‘Meditation! Who needs it?’
Perhaps first we should ask ‘What is it?’
If you dig into the Latin derivatives of ‘meditari’ - to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind, and ‘mederi’ – to heal, you start to discover part of the answer. To uncover the full meaning and potential of meditation we need to look to its Sanskrit derivation, 'medha' which means ‘wisdom’ and then we find the true meaning of the word ‘meditation’.
“Yeah! Yeah, flower-power, ‘grass’ and the ‘60’s. Man I am so not into all that.”
Good! Because meditation may have become popular in the western world from the 1960’s, it’s been going strong in the east for millennia.
And the question that arises from that little fact is ‘Why?’
Why has meditation been an integral part of Oriental culture for so many millennia and what benefits can be experienced by using meditation regularly? This is quickly followed by ‘Who can benefit? And ‘What benefits do you get from meditation.’
Scientists have studied it, doctors recommend it.
Medical research has found the physical benefits of meditation include a lowering in blood pressure and an improvement in breathing due to the increase of air flow that gets to the lungs. Those who use meditation regularly find it reduces the stress levels also lowers their heart rate.
Chemicals in the body that are associated with stress are lower as well, which leads to less anxiety. Meditation also promotes youthful skin and a youthful appearance.
Youthful skin and appearance can’t be bad! LOL
Millions of people all over the world practice it every day. Why? Because meditation works.
Unwittingly we already do it more often than we realise.
Just think about that wonderful holiday you last had. Let your mind wander. Remember those moments that made you laugh. The treasured memories you brought home with you, including the ones you didn’t get on camera. And then take a moment to discover how you feel. Are you more relaxed, are you calmer? Yes? Then you know what meditation can do for you.
Meditation comes in many forms. And that is fine. It’s like buying a car. You may choose a colour I hate, and I may choose a model you wouldn’t be seen dead in.
Every so often I will include a short meditation in my blog. If you feel comfortable with the idea, keep a journal and record your meditations. When you look back you will discover how much you have travelled since you started meditating.
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Today I will share a meditation I use during the first meeting of every new meditation group I lead.
Find somewhere quiet where and when you will not be disturbed. Turn off your phone, and settle down in a comfortable position in a warm place.
Take three deep slow breaths, and let your mind still.
Focus on a blank canvas standing on an easel in front of you and watch a picture evolve on the canvas.
Keep your breathing steady and light and dismiss any intruding thoughts.
You and the canvas in front of you are the only things that matter.
Breathe and focus.
Focus until the picture on the canvas is fully developed.
Study it carefully.
Breath and study the picture in front of you.
Breathe and feel it.
Focus until you and the picture become one.
Letting the feelings flow over you, through you, until they become a part of you.
Breathe and hear it.
Hear what the picture is saying to you.
Focus on what the picture is saying to you.
You may not hear physical words, but you will understand the message/impression you are receiving from the picture.
Absorb the message/impression until it is a part of you.
And then when you are ready, let it go.
Let the picture fade and the canvas, and the easel. Let them all fade away.
Keep your breathing light and steady until you find yourself back in your surroundings.
Take time to think about your meditation and write it into your journal before you forget the details.