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  • Katrina Steel

Meditation

Updated: Feb 17

“Meditation is not just for relaxation. Its primary purpose is to develop the capacity to respond skilfully and gracefully to life’s difficulties as well as its joys”

Shyalpa Tenzin Rinpoche

Meditate verse Medicate

Do you find yourself swallowed up by life, lost in an endless stream of thoughts that results in you losing touch with yourself, your purpose, and your direction? Do you find yourself overwhelmed by life? Have you ever noticed that this occurs inside of your head? Do you feel out of touch with your life and the present moment? Are you always thinking about the tomorrow or are you thinking about yesterday? Are you always thinking and not seeing what is around you? Are you completely disconnected to the present moment?

When we realise that our mind is constantly thinking we realise we are disconnected from our self and the miracle of life. ‘Mind-living’ brings disconnectedness. Constant thinking creates feelings of anxiety and depression. Anxiety and depression comes from a lack of stillness and centeredness within you. This affects your physical health, your peace of mind and your emotional stability. ‘Mind-living’ turns into stress, worry, and fear which stops you from being able to function. It will also lead to emotional troubles and confused thinking, a sense of feeling lost, and unsure of your direction, your knowing and your purpose.

To live a life of ease joy and grace you must first connect to the part of yourself that is still and quiet, the place where your all-knowing, and ever peaceful soul lives. This is the place of your centre, where you can experience your truth and clarity.


Why Meditate

By practicing meditation you can establish a connection with yourself and the source of life which is limitless. You can access this at any time, in any place and whenever need.

The definitions of meditation are broad. In the simplest definition meditation is a discipline that involves turning the mind and attention inward and focusing on a single thought, image, object or feeling.

The aim of meditation is to create a sense of calm however meditation practice can manage stress, improve your ability to focus on tasks and connect to the infinite God energy. It can be used to deal with stressful situations, emotional troubles or as a means to address any problems we have.

You will notice benefits from meditation after spending as little as five minutes twice a day on your practice. However the more you do it and the longer you do it, the greater the benefit and more profound the impact.

After around a week of regular practice you will notice how active your mind is and begin to get a handle on those distracting thoughts. Within three weeks meditation will become easier and you will find more mental clarity and even feel the physical benefits. Over the long-term, your ability to let go of distractions will improve. You will experience more awareness in your day to day life, more ease and more connectedness to the present moment.


Let’s look at the components and benefits of meditation

Physical component: The benefits of meditation on the physical body are enormous. Meditation releases physical stress, reduces anxiety, muscle tension, slows blood flow, increases energy and reduces blood pressure and heart disease.

Mental component: Meditation has incredible impacts on mental functioning and clarity of thought. By using meditation one can still the mind and bring calm resulting in the reduction of negative thinking, all-or-nothing thinking and catastrophic thinking. Meditation has been proven to reduce mental health disorders including but not limited to depression and anxiety.

Emotional component: The influences of meditation on the emotional states of people are incredible. Most people experience a feeling of centeredness, peace and calm. Emotions such as anger, resentment, and selfishness are reduced and released, allowing experiences of forgiveness, acceptance, and surrender. It can be said that through meditation you will begin to experience thinking from the heart versus the mind.

Spiritual component: Meditation has been related to silent prayer and conveyances with God. Meditation has the ability to reduce or remove the ego allowing communion with the forever present essence of love and life. Through meditation you can hear the voice of God, your own internal truth and therefore be governed without judgement or fear in the direction of your true direction and purpose.


Developing meditation techniques

Breathing Meditation ~ Sit in an upright position with your hands comfortably on your lap. Close your eyes and feel your tongue relax in our mouth, your jaw relax, your eyes relax, your face and body relax. Allow yourself to breath natural for a time and then begin to slow your breath. Feel the breath enter through your nose into your lungs, allow it to fill your lungs chest expanding and then slowly release your breath. Continue focusing on your breath for as long as you wish to meditate. It is impossible to think and focus on breathing at the same time.

Visualisation Meditation ~ When you have settled down comfortably, eyes closed, focus on your breath allowing it to slow. Become aware of your thoughts and distractions as they arise in your mind and let them drift away with each breath. Allow all the concerns or worries, stresses or issues, to fall away with every breath. With every breath imagine that you are exhaling all disturbing thoughts and feelings, surrendering them to a greater Source. With every inhalation imagine you are breathing in blessings and peace. With every inhalation imagine your body fill with light and love and experience the calm and stillness of God’s essence.

Contemplation Meditation ~ When you have found stillness and centred your breath, allow yourself to bring into being the intention of your meditation. If you are experiencing a negative emotion with your ‘life situation’ reflect on the emotion and find the appropriate antidote for you to contemplate. If you are feeling angry the antidote and energy your wish to focus on would be forgiveness. If you are feeling conflict or resistance to something your desire is to feel acceptance. If you are feeling stressed and worried you may wish to meditate on the sensation and surrender towards trust. The aim is, by meditating on the positive emotions and thoughts you will begin to feel and vibrate towards that desired state of being. By meditating on positive feelings you bring positive sensations and thoughts. The aim is to create a healthy state of being. You are transcending your problems and aligning yourself with solutions. You are choosing healing.


Definitions:

Meditation:is a practice in which you train the mind to be quiet so that you can establish peace and stillness. Meditation practice brings harmony and flow into daily living.

Source:In reference to spirituality and meditation, Source is the place where one accesses peace, knowing, centeredness and connectedness. Source is the origin of Heaven.

Present: The state of being, existing or living in the here and now. The now. The only time that exists is the current moment. All other things do not exist, they are a memory of the past or a projection of the future created in the mind.

Life situation: A situation which reflects what is happening in your life, usually relating to your emotional issues, thoughts or beliefs. It is what is happening in your life. You are not your life situation you are the ‘experiencer’ of your life situation.


Discussion Questions:

1. Why is meditation such an important ingredient in creating a successful life?

2. What areas of your life would benefit from daily meditation practice?

3. How could you use Contemplation Meditation to improve your relationship with others or resolve any conflict with others?

4. How could meditation change the way your get lost in your mind?


Tips:

1. Practice and commitment establish new healthy habits

2. By creating a habit around meditation practice you are creating healthy coping strategies that will change your relationship to your life.

3. The more you meditate and the longer you meditate, the deeper and more profound the experience.

4. The quieter you become the better you can hear the voice of your inner knowing.

5. The stiller you become the more centred your life will be and the easier it will be to experience happiness.

6. The more peace we create within ourselves the more peaceful our world becomes.


Exercise:

1. Identify an area of your life that you are struggling with. It will be an area in which we are highly emotional, have repetitive and obsessive thoughts, or experiencing stress or worry about.

2. Choose a meditation technique that you would like to practice for the next 7 days.

3. Begin with spending 15 minutes meditating and try to build on this time over the next 7 days so that you can go deeper and deeper into the experience. The key is to learn and develop your ability to meditate daily and increase you capacity to still your mind and establish peace.

4. The aim is to see if the energy and feelings around your emotional problem or mental challenge changes through your meditation practice.

5. Reflect on the feelings and thoughts, experiences and insight you have during meditation and write about it to create your awareness and develop value around your meditation practice.


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