Meditation is about becoming one with your mind, and learning something about yourself that you may not have known before. Your practice can be as long or as short as you would like, but try to take the time to for your meditation practice every day. It is not a part of any religion; meditation is a science, which means that the process of meditation follows a particular order, has definite principles, and produces results that can be scientifically verified. It is not always an easy process, but the benefits of meditation are worth it.
what is meditation?
In the Yoga Sutras, Patanjali explains how to meditate and describes what factors a meditation practice consists of. In the second sutra he states that yoga happens when the mind becomes quiet. This mental stillness and awareness is created by bringing the body, mind, and spirit into balance which then relaxes the nervous system. When you finally realize that life is not about constant cravings for pleasure, nor security or external factors, this never ending external quest takes a turn inwards, this is when you have shifted into the zone of meditation.
start your meditation practice
As you learn to meditate, you must learn to concentrate on one thing at a time, the breath is a good place to start. Usually, the mind tries to hold several different thoughts and ideas at once. The first time you sit down for your first meditation practice, you realize how cluttered the mind is. Mediation masters often describe this as “the monkey mind”. However, the mind can be trained to concentrate on a single thought.
My meditation practice has been and is a big part of my healing journey. I suffered from a severe eating disorder for over a decade. I was riddled with self-doubt and judgement and had no direction in my life, just pure addiction to self destruction. To sit everyday in meditation felt like eternity at first, but the more I practiced the more I felt at peace and free, at ease with life. It is not always easy and it can be a real struggle some days when the mind is so chaotic. The most important thing is to be consistent, to not give up. Meditation has taken me places I never knew I could go, it has opened my mind and heart to things I never could have imagined. I look back now and wonder how I could have possibly functioned as a “normal” human being without meditation. It has brought me to a place in my life where I can feel at peace and comfortable in my own skin. Things don’t bother me like they used to, I am a more relaxed and fun person to be around.
meditation practice for your Self
Through meditation you acquire knowledge of the Self. A meditation practice allows you to have a deeper understanding of yourself and who you are, not what you are told you are supposed to be. It allows you to be in tune and align with yourself and to feel, rather than believe the thoughts that go in and out of your mind throughout the day. After years with a dedicated meditation practice I have found that when I have to make an important decision about something I turn to my meditation practice, go inwards and observe how one decision or the other makes me feel, by doing this I am allowing myself space to feel and make conscious choices.
more benefits of a regular meditation practice
- Relief from stress and anxiety
- Decreased blood pressure and hypertension
- Deeper sense of peace
- Lower cholesterol levels
- More efficient oxygen use by the body
- Restful sleep
As I learn more and more about myself and life and learn to let go, I no longer yearn or desire to have ‘things’, as I realize I have everything. Meditation and yoga have both brought me to this place of balance and harmony.
The real beauty of meditation is that with time and practice you can apply this to your daily life, and your life will become a meditation.
Lou is a blogger & yoga teacher. After completing evolations primary teacher training in July 2011, she is now traveling the world (current stop: evolation yoga – Sunshine Coast in Austrailia) to share the yoga love.