciousness without sharpness can lead to lack of action/progress
The balance of a sharp mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection
Meditation makes you aware - that your inner attitude determines your happiness.
Meditation also has spiritual benefits of which no religious practice is needed for, though many have their own preferred religion.
As you can see this ancient art has very valuable benefits regardless of the job you are in or the state of your home affairs. This however starts with you and ends with you. In other words you must want it, need it, desire it with a passion and then do it. I have provided some steps you can follow to start with, you do not have to start with ½ hour sessions or hour sessions, as little as two minutes a day to start is just fine.
Don’t fret should this not work for you overnight meditation takes time to learn and practice to get what works for you down pat. The thoughts that run through your mind do not just stop but they are there for you to learn from, to notice and feel, you can treat them like a friend without a solution yet. They may never stop completely and perhaps you don’t want them too after you have had a chance to really look and see them. Your choice. Meditation is all about you. Were you go with it is up to you.
- Start with just meditate for two minutes. That’s perfect. Start with just two minutes a day for a week. If that goes well, increase by another two minutes and do that for a week. If all goes well, by increasing just a little at a time, you’ll be meditating longer in no time and a routine will have started to be formed.
- Mornings are best to start with - It’s easy to say, “I’ll meditate every day,” but then you forget to do it. Instead, set a reminder for every morning when you get up, and put a note that says “meditate” somewhere where you’ll see it. Like a mirror or a door, until you find a time good for you. You may find lunchtime best or perhaps evenings it is all up to you but to begin with start off with mornings.
- Nothing happens without action – don’t fret anything!!! “Just do it” - Most people worry about where to sit, how to sit, what cushion to use … this is very nice, but it’s not important to get started. Start just by sitting on a chair, or on your couch, or on your bed. If you’re comfortable on the ground, sit cross-legged if you can. It’s just for two minutes at first. Later you can worry about making it so you’ll be comfortable, but in the beginning it doesn’t matter much, just sit somewhere quiet and comfortable.
- Note what is happening - settling into your meditation session, check to see how you’re feeling. How does your body feel? What is your mind doing? Busy? Tired? Anxious? Ensure everything is good and happy. Investigate the unknown.
- Math time:- you really didn’t think you wouldn’t have math work to do did you? - Now that you’re settled in, turn your attention to your breath. Just place the attention on your breath as it comes in, and follow its process through your nose all the way down to your lungs and out again. Count “one” as you take in the first breath, then “two” as you breathe out. Repeat this to the count of 10, then start again at one. Ten is the magic number.
- Be here - Your mind will wander. This is an almost absolute certainty. There’s no problem with that. When you notice your mind wandering, smile, and simply gently return to your breath. (Math Magic Time) Count “one” again, and start over. You might feel a little frustration, it’s OK to not stay focused, and we all do it. This is the practice, and you won’t be good at it for a little while.
- You have that loving feeling - When you notice thoughts and feelings arising during meditation, as they will, look at them with a friendly attitude. See them as friends, not intruders or enemies. They are a part of you, though not all of you. Love them they will love you back.
- There is no wrong -Worrying you’re doing it wrong? That’s OK, we all do. You’re not doing it wrong. There’s no perfect way to do it, just be happy you’re doing it.
- Don’t worry be happy - People may think meditation is about clearing your mind, or stopping all thoughts. It’s not. This can sometimes happen, but it’s not the “goal” of meditation. If you have thoughts, that’s normal. We all do. Our brains are thought factories, which manufactures everything we do in a day. Just try to practice focusing your attention, and practice some more when your mind wanders. It can take a long time to master some things but this is one that really can take work. Our mind creates everything from how we feel, what we love or not as the case may be, to what we wear or what make up you put on today, what you want to eat to when you want to eat. It literally covers everything done in a day. Amazingly we think in pictures so don’t be surprised to see them.
- Curious is good - When thoughts or feelings arise, and they will, you might try staying with them awhile. Yes, I know I said to return to the breath, but after you practice that for a week, you might also try staying with a thought or feeling that arises. We tend to want to avoid feelings like frustration, anger, anxiety … An amazingly useful meditation practice is to stay with the feeling for a while. Just stay, and be curious. This is another way to clear bad thought patterns and replace them with that loving feeling.
- Getting to know you -This practice isn’t just about focusing your attention, it’s about learning how your mind works. What’s going on inside there? It’s murky, but by watching your mind wander, get frustrated, avoid difficult feelings … you can start to understand yourself.
- Commitment is everything -“Sure, I’ll try this for a couple days.” Sounds good really ……..!! Really commit yourself to this. Be locked in, for at least a month or more. This is a life changing practice that takes time to develop and you have to give it your all.
- Anywhere, anytime, anyplace -If you’re traveling or something comes up in the morning, you can do meditation in your office. In the park. During your commute. As you walk somewhere. Sitting meditation is the best place to start, but in truth, you’re practicing for this kind of mindfulness in your entire life. There is a finger meditation that you can do in a crowded subway station. You will find after a while in just a few seconds you can find that peace and calm you like.
- Guided Meditation anyone? - If it helps, you can try following guided meditations to start with. There are several guide meditations that are wonderful. You can get them on tape or even print them from an online source and have your friend come over but the tapes are wonderful.
- Be happy smile it brightens everyone’s day -When you’re finished with your two minutes, smile. Be grateful that you had this time to yourself, and that you showed yourself that you’re trustworthy, where you took the time to get to know yourself and make friends with yourself. Rainbows and butterflies, are like love and flight, a truly amazing feeling for just two minutes a day.
Above all else commitment will bring you the benefits listed above and with these benefits becomes a whole knew you. Enjoy it – Love it – Practice it.
There are many things that you can try, but finding what works for you is the key. I have used everything from a candle to drum music, incense to rocks and gems. This is an adventure with many great benefits and I will write about other enhancing tools you can use later.