Meditation is a practical, easy way to get in touch with your inner self. If you do an internet search, you will find tons of information and even studies about its benefits.
The nice thing about meditation is that you can do it anywhere. Just find a comfortable seat. Take a few deep breaths and simply observe your breathing and thoughts. Try it for five minutes per day until you get to 15-20 minute sessions (or longer or more frequently, if you desire).
Just come as you are. No need to be perfect. No need to completely clear your mind. By the way, most people find that it takes a while to stop the thoughts. It’s not really the goal in meditation. I’m not sure that meditation has a goal really. I mean, of course, enlightenment is the goal, but that is different for everyone, depending on your spiritual path. Even if you’re not into the woo-woo, don’t want to sit on a cushion, Om-ing for hours, you’ll find benefits from meditation.
Meditation can be a great stress reducer. It is a great way to activate the relaxation response (parasympathetic nervous system, if you are a geek like me). Some say that healing on all levels (physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual) is possible via the relaxation response, if utilized over time.
Some use meditation to clear their head a bit. Others use it as a way to get insights or guidance about a pressing issue. There’s multiple ways and techniques that you can use to meditate.
There are all kinds of schools of thought and disciplines when it comes to meditation. There’s tons of classes, books, and even guided meditations. I find that sometimes, guided meditations help me to relax. It’s a guided relaxation really. But, I also have my own personal meditation practice too. By the way, don’t feel like you need to find a guru in order to learn how to meditate effectively, if that is not in your belief system. Find a way or teacher that works for you and resonates with your heart and spirit.
Sometimes, it’s beneficial to learn to meditate in groups. In groups, entrainment happens (a coordination of energies and nervous systems similar to when a group of grandfather clocks become coordinated over time). Entrainment helps you to learn a new skill more easily. However, if you’re sensitive to energies, you might not like this feeling of being intertwined with others’ energy fields. I myself found that I was able to meditate in a group for learning, but when it came to do it socially of sorts, I was too sensitive for some reason. (I can meditate with my hubby and feel okay, however.)
Meditation is really a state of awareness in the present. So, you can use anything that gets you into the present moment or a state of flow as meditation. Meditation and breath work create changes in or altered states of consciousness. Search on-line to read about the various brain states’ differences (alpha, beta, and delta, etc.) I’ve been able to get into an altered state via walking, bicycling, running, knitting, playing guitar, receiving massage, or watching my squirrel friends play outside.
I sometimes joke with people that I want to teach meditation so that people will rely less or not at all on chemicals or substances. (On a side note: I’m doing a meditation teacher training right now that I’ll soon complete after I’m finished this summer with my book proposal. So, watch for some meditation tracks produced by yours truly.)
I’m often asked as a psychic if I meditate. Well, yes, I do, as mentioned. But, psychic ability and intuition are not really the goal of meditation. Meditation simply helps your mind to focus. You can use this focus in a way that supports your daily life. Eventually, you might get to a place where your life feels like a meditation, even when you’re not technically meditating. Meditation trains your mind and spirit in many ways, some of which have to be experienced first-handedly.
You might really enjoy reading about meditation at Wikipedia, for starters: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation Even if you are not spiritual or religious, meditation is still possible. You might prefer to look at the scientific or physiological benefits. I myself combine traditions since I’m a religious/spiritual dabbler and embrace all positive paths to the divine. I just don’t like to limit myself or fall for the stereotypes.
I put a photo of a child levitating in this post for a reason. If you’re an adult, I invite you to think about the child’s mindset. Children are so open-minded, and often, they don’t have limiting beliefs about what is possible (until their parents, society, or schooling tells them otherwise).
So, if you want to defy gravity, blast through plywood, or just get through another day at work, you can do it. If you go there in your mind, you can achieve it physically.
Visualization is often not considered meditation. It’s similar though since you’re using your mind as a tool, training it to focus. Many studies with athletes show that at higher levels of competition, athletes spend a significant amount of their training time practicing visualization. I myself can attest to having better race results from using visualization when I raced my mountain bike back in the day. I also have used visualization and meditation to focus my mind with creative pursuits such as writing and playing electric guitar.
I would love to hear about your own meditation experiences. Feel free to share here with your comments. I always say with things like meditation, “The more, the merrier.”
Thanks for reading!
©2011, Lisa, Punk Rock Psychic™, http://punkrockpsychic.com