Meditation: The beauty of looking within

Buddah was asked, “What have you gained from meditation?” He replied “Nothing! However, let me tell you what I have lost: anxiety, depression, insecurity, fear of old age and death.”

What happens during Meditation

*The nervous system and digestive system relax, the cardiovascular system slows down and blood pressure is lowered

*Stress hormones, muscle tension and inflammation decrease

*Dopamine is released causing a reduction of pain

*Anxiety and depression are reduced freeing the mind from self doubt and internal chatter

*Brain activity increases giving the brain a workout

*Self-esteem, optimism, confidence and motivation increase

*Memory, attention span and focus improve

Meditation Tips

Experiment to see what you like and what you don’t. Tailor your meditation practice to meet your needs.

Keep it simple, have no expectations, there is no right or wrong way to meditate.

Find a quiet comfortable place to sit where you won’t be disturbed. Find a place where you will not be interrupted. Try to practice around the same time and same place.

Set your intentions. Give yourself permission to take this time. Tell yourself “this is my time to be still”.

Relax and breathe. Breathe naturally but notice the inhale and the exhale. Your breathing will slow down naturally.

Choose a focus. An example would be a word, a mantra, or an image. (or not)

Close your eyes. Keep your attention on your chosen focus. If your mind wanders tell the thoughts with a gentle firmness “I will pay attention to you later”.

Let your mind rest on your focus. You are still using your mind but not to analyze or problem solve.

Relax and enjoy. There is no right or wrong, good or bad. It could be colors, words, people places-anything goes. You may even feel like you fell asleep!

You may decide in advance how long you will meditate or allow your body and intuition to let you know when you are done.

Journal your experience; You not might think something is important or has meaning but discover later than it does.

Remember, meditation is a skill that requires practice. Allow yourself to be a beginner. No one starts off being excellent.

Below are a few different types of meditation:

Exclusive Meditation: Exclusive meditation involves the restriction of all conscious thoughts to focus on one single thought. Its purpose is to allow the individual to find inner peace and relaxation by taking away all other thoughts of the mind.

Inclusive Meditation: Inclusive mediation is just the opposite of exclusive meditation. It allows the mind to accept all thoughts. The mind wanders aimlessly without judgment, analysis, or emotional evaluation. This is called detached observation.

Mental Imagery and Visualization: Mental Imagery is using the imagination to observe, in the first person, images created by the unconscious mind; it falls into three categories: (1) images that replicate peaceful scenes to promote relaxation, (2) images that substitute a less desirable behavior with a healthier one, and (3) images that help to heal damaged body tissue. Visualization is a directed exercise in mental imagery; consciously creating images of success, healing, or relaxation for the purpose of self-improvement and/or personal change.

Mindfulness Meditation: Mindfulness is a state of enhanced awareness in the present moment. It is “paying attention on purpose” of our thoughts, feelings, bodily sensations, and surrounding environment without judgment. For instance, while washing the dishes we feel the smoothness and coolness of each dish; we notice the smell of the soapy water and feel the bubbles as they pop between our fingertips. We notice how each movement or motion creates a new feeling, etc………….

Beginning Prayer/Setting the Intention: I pray to know my own resourcefulness. Assist me to look within my Self for what I need, for I know that within my own being is where I may find Divine guidance, support and intuition. Help me to know that I have much wisdom within me that I can tap into to help myself and others. I am protected and safe. Amen

Meditation/Breathing Visual: Breathe in through the nose (as if you are sniffing a bouquet of flowers). Breathe out through your mouth (as if you are blowing a feather).

Breathe in “I am”

Breathe out “peace”

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