The practice of mediation is a mental training. Just as we use physical exercises to improve our bodily health, meditation can be used to develop a healthy mind and spirit.
Research shows that meditation is effective in decreasing stress and anxiety levels, lowering blood pressure, increasing productivity and improving the ability to focus. And if that’s not enough to spark interest… 100% of insomnia patients reported improved sleep and 91% either eliminated or reduced their sleeping medication use, as published in The American Journal of Medicine.
There are many different techniques of meditating to suit different personality types. Generally speaking, some techniques involve focusing on a particular object that’s outside of yourself, (i.e. a mantra, the sound of an instrument or a candle’s flame), whereas other techniques involve a broader focus, (i.e. the breath and internal body states). It’s really up to you to work out which technique suits you best.
Your local health food store will most likely have flyers and business cards of meditation classes available in your local area, or you can purchase a meditation CD that will guide you through a practice.
If you’d like to jump right in and start practicing on your own:
• Set aside a time when you will not be disturbed and turn your phone off (or on silent mode).
• Find a comfortable place to sit cross legged.
• Close your eyes.
• Inhale through your nose, and exhale through your nose.
• Avoid the urge to move, itch, scratch or adjust your clothes.
• Simply sit and observe the breath, and the sensations that are showing up throughout your body.
• Don’t fight the painful sensations hoping that they go away, and don’t hang on to the pleasurable sensations hoping that they stay. Accept that any of the sensations (pleasant or unpleasant) you may be feeling will indeed pass. Just as any cravings or aversions you have in life pass also.
A final word: Please don’t be discouraged by the frustration of trying to still your mind. Starting anything new is difficult at first. Meditation is a life-long practice. Take baby-steps. Try at first to meditate for just 5 minutes a day. Then 10 minutes and so on. It’s far better to practice for a short period of time every day consistently, than longer durations less frequently.
Integrating meditation in to your daily life can help to bring about a more happy, healthy and therefore naturally beautiful you.