What is meditation?
Meditation has often been labelled as a religious persons practice or overlooked as something that is rather hocus pocus, but it is neither of these. Meditation is an incredible free tool that you can practice at any time, for any length of time, especially when you feel the need to refresh and reset. Simply put, meditation is the art of training your mind to increase mental focus, become more mindful and to allow the innate wisdom and healing to arise. Think of your mind as another muscle that needs to be exercised to remain healthy and strong.
Benefits of meditation include:
- Reduces your response to pain
- Enhances your immune system
- Reduces anxiety and depression
- Brings clarity to your thoughts
- Increases blood flow
- Reduces blood pressure
- Slows heart rate
- Brings on a sense of calmness, peace and balance
- Reverse effects of heart disease
- Helps you become more aware of your own thought patterns
- Increases energy levels
- Reduces stress
How to get started?
Posture – Some people state that you should sit in a crossed leg position, whilst others say that you should lay flat and close your eyes. To meditate effectively, your mind must be able to remain sharp and clear in your chosen position. In a seated position whether it is on a chair or on a meditation cushion, you should try to keep your spine upright as it will help you stay more alert as well as facilitate smoother energy flow. If you choose to fully close your eyes, you may find you have a tendency to fall asleep, so you may instead choose to half close your eyes.
Quiet – For a beginner it is best to find a quiet place with as few distractions as possible. As you become more experienced with meditation and your mind strengthens, you become less distracted, you will find that you can meditate anywhere and in any circumstance.
Breathing – Keeping your breathing pattern as natural as possible. Become aware of your breath and just watch it. Is your breathing short or long? Is it difficult for you inhale or exhale? Do you only breathe in your upper chest or are you able to breathe into your lower lungs and abdomen?
Thoughts – The main issue I hear repeated is “my mind doesn’t stop – it’s too busy so I can’t meditate”. The mind’s natural state is one of peace, light, luminosity but when untrained it is very cloudy with endless thoughts racing through. When starting to meditate, be patient and become aware of your thoughts. Watch your thoughts arise and pass away like the clouds forming and dissipating in the sky.
Object of Meditation – There are many ways you can meditate. Choose one that resonates with you the most. You can try watching the breath becoming aware of the inhalation and exhalation, or repeating a mantra. These techniques are helpful in focusing the mind.
Duration – The amount of time you meditate for is really up to you, though it is best to start off small and work your way up to longer and longer meditation sessions. If you are new, start with 5-10 minutes to help keep you calm and give you clarity in your day. As you practice you may find it easier to meditate for longer periods of time. It is a good idea to eventually set a time in your diary for a short daily session, a little longer weekly session and an even longer monthly session. Even booking in for a yearly health and meditation retreat is very beneficial to help you reset your mind, heart and body.
For more tips, advice and information about our meditation sessions in Artarmon, feel free to give us a call today on 02 8068 4696.