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Studies have shown that meditation can lower blood pressure, increase oxygen levels in our blood, boosts our immune system, eases depression and anxiety, improves breathing, regulates our heart rate and the list goes on. There is no part of the human body that meditation does not touch with positive energy and healing.
The benefits of meditation are many and are backed by science. Though it’s not a complete cure for any disease, it supports the body’s healing mechanisms and fosters a peaceful mind and soul.
The sad thing is that western cultures still view meditation as a woo-woo sort of thing that only hippies, New-agers, and liberals indulge in. The excuses range from “I don’t have enough time” to “It’s too hard” to “I can’t sit still” to “I can’t clear my mind.” to “I’m not a Buddhist, I’m definitely not following the new age movement nor am I a hippie”.
Well, the good news is that no one’s asking you to clear your mind or shut it off, you don’t have to sit still, and it’s really not hard. Yes, it takes a little discipline. Yes, it takes time (but doesn’t everything take time?). No, you don’t have to be a Buddhist or Spiritual or Religious to meditate. You just have to be … well … you.
Let’s Get the Party Started
One conscious breath in and out is a meditation. – Eckhart Tolle
Yes, meditation is that easy.
Do it. Do it right now. Concentrate as you take the breath, feeling every part of it. Focus and pay attention. Breathe in with your nose and out with your mouth. Fill your lungs from bottom to top. Focus on that breath. Feel the cool air coming in through your nose, down through your throat and inflating your lungs. Then as you gently breathe it back out, feel the warmth and humidity of it coming through your mouth.
That’s it! One simple mindful breath. That’s the basic building block of meditation.
So Let’s Take This to the Next Step
One thing leads to another. – The Fixx
Let’s find a chair you can sit comfortably on or sit on the floor or sit on the bed with pillows behind your back. Anywhere you can sit with your spine somewhat straight. No, you don’t have to sit in lotus position or even with your legs crossed. Just be comfortable. The only reason I ask that you sit with your back straight is that you can fill your lungs up fuller.
You could also lay on your back. However, prepare for a really nice nap if you do so. I actually meditate lying on my back right before I go to sleep. I find a nice guided meditation on my tablet, start listening and sleep like a baby.
Now, close your eyes or pick a place on the wall to look at and breathe just like we did above. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Fill your lungs from your belly on up. Now take another breath. Focus on your breathing. If thinking the words “Iiiiiinnnnnn” and “Oooouuuuutttt…” helps then use that. If your mind starts jumping around and waving its hands for your attention and jabbering at you, gently return it to focusing on your breath.
Breathe In. Breathe Out. Repeat As Necessary
You’re not going to be perfect at it the first time. Or the first hundred times, it’s the way we humans are built. We all have little monkey minds that just swing through the trees. All you need is to be present and conscious.
See if you can keep up this mindful breathing for 15 to 20 minutes. Focus on your breathing, notice your thoughts but let them drift away. I turn thoughts into bluebirds and watch them fly away. Others observe the thoughts and watch them fade away.
In, out. Be still and breathe.
There, you’re meditating! Good job!
Meditating When You’re Too Busy to Meditate
Meditation is not something that should be done in a particular position at a particular time. It is an awareness and an attitude that must persist throughout the day. ~Annamalai Swami
Meditation really comes down to being mindful and present with yourself. If you feel that you are too busy to sit in silence for 15 minutes a day then build meditation into things you do every day. Focus with mindful attention on the road on the way to work; notice the pavement, the signs, the clouds, the shoulders of the highway, the idiot in front of you that cut you off. Walk down a hallway and breath in and out and use our building block breath to increase your well-being and your lung capacity. Sit with focused attention in a meeting, focus on the speaker and be mindful of your breathing. Take a walk at lunch and take in surroundings and breathe.
You have to breathe anyway so why not make it use it to improve your health?
It really is that easy
Meditation is a lifelong gift. It’s something you can call on at any time. – Paul McCartney
At its basic level, meditating is like tuning up your car except that you’re doing it every day. The benefits are many and the drawbacks are … well … none. Fifteen minutes every day can improve your productivity at work, make your head clearer, bump up your creativity and so much more.
Remember. Breathe in, breathe out … repeat as necessary.
Namaste My Friends.
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