The human system is organized for well being! Let that sink in for a moment. You are programmed for well being! Do you want to be happier? Meditate. Do you want more health? Meditate. Do you want better relationships? Meditate. Do you want more abundance? Meditate.
What do you do when your phone, your computer or your modem isn’t working properly? You turn it off, then on, right? You are restarting or resetting the system and most of the time, this gets it working properly again. Meditation does exactly the same thing, it resets your system. Deep inside of you there is a wellspring of well being. You might even say that your are that wellspring. In meditation, you are able to touch that place which is most profoundly you. Touching that most authentic part of you restores your system for optimal functioning.
Unfortunately, too many meditation ideas have been clothed in mystery, in religion or in secret handshakes. It’s really none of this. It’s simply quieting the mind. Some of you may have heard of mindfulness meditation. The idea of mindfulness has always seemed silly to me. How can one empty the mind and practice mind full ness at the same time? I know that there is an explanation for this but why should something as simple as meditation be defined by confusing terms? So I call this Mindlessness Meditation. Perhaps I should ™ this. To be clear meditation is simple but it is not easy as it takes practice. The very nature of mind is thoughts. Just like the nature of the heart is beating. Try to keep you heart from beating for even just a moment. Not possible. Stopping the mind from thinking is equally difficult. The difference is we do not pay attention to the beating of the heart. We do however pay excessive attention to thoughts. We think so much of thoughts that we believe we are the thoughts. And of course we are not our thoughts. If you watch your thoughts for a while, you’ll discover they are random, repetitive and seem to come out of nowhere. Meditating is simply to avoid paying attention to the thoughts and instead focus attention elsewhere.
Meditating is the practice of focusing your attention. The thoughts will continue but you will exercise your power of concentration to avoid paying attention to them. You will fail often but don’t worry and don’t give up. You CAN do it. When you find your mind wandering just refocus. And don’t beat yourself up about it. PLEASE don’t beat yourself up!
Here are a couple of ideas on where to focus. With eyes closed focus on a rhythmic sound such a the drip of a faucet. I like to listen to heartbeat sounds which I find on YouTube. With eyes open, watch the flame of a candle. The key is to pay attention to only the sound or the sight. If you can work your way up to 10 minutes of doing this, your life will begin to change.
There are basics that almost any teaching of meditation will include. 1. Do it every day. The benefits of meditation are cumulative. 2. Do it at the same time each day, first thing in the morning is best. 3. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight. 4. Wear comfortable loose fitting clothes. 5. Choose a time and place where you won’t be disturbed. 6. Using your breath to calm your body can be equal counts in, then out. I like to use 10 counts in, hold for 4 then 20 counts out. A good visual is to simply observe your breath as it enters your nose, fills your lungs then exits the nose. Another good one is to visualize the breath entering your nose then expelling it out through your heart. 7. With eyes closed focus attention on the forehead between the eyes.
There are many ideas of how long you should meditate but I think if you can work your way up to 15-20 minutes daily, you can decide for yourself if you want to go longer.
I recently heard a great story on the importance of meditation. You are preparing for a road trip. It’s a long trip of over 100 miles and it’s time to go but you can’t find your car keys. You decide that it’s a waste of time to keep looking for your car keys and decide to start walking instead. Silly right? Well not making time to meditate is equally silly.
By sitting quietly for a few minutes each day, you are resetting your system. Your system is programmed for well being. But constant disturbance creates ill balance and your system cannot do its job efficiently. Resetting your system by meditating restores balance.
You cannot fail. You can only fail by not trying.