“At the centre of your being you have the answer. You know who you are and you know what you want.”
The practice of meditation has been used as a way to overcome the limitations of our mind’s thoughts and the suffering that they may cause. This leads us to freedom from them, and eventually to know our true nature.
Whether we have thought about this higher purpose or not, even in its basic use the practice of meditation is a great way to steady the mind so that we can spend a little time turning our awareness inwards. It is a way of checking in with how we are feeling and of calming a busy mind.
Some of the benefits of meditation can include:
Relaxation and stress reduction
Assists creative thinking and problem solving
Greater clarity and peace of mind
Brings a sense of vitality and well being
Improved immune system and over all health
Improved sleep patterns
There are many different meditation techniques and some suit each individual more than others so it is worth experimenting with a few to find one that works for you. Even just 5 minutes of regular meditation can make a significant difference to our lives.
People think they will be unable to meditate because they struggle to stop the busy thoughts in the mind but like all things, it takes a bit of practice. It is not the aim to ‘stop all thoughts’ and although this may well at times eventually happen, it is more a case of teaching the mind to do as we choose rather than it taking over.
Thoughts will come and go, allow this to happen, but each time you become aware of the mind wandering simply bring it back to your meditation. Over time your ability to control the mind will improve and before you know it your mind is under your control, rather than it controlling you!
It is through the practice of meditation that we learn to connect to our own inner guidance system. Through quietening down the inner mental chatter we find we are more in tune with this inner guidance. It may be those insights come to us through the meditation or that they filter in throughout the period of time after meditating where we get a gut feeling to take a certain action, or perhaps we gain insights we had previously been unaware of.
Ultimately this inner guidance system comes from your true nature and will always lead you to your most authentic choices, as well as coming to the realisation of who this true nature really is.
Some of the best side effects of the practice of meditation are the development of a deep inner peace, a feeling of all being well, of feeling connected, and experiencing a feeling of unconditional love that encompasses everything. This is our true nature, which we will all eventually realise.
Wear loose, comfortable clothing and find a comfortable seated position, this can be a chair or sitting on the floor – whichever you are most comfortable with.
Switch off phones and find a space where you will not be disturbed.
Guided reflection and meditations :
We have already looked at some breath awareness practices throughout the course. This guided meditation looks at another variation using a yoga practice called Samavritti Pranayama (equal length breath). This is a good practice for those whose inner voice is very busy as it gives the mind an involved focus point to help keep it focused and quieten down the inner chatter.
This meditation looks at an area in your life that you would like to bring more balance and allows the space for bringing insight and balance to those areas. It is often within this reflective space that we develop our intuition and own inner guidance system. You might like to have your journal by your side for this meditation to note down any insights that arise.
Sometimes we can get swept up in the detail of everyday living and end up forgetting what’s really important to us. This exercise to put things into perspective and to enable me to see the bigger picture.
You will need a pen and paper to have a go at the exercise yourself…
We are constantly changing, as is the world we live in, so learning to live in a way that is mindfully aware of how we may be evolving will help us to continue to thrive in life. Learning to check in with our current needs and desires and whether our current life fits those is also key to our wellbeing. To help guide you to this awareness you might like to try this ‘Checking In’ meditation…