There are a few misunderstandings about the nature of meditation that keep people from attempting to pursue this extremely valuable life-changing skill. Meditation is not what most people imagine. You do not have to sit cross-legged with a purple dot painted on your forehead while you repeat the word ohm over and over, like a bad song you can’t seem to release from your mind.
Meditation is about connecting with your inner self by slowing down your activities and quieting your mind. Meditation is making time to listen to your inner being. The process of meditating has many forms. Meditation has many forms. Jogging, tai-chi, yoga, and even weight training are a few examples of moving meditation. These forms allow your thoughts to slow down and your mind to become reflective.
We all have the capacity to train our minds to have the same effect without running ten miles or driving to the beach. Moving while meditating has limitations. You must pay attention to the physical world and are unable to focus 100% on your inner realms.
Guided meditation is about being comfortable and undisturbed for a set period of time. You will close your eyes and draw your attention inward. This becomes what I call the art of meditation. I have a powerful line of guided meditation CDs and MP3 downloads that can assist you in quickly achieving the results you desire. Regardless which form of meditation you decide, it becomes helpful to understand the function of meditation. The function is common to all the many different forms that meditation.
The first function of meditation is to slow down your brain wave activity which in turn, slows down your thinking process. Notice I didn’t say to eliminate or to stop thinking. It is impossible to eliminate your thoughts. I find this myth, one of the most common reasons beginners give up this wonderful skill. They erroneously think if they have one thought pop into they’re head, they have just ruined the experience.
Meditation allows you to shift your attention away from your thoughts and to slow down your thinking process. As your thinking slows down the silent space in-between each thought is where you can receive a flash of insight from your Soul. The insight would always have been there, but you wouldn’t have noticed, due to the steady stream of thoughts that often dominate the mind.
It is natural to have many thoughts enter your mind when you first begin to meditate, don’t become frustrated, just accept this as a normal part of the process. Here are some effective ways to remedy the situation. For example, when you attempt to meditate and your mind keeps worrying about a report due at work. It can be challenging to focus your mind away from it. The first thing to do is don’t fight it. Listen to your inner concerns and then release it. If you can’t stop your mind from thinking ( I have to finish that report by Tuesday morning), simply take in a deep breath and as you exhale imagine your blowing that thought out of your head. Perhaps see the words written on a chalk board and imagine you are blowing the message off the board with your exhale. Or imagine you are erasing it. This gives the subconscious mind a very clear message. Then focus your attention on going deeper. When you learn how to meditate you will naturally have thoughts enter your mind from time to time.
Another technique to end the distraction is to mentally tell those pesky thoughts, “I hear you, thank you and you can go now.” Thinking those words silently to yourself, will confirm to your subconscious mind, I’ve got the message now, the messenger can leave. Be patient and remind yourself that the goal of meditation is not to eliminate thought, but to slow it down. The pause between, is the space where you can resolve your personal problems and find the solutions.
Meditation is a powerful technique to gain mastery over your life, and to become more conscious of your truer self. Meditations’ true purpose is to shift your consciousness from the outer world to your inner world, where all change begins. Meditation offers you a way to create a pause in your daily activity to consciously connect with your inner power.
On a spiritual level meditation offers a ritual to commune with your Soul to receive guidance, healing and wisdom from within. On a mental level, meditation will bring you clarity and can reveal deeper understanding about the way you’re living you life, and what thoughts and beliefs are holding you back. On an emotional level, meditating offers a way to get in touch with your feelings and to resolve them constructively producing profound inner peace. On a physical level, meditation is a stress reducer, as you practice it on a regular basis, you will renew your physical energy and stamina. The siesta times many countries honor is a great way to bring balance back into a busy life-style, even if it’s only a fifteen minute meditation on your lunch break at work.
Lily Tomlin says some of the wildest things and she offers us this profound thought, “Why is it when we talk with God it’s called praying, but when God talks to us, we call it schizophrenia?” Meditation is a way to listen to the still small voice of the spirit of truth. Whether you practice silent, moving or guided meditation you will soon discover the infinite wisdom that dwells within you, waiting to offer you guidance and inner peace.
Copyright (c) 2008 Circle of Light Publishing