Meditation is getting more and more popular as we find our self living in a fast paced world, filled with a lot of information, to do’s lists, life projects and just the every day unavoidable challenges that life brings us.
“Where are I am at now?” – “Why am I here?” – “How can I be happier, less stressed and anxious?” – “Why does this keep happening to me?”… Here are some of the questions that arise in life and that show that something within us needs to be addressed. Feeling dissatisfied without a sense of purpose and any clear knowledge of what’s going on is a good thing! Yes it is! It shows that you are ready to move onto the next level of your journey, the one where you start turning your attention within yourself instead of outside of yourself. Think about how many things you do in the hope of attaining a condition of rest… For example, buy something new, go to the hairdresser (it very therapeutic for me;-), move somewhere else, change friends and partner, have a new job or a new activity etc… Does it bring you inner peace? Peace can never be found outside ourselves because the process of pursuing never ends.
Since we were born, the learning process has flowed outward the body by the five senses. We have had to constantly learn about what we can and can’t do in our society, all the rules, regulations, manners etc. At school, we are bombarded by a lot of facts and knowledge that is totally irrelevant for our happiness and instead fill our brain with useless information… to me is was knowing the
flags and capitals of the world, learning so much math and geometry, history and the rest. None of that ever mater to me. Even though we need to have some knowledge to be able to adapt in this society, 3/4 of what we learn is actually unnecessary. My opinion here;-) What we should learn instead is to understand how we must look after our self, our body and our mind. Learn the importance of breathing deeply, to calm the mind and avoid stress. Believe me, kids can be very tight in their body due to the stress they encounter in their lives. This is totally ignored, we think that they need to get on with it and toughen up, ignoring the damage it does to their soul, personality, gifts and talents. A robot adult is not a happy human being and will need to start an often very long journey to find why life is so hard and how to be happier… Most of us haven’t learned from a young age to relax, connect and meditate.
How to bring meditation into your daily life?
As you make priority for certain things, taking time to relax and meditate every day is essential. You have to make relaxation/meditation an activity like taking a shower; writing emails or go on Facebook! Even spending 10 minutes doing some conscious deep breathing will do the trick. Meditation can be found anywhere at any time, not only sitting every now and then. The whole point is to focus your mind on doing only one thing at a time. For example, washing the dishes, hanging the washing, driving your car in traffic (but don’t forget the traffic!), running, biking, etc… When doing something, be present in each and every moment.
Meditation begins once the thoughts and emotions have been stilled. It is any activity and practice of which the goal is super conscious awareness (=a high level of awareness). The more regularly you meditate and the more deeply you meditate, the sooner you’ll find yourself acting always from a centre of inner peace. To start with, meditation will be classified by your brain in the ‘non-familiar zone’, hence it will reluctantly embrace the task at hand, not being used to it. The brain literally lightens up when something familiar is undertaken, so with time it will slowly start recognising your silences and focus as something more and more familiar and it will become easier. Practice, practice, practice, that’s the only way!
I like to compare the brain to a muscle, the more you work on it, the stronger it gets. It is like that for meditation, for calming thoughts and finding inner peace. Again, consistency is the key. But be kind and gentle to yourself as well; don’tbeat yourself up if you don’t meditate. Find that strength inside you that pushes you to do the right thing for your own good, listen to yourself!
What are the clues for a good meditation practice?
To meditate, you need to have the right mental attitude which is the one of listening. Most people don’t really listen, they are in a battle to win arguments and they campaign continuously for their own ideas. You have to give that process a rest! Learn to ‘let it go’. Find a calm place preferably but with time and practice you will be able to find a meditative state pretty much anywhere, that will come only with lots of practice though. Sit with your spine straight, light up a candle or some, create a place of comfort and be comfortable and warm.
The thoughts are usually rushing into the mind like untamed horses in the wild. You can’t really control them and that process is exhausting. So, how can you calm your thoughts? The clue is not to get caught in them. You have to look at them as if they were clouds in the sky, just passing by. Don’t analyse them. Just recognise them and let them go.
The best posture to meditate is sitting up with a straight back. You should try to have a good posture that you can keep for some time without moving. In yoga nidra we lie down. It is different from meditation and could be considered as a good preparation for meditation as it quietens the mind.
When you are ready to start, begin your practice with conscious breathing. Take 12 deep breaths to relax the body and the mind completely.
You can focus on your heart and visualise a pure white light shining outwards in ray of love and harmony to the world around you. It helps focus the mind and bring a sense of peace.
At times, our mind is more restless than others. During periods of restlessness, when the thoughts run wild, don’t criticise yourself and “punish” you. Try relaxing first (with deep breathing or yoga nidra) and maybe meditate for 5 minutes. If it doesn’t work, don’t blame yourself. Water your thoughts with love and gratitude. Love yourself! And try again later during the day or the next day.
Find some meditation that you can listen too, it will help you stay focused. Some guided meditations bring you to your inner temple and help you find your intuition (Have a look at the website under ‘services’; there are some meditations that you can listen too;-) Start with short meditation (5 or 10 min) and then extend the practice by 5 minutes at a time. Be consistent!
Remind yourself WHY you want to meditate: find calmness, deep true happiness, deal with everyday life better, etc… It will help you find the strength you need to stay consistent. Meditation should be a joy, make you happy!
What are the benefits of meditation?
Meditate will bring you a calmness of mind that is precious for your health and inner being. In our busy world when people ‘burn out’ more quickly than before, meditation allows you to take things more slowly, give you the break that your body and mind so desperately need.
A clear and present mind is extremely productive and helps you make the right decisions (based on the heart and not the tergiversations of the mind). The calmness born of deep meditation represents a higher degree of awareness. That calmness will enable you not only to remain calm during periods of intense activity but also to face and accept with wise understanding the trials of life. Your constant goal should be to stay actively calm and calm with activity
What is the difference between relaxation, meditation and yoga nidra?
The term ‘relaxation’ can be achieved through activities like listening to music or walking in nature, or simply having a quiet time. Relaxation is something we do naturally, and we don’t need any special training or techniques.
Deep relaxation is something very different. It quietens your mind and releases physical tension in your body. In a state of deep relaxation, your heart beat and breathing slow down, and your body and mind become deeply calm. There are many techniques to help you relax deeply, including the practice of yoga nidra, or ‘psychic sleep’. You may find that you become so relaxed that you fall asleep during the practice. This is fine, the aim of yoga nidra is to ‘surf the interface between sleeping and waking consciousness’. Usually your guide’s voice will bring you back to a semi-conscious state.
Meditation is the practice of training the mind to realise some benefits or as an end in itself. In general, it refers to a broad variety of practice such as techniques that promote relaxation, bring internal compassion, increase the energy, clear any stress etc… A certain form of meditation which is more intense aims at effortlessly sustaining a single-pointed concentration meant to enable the practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of wellbeing while engaging in any activity.
Yoga Nidra means Yogic Sleep. It is a state of conscious Deep Sleep. In Meditation, you remain in the Waking state of consciousness, and gently focus the mind, while allowing thought patterns, emotions, sensations, and images to arise and go on. However, in Yoga Nidra, you leave the Waking state, go past the Dreaming state, and go to Deep Sleep, yet remain awake. While Yoga Nidra is a state that is very relaxing, it is also used by Yogis to purify the Samskaras, the deep impressions that are the driving force behind Karma
Do you want more?
Join our weekly class on Wednesdays from 7.15 to 8.15pm. We will learn about the mind, breathe consciously, follow a guided visualisation and meditate in silence.
You can listen to free meditation (guided visualisation) on our website
Follow this link – this website is great: https://zenhabits.net/meditation-guide/