The short description of meditation is that it is a process that brings peace and calmness into your being and thus your life.
It is subjective and does have not have one single definition; there are many different types and techniques to meditation and it’s just a matter of finding “your fit.”
Basically, meditation is an internal practice that takes many forms. It has the power to bring peace to the mind and the ability to give relief from mental stress.
The word “meditation” itself means to think or think about or consider something. Buddhists use the word “dhyana” which is equivalent to meditation. For the most part, meditation practices had their beginnings in Asia where countries like Japan, India and China where it has been practiced for thousands of years. This empowering practice eventually took on various forms throughout the world.
It is no longer considered just a spiritual practice. Western researchers have since conducted many studies on the power of meditation and through that, gained knowledge on the physical and psychological benefits it provides which are many.
Although the practice of meditation is not set in stone, a good way to begin this practice is by sitting still with your eyes closed and simply learning to first observe the thoughts that wonder through your mind and then with more practice, control them. Many people find that playing relaxing music in the background helps them to relax more. Others love a guided meditation.
However, meditation can be just as powerful when practiced while walking or performing daily activities.
Learning to meditate when you are active keeps your attention focused on the present moment.
You are literally alive and aware of every moment and what is happening in that moment.
That means you are not off day dreaming or thinking of some other stressful situation in life. This has been rightfully coined “Mindfulness Meditation.” It takes a discipline mind. The more you practice it the stronger you will become at keeping your focus and attention in the present moment… allowing your thoughts to flow through without giving them attention.
Bear in mind that your mind will constantly want to be part of this practice. It does not like being left out of anything. It is used to “being in control” – to making your decisions and figuring out your next step in everything you do. Problem with using your mind for your current solutions is that your mind can only work from past experiences. That means your mind creates your future from your past.
In order to break that chain of events, you must get your mind out of the picture…literally, and trust in experiencing life rather than “thinking about it.” You must get out of your mind and into the moment…where life happens.
Meditation is not just about sitting quietly in a quiet room; that is one form of meditation and a great place to start. The next step is to bring the feeling you’ve embraced in your silent meditations into your everyday life. Begin observing your life without judgment…whether you feel it is pleasant or not. Be in the moment…no matter what it brings and use all your senses to enjoy it with.
When you are eating…don’t just eat with abandon. Pay attention to what you are eating and use your senses to fill your being with all the treasures of smell, taste, color, sound and texture. Feel appreciation and love for the nourishment that Mother Earth has so generously provided.
When out in nature: Don’t just walk for the exercise, walk for the experience. Feel the air and the wind, notice the aromas that nature has filled the air with. See the vibrant palate of colors that she has splashed so creatively in front of you and the different forms and textures of all the flowers and leaves.
Bathing: Whether you are swimming in a pool, ocean, lake or river, whether you’re enjoying a nice hot bath or invigorating shower. Feel it. Every moment feel it and allow this cleansing with water to wash away all of your inner issues, problems and worries. Release your tensions as you watch that water flow down the drain. Allow the empowering properties of water to wash over your entire body and feel the wetness, the warmth or coldness, the scent and the transparent color.
Meditation should never be about choosing one method over another as one being better than another. It’s about what works for you. The reason that meditation generally starts with a quiet room and no disturbances is so that you can connect with your inner power. Once you’ve developed that inner connection and felt that “peaceful silence”…if even only for a second…you can bring that silence with you to your daily activities.
No longer will you mind be like a “wild horse” that has not yet been tamed. Meditation teaches you to tame this “wild horse” to direct the attention of this “wild horse” where you want it to be; enjoying every second of every moment as a gift, rather than on the problems and issues it is constantly trying to solve.
It puts you in charge…as the Master of your thoughts…rather than the servant of them.
For more tools and resources to assist you in attaining your goals and achieving the success you desire in life, please visit: Carolyn Hansen Fitness.
“Reclaim Your Longevity” is a program I created to help clients take charge of their health before circumstance removes that option. That quest includes a healthy mind and a healthy body. If your quest for peak performance living is a journey I’ll can put you in the driver’s seat.”