What is meditation, really?

There’s a lot of talk these days about meditation and the benefits of it. It seems that anyone and everyone is doing it. But what is it really?

Firstly let me clear up a common misconception: Meditation is NOT trying to get rid of your thoughts so your mind is empty.  Thoughts are part of your existence and are not the enemy. Trying to have no thoughts at all, especially for any length of time, is a very tall order.

So you can go ahead and drop that expectation on yourself.

Whew! That’s a relief :)

Instead, meditation is the practice of bringing your mind to the present (thoughts and all). You may not be aware of this yet, but your mind spends most of the day flitting between the past and the future.  You tend to spend very little time actually experiencing this present moment. I bet that even right now, your mind is wandering off, “I wonder what I should have for dinner” or “Oh no, I forgot to do so and so…” This is how we spend most of our time, chewing on the past or planning for the future. Have you ever had the experience of driving home, yet when you arrive you have absolutely NO recollection of driving at all? Where was your mind when you were driving I wonder?

This is one of the main reasons why you often feel tired, down, negative, can’t concentrate, have trouble sleeping etc. Take a moment to imagine running up and down a room all day and all night, EVERY DAY. How would you feel? Exhausted I reckon! That’s how your mind feels. By almost never being in the present, the mind gets very little rest.

That’s where meditation comes in. It is a daily practice of giving the mind rest by bringing it back to the present moment.

How can you do this? Here are some ideas:

  • Close your eyes for a few moments, and just start watching your breath.
  • Become aware of the food you are eating. Experience every texture, colour and taste.
  • Standing in the queue? Take this time to really experience your surroundings. How do things look? How does it feel to be in your body right now? How is your breathing?

Start by practicing one of these simple meditations for a few minutes every day. You’ll soon notice the difference in your day.

 

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One Comment

  1. Posted January 14, 2012 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    The blog is cool

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