Meditation is an important element in your physical, mental, and spiritual well being. Meditation is practiced for many reasons. It relaxes and calms the body and is known to lower bodily symptoms of stress as well as alleviating stress in and of itself.
The art of meditation involves allowing and training your body and mind to become completely still. Many religions and spiritual leaders promote meditation as a path to greater spiritual awareness and communication with the inner self. Meditation allows your innermost thoughts and feelings to come to the surface for your review and release.
Meditation is a very ancient practice, existing perhaps since the beginning of time. It is more widespread in eastern cultures where its benefits have been a part of daily life for thousands of years.
It has only recently begun to accumulate more interest and popularity in western culture. Western culture is known for its high-stress, frantic pace, and focuses on material possessions. Meditation is about taking time for the self and being present at the moment regardless of circumstances.
To begin a meditation practice, you might want to check your local library and books stores for information on the subject. There are also many guided meditations relating to things spiritual and otherwise out there.
You may want to designate a special corner of your home for your meditation practice. This area should be quiet and free from distractions and you should feel comfortable here. It should be clutter-free and simple. Sitting is the best posture for meditation so you might want to find a cozy chair of collection of pillows.
You might want to bring a special picture or candles into your meditation area, perhaps even a meditation stone that you will hold during your practice.
Meditation can be done anywhere and at anytime. A special area or special knowledge is not necessary. The intention of meditation is to quiet the mind and still the thoughts and this can be done several ways.
You may want to try several to find the one that works best for you. Keep practicing, eventually, you will master the art of meditation and go on to new and higher levels of self-awareness and well being.
One way to quiet the mind and still your thoughts is to focus on your breathing. You may want to take slow deep breaths through your nose and release the air through your mouth. There are many different breathing exercises out there. But it can be as simple as counting the seconds that you breathe in, hold the breath, and breathe out. Try to feel the air as it enters you and follows its path through your body. When you can focus on your breathing without any intruding or distracting thoughts you will have mastered a still mind.
The brain is continuously creating thoughts, analyzing data, and sending you the results. It is built to do this 24 hours a day, even while you are asleep. There are both conscious and unconscious thoughts. The key here is to let go of and ignore the conscious thoughts as they enter your mind until they begin to slow down and become quiet, allowing you greater access to your unconscious thoughts.
Another way to still the mind of its continuous stream of conscious thought is to give it a new focus. You might want to choose a soothing word such as “love” or “peace” or another word that has special meaning for you. Repeat this word over and over-focusing on the image and feeling what it represents to you. Eventually, your mind will fully focus on this thought while quieting all others. You are now in a state of meditation.