What Is Meditation?

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What is meditation?

Many people think meditation is some weird thing you do when you close your eyes and chant "OMMMMM"...or that it kills the legs sitting in a strange, uncomfortable cross-legged position. Fortunately none of that is necessary.

Meditation is simply focusing you mind and thoughts on something, allowing nothing to distract you from that purpose. Everyday tasks like doing the dishes or mowing the lawn can be a kind of mediation, if you focus your mind to be aware of the task that you are doing. Meditation also sort of spontaneously happens with intense focus on a skill like playing piano or driving...every arrived somewhere and kind of lost the road and didn’t know how you got there? Sitting down to meditate on a particular subject or object is choosing to intentionally focusing and stilling your mind.

Meditation makes you aware that every thought you choose to think, plays a part in creating the reality you live in. We can become so caught up in repetitive, negative and destructive thought patterns and inner conversation regarding what we take or allow in from life - and meditation helps us recognize these patterns as well as creating new, more positive and healthy thoughts and inner dialogue. The question is: what are you choosing to meditate (or think a lot of) on? Meditation can help us develop healthier thinking patterns, as well as assist in mental, emotional, spiritual and even physical health.

Meditation classes can walk you through the process of stilling your mind, and you will find that space of peace and quiet within. We all have infinite wisdom within us and meditation helps us find and connect to that place of wisdom – to listen to and work with it...so that we may become the best versions of ourselves and reach our full potential.

There are a variety of meditation techniques that can be practiced...but it is important not to restrict yourself to ‘wrong or right’. Do what works for you.
FOCUS - in this meditation technique you focus your mind on an object, either externally, like a flame or picture, or internally - like your breath or heartbeat. The purpose of this focusing is to still the chatter of the ‘monkey-mind’ and attain a space of quiet within. Focusing helps us stabilize, center and calm the mind. As an added benefit, you will notice that it quite difficult to stop thinking completely, but from this space of quietness; you can observe and recognize thought patterns that will help you learn more about yourself. Focusing as a meditation is great for helping you focus on things you want in your life and it also helps still and ready the mind for other, deeper meditations.
THINKING - in this form of meditation, you think about a particular topic. It may be some kind of problem you are experiencing, such as having trouble expressing yourself or unexplained irritability. Or you can think of certain characteristics you would like to develop, like more patience or compassion, or you might like to contemplate the unity of all things...thinking about something in a focused way with the intention of creating a positive change regarding what you are thinking about, helps train the mind in the power of positive thinking.

VISUALIZING - this is one of my favorite techniques, as you can go anywhere you like, become anything – anything is possible…in your imagination. Visualizing helps create your reality like no other technique; helps manifest your desires and dreams. It can assist in changing behavioral patterns and even alter physical body processes. Visualizing is a very powerful tool and with a little time and practice anyone can acquire this skill. With a guided meditation (listening to someone guiding you through the meditation) the focus on the facilitator’s voice will help you start to visualize easier, if you are having trouble.

EXPERIENCING - this is a guided meditation process by which you will be asked to experience whatever comes up for you relating to the particular topic or issue being meditated on. For example, you may be asked to experience your senses by focusing on an image or visualization of sitting on a beach…feel the sand under your feet, smell the salty air, hear the cry of the seagulls etc. This will help you be more in tune with the world around you, which we perceive mainly through the senses, sometimes without even being aware of it – and help you to live more in the present moment.

Ultimately, meditation teaches us to be more in tune with ourselves, our desires and the world around us. Meditation is a very personal journey and you can’t meditate ‘better’ than anyone else. Like anything in life, meditation requires practice and commitment, for us to use this shill to cultivate more positive, kind and compassionate aspects of ourselves. Motivation plays a big role, with what you are choosing to meditate on, and all of you actions and intentions in life.

Author - Fern Ferreira

Published - 2015-03-30