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Friday, February 22, 2008

What is Meditation?

Life is definitely no walk in the park but who says it has to be a run through a noisy, congested street?

Is it becoming more difficult for you to wake up in the morning? Are you beginning to dread the events of the day? Well, maybe it is time to do something for yourself. First, stop. Then, breathe. And while you are at it, maybe it would help if you Meditate.

The mention of Meditation usually brings about images of old men humming away, or should it be “oomming” away the whole afternoon. Now, humming away doesn’t seem to be helpful, right? Research, however, has proven that Meditation helps us relax and develop our power of concentration.

What is Meditation?'You do not need to leave your room.
Remain sitting at your table and listen.
Do not even listen, simply wait.
Do not even wait, be quiet, still and solitary.
The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked.
It has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.'
Franz Kafka

But what exactly is Meditation?

According to Dr. Joan Borysenko, a pioneer in the field of mind/body medicine, Meditation is anything that brings us to the present and keeps us there. This makes Meditation easy for us to incorporate into our lives. Now, do not start thinking of making shopping as your form of Meditation. Living in the NOW is one thing to keep in mind when meditating.

Meditation may take on many forms but its foundation basically lies on three principles:
  1. In order to concentrate, we focus on one thing or object.
    Our object of focus may be our breathing, a word that we repeat whether verbally or mentally, or the sensations that we feel in our body. Meditation usually involves the senses for when we smell, feel, or listen, we start to live more in the present.

  2. When our thoughts start to wander, we take them back to our object of focus.
    “Quieting” the mind is not easy so don’t castigate yourself every time you find yourself thinking of other things aside from your object of focus. Reprimanding yourself will just make it more difficult for you to focus.

    Whenever you find yourself thinking of some other thoughts, don’t fight them but rather acknowledge them and let them pass. Meditation has nothing to do with hiding our thoughts or suppressing them. When you get distracted, just go back to your object of focus.

  3. During Meditation, ignore all irrelevant thoughts and sensations.
    Meditation doesn’t bring us to another place of existence so don’t expect it will. When meditating, we will still be able to hear the people around us. However, we don’t let these distract us. We don’t let these bring us out of the NOW.

The Me in Meditation

So you ask, what do I get from Meditating?

As mentioned earlier, Meditation helps us relax and concentrate. We become more aware and observant because we are more focused on what is happening at the moment.

Meditating is an efficient and effective technique that helps us control our mind and relax our bodies. It does not only make us more conscious about what’s happening around us but we also become aware of what’s happening within ourselves.

Meditation may not be able to turn that one big, busy street called life into a park, but it might just help you stop and see the flowers around the corner.

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