Let’s learn what is meditation and how to do it. I first got involved with meditation about ten years ago.
This was the first time that I heard of it. I did not even know what it was.
I thought meditation is some kind of prayer. To tell you the truth my idea was that it was a prayer that lasts several hours long. (ha-ha)
Funny, if you don’t know about something how you think your own little thing. And of course, I started looking into it.
A few programs I was involved in at that stage suggested that I do meditation.
I started searching the internet for answers. It took me several months to find the right answers. You see, you get different kinds of meditation.
Each group would do it differently. Like a Buddha would not do it the same as a fellow western person.
It all boils down to exactly the same thing. The end result in meditation is the same.
You have to relax your mind. This is the most important part. You need to relax your body.
If I ask google what meditation is it comes up with this answer:
Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state.
Now to do it correctly. This was the part that I had a problem with.
I use to go and sit in a quiet spot in our garden. Relax and tried not to think about something.
Then something would come up in my mind. For a long time, I struggled with meditation. I did not know what to do and how to change it.
Again I started searching. I needed answers to my meditation problem.
You see meditation is a practice that has been around for thousands and thousands of years.
Yet there is still a huge misconception about what it really is.
Most people like to associate meditation with a monk, sitting on top of a mountain, cross-legged, staring into the horizon.
But in reality, it is actually something that everyone can do and everyone can benefit from it. There have even been hundreds of studies that prove this.
To understand what meditation really is we have to understand our own lives. There is something that we do every single day for the majority of the day.
We are always thinking.
Best selling Author Eckart Tolle even goes as far as to say that we humans are addicted to thinking.
Try to stop thinking right now for just 10 seconds. Chances are unless you have been practicing meditation for a while. You had at least a couple of thoughts pop up into your mind during this brief period of time.
You might say that thinking is not a bad thing. It’s good. We need to think in order to survive. Don’t we? Well, that’s true but only to some extent.
If we really sit down and think of it. The large majority of our thinking isn’t as useful as we think it is.
A lot of it is actually quite negative.
Just to prove a point I took a pen and paper and wrote down everything I thought of for 10 minutes. After analyzing it. I had about two thoughts that I thought to be positive or constructive – the rest was blah blah and negative.
Out of thirteen thoughts only two where good ones.
These thoughts also have a direct correlation to how we feel.
For example. Let’s stay you are at a party and the following thought pops into your head.
What am I doing with my hands?
I should be talking to people?
I am feeling awkward.
All of a sudden you start feeling anxious.
Let’s say that you are on a train and somebody steps on your foot by accident.
You start thinking, he did not even say sorry. How dare he?
What an asshole!
All of a sudden you feel angry.
So we know that we think a lot.
We also know that most of our thoughts are either negative or not constructive. And finally, we know that our thoughts can affect how we feel. (Emotional State.)
So this is how I came to the conclusion of thinking to much might just make me feel crappy sometimes. (Oftentimes.)
Well, I found out that there are hundreds of different ways that I can meditate. There is breathing meditation. There is mantra meditation. There is guided meditation. Just to name a few.
But all of them do one thing in common.
They teach us to slow down the number of thoughts we have as well as the speed of which thoughts enter our minds.
And with practice, we can reach points where we have no thoughts for short periods of time.
And this is why meditation has so many benefits.
When you think less you become more in control of your emotions. When you practice meditation you are basically teaching your mind how to turn off your thoughts like a switch.
So the next time somebody steps on your shoe and you start thinking: How rude? You can just turn it off.
You can control whether or not you want to get mad.
On top of that. When you think less. You start spending less time in your head and more time outside. You start noticing things. Trees are brighter. The birds are beautiful. You notice flowers on the ground. You will become less involved with your thoughts and more involved with the real world.
And that my friend is the beauty of meditation.
If practiced daily and over a period of time meditation will for sure change your life.
Here is a short video on 5 benefits to meditation.