Meditation could be said to be any activity that helps us live life in the moment, through our senses. It is being so absorbed and engaged in a sensorial experience that other thoughts do not appear in our conscious mind.
One of the challenges of being human is that our heads tend to be highly active and dominate our life. We can, if we are not careful, live a kind of virtual life where the day passes us by, whilst we are in a perpetual daydream.
We have evolved to be so intelligent that we can drive through a familiar city whilst listening to the radio, drinking a hot drink, talking to a passenger and still day dream.
Sometimes the thoughts, scenarios, images and conversations running through our brain can cause distress. We may choose to think in ways that will cause stress, anger, resentment, depression, sadness and fear.
One way to overcome this is to meditation. The meditation can be very simple and only needs to take a minute. It is almost like restarting a computer and after a quick meditation my mind feels like it has been re-wired in a way that helps me focus and concentrate whilst feeling calm and content for some time after.
MEDITATION AND HEALTH
Through meditation we can experience great calmness and find a deep contentment. This can help with all kinds of stress related illnesses. These are thought to include high blood pressure, heart disease, some forms of cancer, asthma, eczema, psoriasis, headaches and many forms of indigestions. The common link for all this is that when stressed we become more acidic whilst regular meditation can help us become more alkaline. People have found meditation can be a great aid to all kinds of healing.
A SIMPLE MEDITATION
To meditate first find somewhere comfortable to sit down. Close your eyes for the first few times to reduce the risk of being distracted. Begin the meditation by consciously starting each breath with your mind. You decide when to breath in and when to breath out again. As you do this try to be aware of the air in your nose. Each time you breathe in your nose will feel cooler and each time you breathe out it will feel warmer.
As you continue to be conscious of each breath, be aware of how you are breathing. Is you breathing deep or shallow, fast or slow, more into your abdomen or chest? As you breath in you are feeding yourself with oxygen and keeping yourself alive. Experiment with breathing in, in a way that feels loving, so that you are lovingly feeding yourself with air, with each breath.
Try to get lost in the feeling of each breath. If you notice you are thinking about something, be aware of this and go back to starting each breath and feeling it. Even a few seconds of this kind of meditation makes for a good start. With practice you may find you can keep your mind on your breathing for a minute or more.
MEDITATE ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
After a while you will find you can also meditate with your eyes open. You can stare at something to aid your meditation. In this way you can meditate on a bus, tube or train, in a café, at the office, in a park, at home or in the garden. You might find it helpful just before going to sleep or when you wake up.
POSSIBLE LONG TERM CHANGES
According to scientists experiencing more than a total of ten minutes meditation a day can help our brain develop in a way that helps us better control our emotions and be able to take on challenges without feeling stressed.
Copyright Simon Brown, London, 2012