Meditation – The Way Of The Peaceful Mind (More to Life magazine 2012)
For most people the thought of regular meditation seems the stuff of distant fantasy conjuring up misty images of serene monks atop mountains or beautiful white clad women on deserted beaches with gently lapping waves kissing their feet. But back in the ‘real world’ we simply don’t have the time of the luxury for ‘doing nothing’ each day. But what if a few minutes, every day, dedicated to easing the mind meant a lifetime of less pressure and confusion, less anger and frustration, and improved health and enjoyment. Is that not something worth discovering and undertaking? Meditation costs nothing to do, but your life could prove far more costly without it…
Our very being is constantly exposed to stimuli, inviting us to relentlessly engage our energy often resulting in us spreading ourselves too thinly, giving away our personal power, to the point we become stressed. Emotional stress, left unchecked can manifest itself in the physical body and we become more prone to dis-ease and illness. Meditation seeks to not only prevent the stress building up in the first place, but it can also ease the conflict between mind and body and this is where the soul connection comes in; where the magic of your inner knowing happens.
When it comes to ‘enlightenment’ – understanding the ‘who’, ‘where’ and ‘why’ we are, we talk of a person as a trinity of mind, body and soul. This represents the mental/emotional, physical and spiritual elements of being human. Meditation seeks to address our mental/emotional state in order to have the entire being function more harmoniously and free ourselves from distractions to bring a clearer perspective on the issues that trouble our thoughts or to better appreciate what really matters. And unlike many esoteric practises, meditation (incorporating the more recently coined practice of ‘mindfulness’), has been scientifically proven to alter our chemical, physical and emotional state for the positive, from boosting our immune system to better managing depression, anxiety and our ability to better interact with each other. The more we undertake this ‘exercise’ the greater the benefits and the easier it becomes to integrate it into our lives, till it becomes a habit like cleaning our teeth… ‘Meditation is to know oneself as one is. It is see our real face without any mask. When we practice meditation then we are bound to come across dark side of our nature which we are suppressing in our unconscious mind. But through meditation we can transform these desires by being a passive watcher of them.’
The thing is people have always meditated – or to be more specific, found a way to ‘switch off’ or ‘chill out’ in order to take the weight off their minds and allow joy, peace and pleasure (the soul experience) to flow through them, even if for just a few moments. The common misconception is that meditation must be done in silence and complete stillness and aim to think of ‘nothing’. That is one way, but it is not the only way. ‘Active’ meditations can be engaged in whilst dancing, singing, chanting, praying, swimming, running or walking. Some forms of meditation use ‘living flames’, like a fire or a candle. The overarching theme to all of the above is that we engage the physical body in a single focal point thus allowing nothing else to draw away our attention. Then slowly but surely we can mentally strip away the clutter allowing our minds the breathing space it needs to make sense of our thoughts and concerns, by engaging with our ‘soul knowing’ (intuition or ‘gut feeling’). This can have several aims; to find total tranquillity, to focus on the joy of life, to resolve an issue, or to tap into our creative state, dreaming up wonders, sparking ideas and solutions. Like all things it takes practice, but once learnt never forgotten…
Try this ‘Breathing Meditation’ technique – a very simple method of watching the breath and improving our emotional state. Sitting or lying comfortably, just become aware of incoming and outgoing breath. Watch the breath entering from nostrils and trace down its movement till the lungs and then watch the reverse process from lungs to nostrils. If any sound comes then allow it but pay attention to breathing. As we watch the breathing, it will slow down on its own. This is the miracle and beauty of this meditation. If we don’t interfere with the breathing and watch is passively then our breath will become more harmonious and slow. As the breathing slows down there will be a change in our mental state also and we will notice that we have become more calm and peaceful. There is more clarity and well-being inside us. This technique develops the knack of watching passively and once we know how to watch passively then we can be meditative in the activities of our daily life also.
(c) Kate Osborne, Solarus Ltd.
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