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Meditation 101 – Meditation As True Medication

Interpretation: Meditation is deceptively simple. 

Meditation, my experience:

I’ve been talking about meditation a lot recently.  It has been such a game changer for me.  Meditation has been my true medication.  In response to my recent instagram post, I completely understand that many struggle with it and rather than it being soothing, relaxing and recharging, it can sometimes be stressful, anxiety-inducing, and exhausting to think about.  I used to be part of that latter camp.  The thought of focusing and clearing my mental space to promote clarity and calm seemed dubious but I kept trying until one day, it just finally clicked.  That was a momentous occasion for me.  Throughout a series of hectic days and stacks of deadlines, it has become such an oasis that I can create for myself wherever and whenever.  Meditation has helped me target mindfulness which was an area that was severely lacking for too long.  FYI: mindfulness is described as a state of bringing yourself to the present aka “living in the moment” versus dwelling on the past or worrying about the future.  “Love what is” has become a solid affirmation for me as I meditate.

According to Buddhism, one of the most important things we can do is to take responsibility for our own state of mind.  You’ve probably heard that peace begins with yourself.  It’s a similar idea.  The teachings say it is the only sustainable method to match depression, anxiety, fear, anguish, agony…Meditation practices are meant to stimulate emotional positivity and develop concentration.  Keep in mind that meditation is not part of any religion.  Through the process, which can actually be scientifically assessed, you become better acquainted with the patterns of your own mind and allow the cultivation of new and more positive ways of being.  It can develop a nourished state of mind that can create a profoundly peaceful and revitalized state which may then lead to a new and different understanding of life.

How to mediate:

Find a comfortable place and position.  Gently close your eyes and breathe in deeply through your nose, hold it in for a few seconds and blow out slowly and fully.  I know for some, it may help to breathe in to the count of 3 and breathe out to the count of 4.  After some initial breath work, bring the awareness to the entire length of your body and allow your muscles to relax.  Take your sweet time and enjoy the process of letting go of all tension.  Letting go starts first in the physical realm then graduates to your thoughts.  Continue breathing through your diaphragm.  Continue observing your breath.  Let thoughts come and go.  It is completely normal to have a million thoughts.  The trick is to not react to them.  Simply attend to these thoughts as they arise.  Let them come, let them go.

So why meditate?

It can help lower your blood pressure, strengthen your immune system, drastically reduce stress and anxiety, alleviate depression, help you gain deeper, more quality sleep, improve concentration, lead to a healthier lifestyle {I have a girlfriend that quit smoking with meditation!}, and increase self awareness, acceptance and overall happiness.  So why not give it a try?

Check back next Saturday for my 7 simple meditation tips and what worked for me.

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