Step by Step Guide to Meditation
Meditation is the simple practice
Meditate to relax, to feel better and to enjoy life, while you find peace and understanding. Renew your life
of training your attention. In meditation we cultivate the faculty of mindfulness, or awareness. We do this by trying to empty the mind of all the distractions of daily life for a little while. We set ourselves free from the endless, frantic chatter of our thoughts. We develop inner peacefulness.
Why Do People Use Meditation?
Many people come to meditation
when the stress of everyday life destroys their sense of well-being. Facing pressures from the demands of work, personal conflicts, money worries, or family problems, they sometimes feel they are at the end of your rope. They just can’t cope with any more the stress. They obsess about the past, and they dread the future.
Other people turn to meditation
for relief from pain, or for improved health. Sometimes they just want to enjoy life more. Sometimes they want to find inner peace. It is possible to accomplish all of this with meditation. There is a large body of scientific research that shows how meditation lowers blood pressure, reduces pain, eases depression and relieves anxiety. Meditation improves concentration. Meditation helps you sleep better, helps you control your cravings, makes you more alert and even smarter. Meditation improves your senses of happiness and pleasure. As if that weren’t enough to ask for, meditation is absolutely free, without any side effects, and its benefits are lasting.
How Do I Meditate?
To begin your meditation,
chose a quiet place, and sit in a comfortable chair with good posture, hands relaxed on your legs, eyes closed. Breath slowly and naturally. Be aware of your breathing, the expansion of the body as you inhale, the relaxation as you exhale. Feel the warmth of the air as it moves inside you. Feel the movement of the body as it opens to accept the breath. Notice the rhythm of the breath, and how it happens naturally without any effort or intention on your part. Focus your entire attention on your breathing.
You will probably be distracted
for a moment by other thoughts, but when that happens, turn away from the distraction. Recognize that the thoughts do not belong here at this time and draw your mind back to the breathing. During this moment, nothing matters except your breath. Continue meditating for about twenty minutes, if you can do it. Then, gradually allow yourself to become aware of your surroundings and open your eyes.
How Fast Does Meditation Work?
Are you looking for an instant cure?
A feel-good-right-now pill? We’ve gotten used to demanding instant gratification and getting it. But meditation is not “serenity-now” in a bottle. It starts working when you start working. Its power builds gradually, with every session you practice it. Right away, you’ll be amazed at the incessant mental chatter that you allow to program your actions. During your first few sessions, your thoughts will zoom around like a NASCAR 500 race even though you try to banish them. You’ll find it hard at first to put your thoughts away even for a minute. You’ll think about deadlines, responsibilities, fears of job loss, a broken fingernail, a TV show, a passing car, an old grudge, a cold breeze.
But practice makes meditation work. After the first week of daily meditation, you’ll notice an improvement. The change will come as a sense of refreshment and calmness. It's likely your friends and family will also notice the difference in you. After a month of meditation, many people have had life-changing experiences. You, too, can be on the road to serenity, accepting life as it comes, and living in the present.
I Don’t Have Time to Meditate. I Don’t Have a Quiet Place for Meditation.
If you truly can’t find the time
or the place for meditation, you can start with a mini-meditation. Several times during the day, draw yourself into a state of mindfulness, by paying close attention to what is at hand. If you are frequently on the road, spend the time waiting at a red light to focus on your breath. If you have a repetitive task, draw your mind into the details of the task and try not to become distracted. When you begin to notice the benefit of mindfulness, very likely you will want to arrange a time and a place for your meditation.
What Will Meditation Do for Me?
Right away, you’ll feel
yourself becoming calmer and more relaxed. Do you get “wigged out” trying to keep up with your daily schedule? Are you fretful and worried about the future? Meditation will help you deal with worries and stress in a calm, de-stressed manner. Some of those worries will just disappear. You’ll feel more relaxed all day and more in control. If you have a hair-trigger temper, it will mellow out. You won’t feel the need to blow off steam when things don’t go your way. You won’t react impulsively to each event. Instead, you’ll watch the unfolding of the moment for clues to handle it. If your inner critic tries to run the show, and if you tend to make snap judgments, you will become more objective and less demanding.
Meditation will enrich your creativity,
by releasing ideas that you don’t even know you have. Meditation will unlock your best work. During the day, solutions will come out of nowhere and appear in your thoughts. You will have those “light-bulb” moments, when the new idea or the decision seems obvious to you. It feels good to be “in the zone.”
Are you nervous
and uncertain about school and work? Meditation gives you the confidence and calm to face difficult situations. With your new, calmer, unrushed persona, you will express yourself more clearly. You will notice a personal change, in that you no longer question your ability or criticize yourself. More and more you will come to know yourself as the capable, worthwhile person you are.
Do you want to feel kinder
and more loving? Do you need more patience in trying situations? More understanding? Do you want to feel more at peace with yourself and the world we live in? Day by day your practice of meditation will turn you in this direction.
Meditation makes us more aware
of our thoughts and how they can control us. Meditation shows us that we invite worry, we blow things out of proportion, we allow anxiety to feed on itself and take over our thoughts. When the hectic chatter in your mind has been calmed and silenced, you will be more decisive. You will be able to make changes and renew your life.
I hope life brings you much success. I wish you a very happy day.
----- Surfer Sam