Meditation – Not what you think!
I regularly get asked “What is Meditation?” or hear the statement “I’ve tried meditating it is just too hard!”
So what is Meditation and why do people think it is so hard to do? To meditate is the act of one looking within, contemplation; such as a prayer, a thought or to reflect upon and/or to study. It is the quiet time when one connects to ones’ consciousness to reflect on an object, an item or a situation.
I believe Meditation allows the individual to find within the mind a place of peace and solitude, while promoting feelings of awareness of source energy, a connection to oneness. Additionally the action to do, to be in Meditation awakens your self-awareness of purity, love, harmlessness and compassion. It can take time to learn or to teach the mind to let go, to just allow whatever thoughts come, to simply float or drift away. Yet in practicing you are ultimately connecting with the unconscious mind, your spiritual consciousness and to the awareness of all that is.
When I instruct Meditation in a class or to individuals I first ask “What is it that they expect to gain from the process?” I then ask “What have they tried and what was the outcome of that experience?” An individual may use many different practices of meditation or various forms of a certain practice throughout their life. Whatever practice an individual chooses it should be one that allows them to be calm, sit or be in a comfortable position, and allow the breath to flow freely unrestricted by clothing or body discomfort.
Some practices of Meditation that I have experienced are –
Transcendental Meditation – a seated meditation that uses Mantras and Sanskrit phrases/words. It is practiced over the course of 15 – 20 a day to release day to day stress or deep rooted trauma thus calming the mind and the body.
Breathing Meditations – are seated meditations that have the participant focus on the breath, the rhythm of the breath and deepness or lightness of the breath. Some practices are rapid breathing to release emotional trauma and issues, while others use quiet deliberate breathing techniques to calm the mind and body.
Walking Meditation – this is an action or movement meditation where the participant concentrates or focuses on the experience of the breath and the step. This meditation allows one to become more mindful of our experiences as we learn to stay present in our body and present in the moment.
Guided Meditation – the main component of a Guided Meditation is the voice of your guide, often leading the participant or guiding him/her into a state of relaxation and heart centered-ness. Guided Meditations can incorporate the use of sound such as earth sounds or primordial sounds, drums and those from nature to assist in a visualization process. The goal of this type of meditation is to help the individual find a calming and relaxing state of awareness where they can experience a quiet mind.
Other forms such as Yoga, Zen, Kundalini and Vipassana can also assist in promoting spiritual health, self-awareness, spiritual growth, positive health benefits and a sense of well-being. I would suggest find a studio or practitioner who resonates with you and then try it out.
In the end there are many forms of Meditation and any of them can be a beneficial tool to help bring the Body, Mind and Spirit into balance and harmony. Meditation really isn’t what you think.