There Is Still A Lot Of Confusion Around Meditation
When Sogyal Rinpoche was asked “how to meditate?” his answer was:
“The whole of meditation practice can be essentialized into these three crucial steps: Bring your mind home. Release. And Relax!”
Over the course of my life I’ve come in and out of practicing meditation, but whenever I return to it, it feels like home and I ask myself: “Why did I stop this?” There are many different ways to meditate – traditional mindfulness meditation and transcendental meditation are the most popular, simplest and most accessible methods to learn to meditate. But any form can work – Yoga, Qi Gong, Tai-chi, breathing, and walking, or even just being in nature will all bring you in a meditative state.
The point of meditation, which a lot of people that don’t know how to meditate refer to as “doing nothing”, is a way to calm the mind, to see the true nature of things, and reduce the impact of suffering – while increasing love, kindness, wisdom, fearlessness and sympathy.
In an article by Dr. Mark Hyman about the benefits of meditation he mentions:
“The many benefits of meditation have been substantiated by science. Meditation reduces chronic pain, blood pressure, headaches, anxiety and depression. It helps you lose weight, lowers cholesterol, increase sports performance, boost immune function, relieves insomnia, increases serotonin, creativity, optimizes brain waves, helps learning, attention, productivity and memory and more.”
Even if I have to admit that at certain points in my life, some of the benefits of meditation Dr. Hyman describes, might have brought me back to practicing meditation, none of the above reason are at the core of why I meditate, nor why I practice Qi Gong or Yoga (which for me is meditation in motion). It is to be more awake to life, to learn more about myself, to cultivate loving kindness and compassion toward myself, toward others, and to the often challenging human condition in which we find ourselves.
When you learn how to meditate, you will experience that from creating that quiet moment in your mind, also called stillness, your life becomes more rich, your actions more clear, your words more direct and powerful and your capacity to be fully engaged in life enhanced.
People that are too much in their mind and have never practiced meditation, might call it a retreat from life. Obviously, depending on your mindset, escaping from our fast paced lives can be perceived negatively, but taking a step back to jump more far is often the smartest way to make improvements.
Be it for business or your personal life, be it for health, relationships, spirituality or a million other topics, in all cases if you learn how to meditate, meditation will help you to go fully into the topic that keeps you busy. As meditation is such a specific experience for each individual, it will help you cultivate your own power and happiness by dealing with the topic in a personal way that is most healthy and productive for you.
“As with each other segment of your day, it is also important that you identify the intent as you move into this segment of meditation. If your intent is to open the passageway between dimensions, that you may receive clear communication, then state it as you are beginning to meditate. If your intent is to quiet the physical world, for you are wanting the relaxation of being apart from that which is confusing and overwhelming and tiring, then state that.” Abraham — A New Beginning 1
The good news is that all you need is a few minutes, and a place to sit and be quiet, and you can do this anywhere. We will expand in more details on this in our new series that you will be able to read on GreatMindset.com and will start with the headline “How to Meditate”.
The Neuroscience behind meditation
Dan Harris explains the neuroscience behind meditation, but reminds us that the ancient practice isn’t magic and likely won’t send one floating into the cosmic ooze. He predicts that the exercise will soon become regularly scheduled maintenance, as commonplace as brushing your teeth or eating your veggies.
“The common assumption that we have, and it may be subconscious, is that our happiness really depends on external factors – how was our childhood, have we won the lottery recently, did we marry well, did we marry at all. But, in fact, meditation suggests that happiness is actually a skill, something you can train just the way you can train your body in the gym. It’s a self-generated thing. And that’s a really radical notion. It doesn’t mean that external circumstances aren’t going to impact your happiness. It doesn’t mean you’re not going to be subject to the vagaries of an impermanent, entropic universe. It just means you are going to be able to navigate this with a little bit more ease.” – Dan Harris
We find meditation so life changing, we have decided to post the full report “Making the Most of Meditation” as published in Great Mindset Magazine #5, available in a series of articles that will start with the title “How to Meditate”. They will be published on Friday over the next 10 weeks. However, if you can’t wait, you can always read the full report in Great Mindset Magazine #5. You can find it here:
Great Mindset Magazine Edition #5
And if you want to discover one of the best resources to learn to meditate, take a look at the Stillness Project by Tom Cronin. You can find it here:
The Stillness Project
What are your thoughts on meditation? Do you meditate? Leave us a comment below and remember to please share!
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