"Make time for the quiet moments as God whispers and the world is loud." ~ Unknown
Why meditate? Meditation enables you to create a deeper state of rest, relaxation and calm, which gives your body a greater opportunity to heal and cleanse.
In an article by Vikki Conwell of Cox News Service she quotes David Orme-Johnson (psychologist and meditation researcher), “The body knows to heal itself. It’s allowing the wisdom of the body to do its thing.”
Dr. Steven Rector, an ER physician and director of the Transcendental Meditation Program in Atlanta says, “It’s been described as falling awake. The body and mind become profoundly settled and quiet, yet you remain perfectly alert.”
Calming the mind, and therefore the body, provides numerous health benefits including less anxiety, and reduced pain, depression and insomnia. According to a report by the Atlanta Journal-Constitution recent studies show that meditation, along with diet and exercise, can offer benefits such as:
- Heart: Can reduce buildup of plaque in coronary arteries.
- Pain: Has been shown to reduce the brain’s reaction to pain.
- Blood Pressure: Can improve vascular function and lower blood pressure.
- Breast Cancer: Can produce higher levels of immune cells that combat tumors in the breast.
- Immune System: Helps produce higher levels of antibodies against viruses.
- Premenstrual Syndrome: Can cause symptoms to subside.
- Menopause: Reduces intensity of flashes.
There are many different forms of meditation – you can find numerous books and CDs to guide you, but it does not need to be a complicated process. What works best for me is to lay quietly when I awaken in the morning and again before going to sleep at night…I quiet my mind by focusing on my breathing. Several years ago I discovered a tape that was very helpful in teaching me techniques to relax and breathe properly, which are essential when meditating. Ken Cohen’s Guide to Healthy Breathing is now available on CD, and can be found at www.amazon.com, or ask at your local book/music store.
Two popular types of meditation are Transcendental, which is the repetition of a phrase or sound with the goal of clearing your mind of all thoughts; or Concentration, where you focus your attention on an object or on your breathing. If you are interested in a more unique type of meditation check out Dr Wayne Dyer’s CD, Meditations for Manifesting, which explains the Japa method. In Japa you continually repeat the “ah” sound (a universal power sound) in an effort to help you to connect to Source and to manifest whatever you would like into your life. If you like to listen to soothing music while meditating, a personal favorite of mine is Bija by Todd Norian.
The key to getting the most from meditation is to find what is comfortable and works well for you – this is not a “right” or “wrong” experience…what matters is that you accomplish the goal of slowing down, quieting your mind and body.
Try to meditate at least once a day…don’t pressure yourself, start slowly and build up to whatever length of time works for you. Make sure you are comfortable and in a quiet place. Close your eyes. Find a word or phrase to repeat silently or softly. Your mind may not cooperate at first – thoughts may continually pop into your head – don’t fight it, just put your attention back onto your breathing or to your word/phrase and in time it will become easier and easier to do. The more you do it, the better you get at it…and it really is worth the effort, as the results can be quite amazing.
The Spring Forest QiGong Studio has a wonderful meditation on their website that you might enjoy: http://www.springforestqigong.com/docs/Open_Your_Heart_Change_Your_World.mp3
“My One Minute Meditation”
I studied and researched a variety of meditation techniques looking for a way to maximum my results. What I eventually concluded is that keeping things simple is what works best for me. So instead of meditating for 20 or more minutes per day, as recommended by some spiritual teachers, I find shorter meditation periods, “one minute meditations,” done throughout the day helps to keep me grounded and have a greater sense of peacefulness. The simpler I keep things, the more comfortable I am…no special clothing or fancy equipment…no chanting or memorizing needed, all you really have to do is: Just Be!
This mini meditation is not only a great way to de-stress, but it can also bring about a greater sense of spiritual connection.
You can do this seated, lying down, or standing:
- Close your eyes – take a deep breath in through the nose and let it out through the mouth
- Focus your attention to your lungs as they expand, then contract
- Notice your heart beating, your pulse pulsating
- Continue to just be in the moment
- Concentrate on your breath, feel your connection to your inner healer – located deep in the center of your being
- When you feel a sense of peace and calm, you can open your eyes and rejoin the world with renewed alignment and peace.
On the go or no time for meditation?
If you are on the go and don’t have the time to devote to a full meditation session, or if you are in a place where you can’t meditate but are feeling out of sorts, stressed out, etc. try this exercise that I find very helpful:
Close your eyes (if possible) and repeat to yourself, “Rest into my body” as you slowly breath in and out, repeating this several times until you begin to feel more relaxed…this can be very calming and grounding, and something you can do throughout the day to keep yourself in balance.