“What is Meditation, Really?”
Meditation is adjusting your focus so you are fully present and going with the flow. It is a tone inside, a position of listening, of receptivity. It is a withdrawing from all other concerns. It is allowing relaxation to fill you.
BENEFITS of meditation:
less stress, disease, and pain; lower blood pressure and heart rate, less muscle tension
better concentration, serotonin, mood, immunity, healing, alpha theta delta waves
The Myth of no-thought: thoughts will always arise in meditation. Even seasoned meditators have constant thoughts. It’s just that they learn to release them a bit more easily than beginners do; and sometimes not.The practice is returning each moment; the practice is having a sit each day.
You have an inner 2-year-old self who is chatty and running around erratically, looking for fun and stumbling over things that hurt.
Yes, both, because in the quiet our thoughts turn toward our desires and fears, our pleasures and pains. As the mind grows calm, so many memories and plans arise. The practice is to release them.
Gently take your inner 2-year-old’s hand and lead yourself kindly back to the path. Return to the peace of contentment. Have patience and compassion for yourself.
Begin with one to three minutes a day, but every day for a month. (This builds the habit. Whatever you can do for 30 days will become a natural habit, just like brushing your teeth. Automatic and easy.)
Sit comfortably relaxed – a chair is fine. Let your spine be straight up but relaxed, not tense. As you inhale, let your belly stretch out big. Belly breathing brings the air and prana down deep and relaxes the entire body. Belly breathing is fundamental to good health. (Take some time to practice, if this doesn’t come easily to you. Soon it will be easier, and it is SO good for you!)
Straight spine, comfortable position, belly breathing
Try any of these approaches:
- just sit quietly and watch
- listen to the sounds of life – exterior, interior
- feel sensations of the body – exterior, interior – the body is always Present
- attach your mind to the breath: “in – out” – breath anchors us to the Present
- use a mantra: inhale silent ‘peace’ – exhale aloud “peace” (or “ease . . . flow” or any mantra)
~~ Sitting behind a waterfall, you watch the water pour down in front of you and downriver. As thoughts appear, they flow down the waterfall and downstream further and further away from you.
~~ You are sitting happily on the bottom of a deep river. Overhead boats drift by; you see their dark hulls. Each one is a thought. You can go up there and climb into that boat, or you can stay seated. Allow boats to come and go.
metta meditation – blessing self and others with lovingkindness:
May I be filled with lovingkindness
May I be peaceful and at ease
May I know the beauty of my own true nature
May I be happy
May I be healed
Then use the above five phrases applied to:
May you, my friend . . .
May you, my enemy . . .
May all on the earth . . .