When you think of meditation, what comes to mind? Sitting in the lotus position in a secluded natural part of the world? Although that’s wonderful – it’s not always practical. I’d be surprised if you could conjure up an image of an individual sitting on a sofa, eyes closed, meditating – but that’s how simple mediation can be!
And then, there’s all the different styles of meditations you hear about – transcendental, mantra based, mindfulness, chakra mediation, Qigong, Kundalini and that’s just to name a few! That in itself can be confusing for many. Where do I start? Which one is right for me?
Meditation is simple! This is no longer some esoteric practise that requires you to disconnect from the world. This has now been modernised to fit in with our current lifestyles. Escaping to a quieter, more peaceful part of the world isn’t necessary to achieve a blissful mind – that can be achieved quite easily from the comfort of your sofa – and anyway, if you have an over thinking mind, changing the landscape won’t matter, it’s the re-training of the brain that is required, regardless of where you are.
My journey with meditation began decades ago, when I didn’t quite understand what mediation was. ‘Emptying the mind’ – how was that possible I thought. However since then, I have learnt that mediation isn’t about emptying or stilling the mind – that isn’t possible! Just as the heart will not stop beating until the day we die, the brain will not stop thinking – all we can do, it tame the wild horse of our thoughts so we are able to re-direct our thinking to what we desire.
The daily practise of meditation results not only in reducing the speed of thoughts from gear 6 to gear 1 but – It’s a wonderful feeling when the chaos in the mind is calmed! In addition to this blissful mind set, I was able to complete work was much quicker! How was this possible? I became efficient, productive and even more creative! Research echoes this, but to actually experience this is another matter altogether! I would skip into work like ‘Tigger’, be on top of my workload and leave work with a smile – to say that, as a teacher, is quite a statement!
Meditation has resulted in me feeling happy and content – I do have moments when I feel ‘stressed’ but these dissipate quite quickly. More recently, I have noticed the regulation of my emotions to quite a high degree. When you feel psychologically well, this cascades to a physical level. With the multitude of ‘feel good’ hormones that are released, including serotonin and dopamine, the impact on physical health, although not fully scientifically substantiated, can only be described as beneficial. I have been free from all crohns symptoms – which I was told wasn’t possible without surgery, due to the complications I was diagnosed with. But, if the brain can ‘re-wire’ with meditation, then can it also ‘re-wire’ the body? How else can this physical wellbeing be explained?
Meditate at least once a day, every day. Make it a daily practise and immerse yourself in the myriad of benefits meditation has to offer.