I have always dabbled a bit in meditation, but back in the days when I was the webmaster for a “cult”. I learned a lot more about the art. Meditation is a wonderful way to get centered, to reconnect with your “true self” as well as the universe at large. I have often heard people say that they can not meditate, but the truth is we all do it on some level, maybe even without being aware of it. Sure certain forms can be difficult for some, but there are ways.
The issue is many are under the impression that meditation requires sitting in a quiet place in a lotus position, incense burning, chanting going on, etc. While this is one method, that is the means, not the act itself. The concept is in some ways much simpler than that.
Let me diverge for a sec and discuss a certain view of our bodies. In the holistic way of thinking, we actually have three bodies. The physical body, the emotional body, and the spiritual body. In order to be truly healthy and at peace, those bodies need to maintain a proper balance. Each body needs to be exercised and nourished, to maintain a proper balance between them. In the western world, we focus predominantly on the physical body, with diet and exercise, and basically neglect the emotional and spiritual ones unless they interfere with our ability to function. Meditation is a tool for connecting all three bodies and getting a proper balance between them.
The basic idea is that the three bodies in balance form a pyramid, with the physical body, the actual seat of the “soul” (or “true self” as I called it earlier), as the base. This is the most stable (or healthy) set up. But if the emotional body or spiritual body is stronger than the physical body, then one becomes unstable (or unhealthy) and not well grounded. We all know how to exercise the physical body. But how do we exercise the emotional and spiritual bodies?
Back to meditation. Emotions are intimately related to our thoughts. So is spirituality. If we think too much, or let our thoughts control us, then our emotions and spirituality can be well out of balance, ranging from none to way too much. Meditation is essentially stopping thought, allowing control of emotions and spirituality to simply be.
So you are thinking how can that be in any way simple. Well by meditating, we get out of our heads and into our physical bodies. And this can happen in many ways. Those who have managed to gain a certain balance can do it in the traditional way with ease. It is not that one actually stops thoughts from entering one’s head, rather one just lets them pass through, without holding on to them. With practice the thoughts stop coming.
But for the less focused, there are still ways to meditate. Any kind of physical exercise can be a form of meditation. Simply focus completely on the exercise. The harder or more intense it is, the more out of your head you will be. Anybody who does physical exercise on a regular basis will tell you how it relaxes and centers them. That is because they are also practicing meditation.
Another form of meditation is hobbies. Basically anytime you throw yourself 100% into something you are effectively meditating. And things with repetition or precision are very good for requiring focus. Actually it does not need to be a hobby. The key is to focus on what you are doing. Even work can become meditation, if you simply focus on what you are doing. I often find such things as laundry and doing dishes by hand a great way to meditate.
So for those of you who tell me you can’t meditate, I tell you I don’t believe you. If you have ever lost track of time, then you have entered a meditative state. even if only briefly. Time awareness is a function of thought. Losing track of time is essentially saying you were so engrossed in what you were doing you were not really thinking. This does not mean you were not using your brain, but you were “here and now”, and not being guided by extraneous thoughts. The key is to practice such activities until you can meditate by choice.
Even the most balanced person has days when they can not easily meditate. Just as with physical exercise, sometimes it is just hard. But it is impossible if you deny that you can and don’t even make the attempt. Like any form of exercise, it requires practice and habit. But well worth the effort!
- The Benefits of Meditation, and Positive Affirmations. (lisawilcoxon.org)
- Self Care — What Do You Need? (joyofspa.com)
- Benefits of Meditation (r3iki.wordpress.com)
- Demystifying meditation: Brain imaging illustrates how meditation reduces pain (sciencedaily.com)
- Meditators can concentrate the hurt away (gyrovague.wordpress.com)
- Meditation Can Reduce Pain (shitmytherapistsays.wordpress.com)