Meditation – Top 5 Questions on Meditation
Do you feel stressed, overworked, or struggle to find balance in your life? Meditation has been known to greatly improve ones quality of life for these aspects and more. There is a great deal of information out there on the benefits of meditation for health and stress reduction, as well as other physical changes that occur in the brain. The following consists of the most common (top 5) questions I’m often asked about meditation.
1) What is meditation?
Meditation is the art of being without thought. Its simply a process of you learning how to embrace the silence within and quiet your mind. Its you taking a few moments with yourself as you observe your thoughts and mental to-do lists without acting upon them until the thoughts no longer exist. It you learning and understanding your unconscious while providing greater levels of awareness and understanding of yourself.
2) Is Meditation difficult?
Yes and no. If I told you all you had to do was sit still and focus on your breath you might think that sounds quite easy. But the first time you sit and focus on your breath you might find your mind running wild with all sorts of thoughts. You might feel restless and struggle with sitting and doing nothing while you have this never ending to-do list in your mind. You might experience pain from past experiences that have not been fully dealt with or healed. The process is not easy at first and takes time and daily practice.
3) Why Meditation?
There are several benefits that result from a daily practice. Some of the key benefits are better health, inner peace, greater awareness, freedom from fears and stronger self-confidence, to list a few. You’ll be able to reduce your stress and find a deeper level of peace and appreciation with life. Meditation has also been found to slow down the aging process and change your entire neurological system. If your looking to change things about your life or struggle with any health related issues you will find great benefit with a daily meditation practice.
4) Do I need to learn from a teacher?
If your new to meditation you might find a teacher to be a great asset for questions that arise. Especially if your looking at studying a particular style that is of interest to you. However, it is not necessary to have a teacher to learn how to meditate as its really just you sitting with yourself. That is taking a few moments in silence daily and bringing your focus back to your breath each time your mind wanders. Check out a few books such as Mindfulness in Plain English: Revised and Expanded Edition or view it online for free at www.urbandharma.org.
5) How do I get started?
Please yourself in a comfortable position that allows for you to remain undisturbed for a short period of time. You can choose a sitting posture or sit in a chair or even lay down on the floor as long as you can avoid falling asleep. Start small and build up from there, even as little as 5 minutes a day will reap great benefits if practiced daily. Then work up to 15 minutes or more as you progress. Its important that you remain in meditation for the time you chose, for example if your starting limit is 5 minutes then you want to make sure you sit for the entire 5 minutes before stopping. This is where the discipline comes in and is extremely important for your growth and building will power. The other important aspect is your posture. Its important to keep the spine straight so if your sitting think as though your suspended by a string from the crown of your head, if your laying down keep your head level with your body. Then observe your thoughts and each time your mind wanders bring your focus back to your breath. Acknowledge any thoughts that arise and let them go, as though you’re passing by in a moving vehicle. In time with practice you’ll notice yourself free from thoughts as you experience other shifts within yourself.
Good luck with your meditation practices and experiences.
Until next time,