Why Should I Meditate?
Do you have trouble sleeping? Do you struggle with a problem, constantly worrying about it and yet it is still unresolved? Do you feel that your mind is constantly inundated with thoughts and you don’t know who to turn it off? Do you find it difficult to meditate? Or don’t know how? Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in Eastern Religions as effective way of reducing stress, relax, managing pain, become focused, centered and present.
The stress level in our society especially in this economy is extremely high. Studies have shown that children are feeling the same stress as the parents. 99% of most illnesses are caused by stress by weakening the immune system.
What is the Most Effective Way to Relieve Stress?
Breathing, it works better and faster than any drug or stimulant and it’s free. During a stressful situation, we do not bring enough oxygen into our brain and vital organs thus causing headaches, trouble breathing, and lack of concentration. In our daily lives, we are not aware of our breathing, we continue to hold our breath and engage in shallow breathing.
Life begins with your first breath, for oxygen is the first and most basic necessity in life. We must first understand the relationship between breath and life energy. Healing begins with each breath. Breathing slowly and deeply provides nourishment in the form of oxygen to the body which helps relax the brain and the nervous system.
It can help you release stress, anger, sadness or other unexpressed emotions. Physically, it can enhance your immune system, manage chronic pain, and reduce high blood pressure.
There is No Right or Wrong Way to Meditate
There is no big mystery. There are simply many techniques. We’ve all seen the vision of a yogi sitting cross legged wearing a white robe and meditating in a cave. This is an unrealistic idea of what meditation is about for us. You want to make it an enjoyable experience.
It’s not the length of sitting that creates long term change, but the fact that you are taking the time and setting the intention that you are going to meditate and sit as long as you can. For this reason, you will be continually reminded each week, about the importance of practicing consistently.
If you haven’t been sitting in meditation every day, spend a few moments considering the obstacles that got in your way. Perhaps you turned on the TV and lost track of time, or perhaps a friend called and needed your support. True emergencies notwithstanding, consider whether your obstacles were just excuses in disguise.
If you really wanted to meditate, you could probably have made it work somehow. Don’t let excuses rob you of a habit that will benefit every area of your life. You’re the most important person in the world. Try not to be too hard on yourself and simply pick up where you left off.
In order to be of service to others, you have to keep yourself healthy and centered. Remember every time you get on a plane and listen to the safety precautions presentation, the flight attendant urges you to put on your own oxygen mask first. Think of meditation as a way to give yourself the very air you need. For those of us who have been meditating for years, that’s exactly how it feels.
Mindful Breath Meditation
Sit comfortably in an open body position. Hands on your knees, eyes closed. Take your tongue to the roof of your mouth. Breathe in through your nose and out through your nose. Take a slow deep breath; inhale to the count of 4 exhale to the count of 6. Make your exhalation longer than your inhalation. As you inhale and exhale notice your breath as it enters in and out of your body. With each breath feel each part of your body releasing tension & stress.
Now allow your mind to draw into your breath. Notice the quality, texture, rhythm of your breathing. Is it short and croppy, long and smooth, or somewhere in between. Do you hold your breath after breathing in and out? Notice relationship between your breath, body, and your thoughts.
Try not to analyze or judge what you discover. Now quiet your mind and release any negative thoughts of worry, doubt, fear and replace them with peace, serenity and calm. If thoughts enter into your mind, allow them to go in one ear and out the other and just be aware of your thoughts. Be present and in the now. Our breath flows into our center and out from our center.
Honor the Light within you and extend that light to all beings. Visualize yourself in harmony with the Universe.
When your mind begins to relax your body will follow. Where your mind goes the energy flows.