Article by KimChell
Sleepless wrote to us with a question on meditation. Here’s what he had to say: I have a very busy mind. My friends have recommended meditation to me but I just don’t get it. I don’t understand how just sitting down is suppose to clear my mind and/or help relax me. Can you give me some insight here? Thanks
Have you ever been skiing? I haven’t been in years and have never been good at it. But I recently got talked into going and sought private instructions each day of the trip.
I quickly realized that if I wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing I could easily be the next person being taken down the mountain on a stretcher hitched to the rear of a snowmobile.
I made myself focus solely on skiing the entire time I was skiing. It was a conscious discipline. There was no time to space off or let my mind wonder. And the funny thing was that I had an amazing time It was great not having anything else circulating through my mind other than the task at hand and was so truly relaxing.
It’s the same with meditation.
When you meditate you are disciplining yourself to think only about one thing, such as your breath or a simple mantra. On my trip I had disciplined myself to think of just one thing skiing. Sure a little fear was a factor but it was a discipline nonetheless.
Every time my mind tried to drift over to something else I quickly brought it back to the task at hand. You do the same thing with meditation.
You have roughly 1,500 thoughts circulating through your mind every minute. You’re never going to be able to stop thinking but you can focus your thinking.
Your mind will always be churning something; it’s not a fault it’s a natural part of the design.
Meditation is a way to assist you in mastering the machine if you will. When you continue to bring your focus back to just one thing it’s extremely relaxing, calming, and clearing.
I hear a great deal of grumbling about how to position your body from man y people . Please don’t let the arrangement of your body be a deterrent.
Sit in a position that’s comfortable for you. Sometimes I will sit in a chair or on the couch with my head supported, my feet resting on the flooring with a blanket covering me. Other times I will lie on the floor with a small cushion under my neck and head, again with a blanket covering me.
You’ll notice that as everything starts to slow down you’ll start to feel cooler. I suggest covering with a light throw cover or at least keeping a blanket beside you.
I prefer to meditate in a cool, dimly lit room; it’s simply more conducive to relaxation.
Sometimes I’ll have soft music playing but many times I prefer white-noise; such as a floor or an exhaust fan from an adjacent bathroom.
Take a few deep breaths. I find these assist in calming and settling me into my meditation.
I prefer to meditate with my eyes closed. But many people prefer to rest their gaze on a candle, a statue or another stationary object in the room.
There is no right or wrong here so you decide what’s right for you and change it as you desire.
Why MeditateYour body by design is wired to generate a physiological response to a life threatening situation. Unfortunately most or our everyday life occurrences trigger the same physiological response.
The arguments with kids, family bickering, tiffs with other loved ones, and clashes with work colleagues all cause your heart rate to increase and your blood pressure to rise.
Your body, thinking it’s in trouble, diverts the flow of blood away from the organs and to the muscles and to the brain to control the coordination of muscles. Your ingenious brain then let’s loose chemicals to assist with blood clotting and blocking pain reception.
After all this you of course feel tired, rundown, exhausted, and stressed out.
Meditation ResearchIf you’re seeking approval of an ancient global practice from modern medical associates the studies are in and are n ot short in quantity.
April 01, 2003 Colin Allen published an article in Pyschosomatic Medicine which detailed the brainwaves of meditators as being healthier. Neuroscientists have found that meditators shift their brain activity to different areas of the cortexbrain waves in the stress-prone right frontal cortex move to the calmer left frontal cortex. In other words, they were calmer and happier than before.
Psychology Today published an article entitled, “The Science of Meditation: on May 1, 2001 by Cary Barbor which detailed studies that showed, among other benefits, that meditation can help reduce heart disease, reduce pain, and enhance the immune system to make it better able to fight disease and this was nearly ten years ago.
Other recent research has looked at precisely what happens during meditation that allows it to cause these positive physical changes. Researchers at the Maharishi School of Management in Fairfield, Iowa, found that meditation has a pervasive effect on stress. They looked at a group of people who had meditated for four months and found that they produced less of the stress hormone cortisol. They were therefore better able to adapt to stress in their lives, no matter what their circumstances were.
Sleepless, I hope that the details provided here brought you some clarity on the practice of meditation and encourage you to take a seat and just breathe
If you’ve found value in this article please visit us at http://www.kimchelltalk.com. Most Sincerely,KimChell
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