In our time, the 21st century, life has become so externalized that many of us find it downright terrifying to sit quietly and look deep inside ourselves. We fill every moment of potential silence in our day with accumulating and disseminating information- cell phones, television, music, and social media. Quietude is equated with solitude or boredom that can seem unfamiliar and even scary.
What happens if we remove ourselves from all of this noise and distraction and just be quiet for a few moments???
Learning to sit in silence and look within, no matter how uncomfortable at first, begins a journey that our souls crave. Learning to empty and calm the mind, detach from our egos and agendas, and bring the mind to a place of balance and clarity can help us approach life from a more thoughtful, compassionate, healthy and true place. Meditation isn't done to 'get' anything- but rather to look at and let go of anything you don't need, allowing you to trustfully abide in the presence of pure consciousness.
On the physical level, meditation helps to prolong the body's anabolic process of growth and repair and to reduce the catabolic or decaying process. This is because of the innate receptivity of body cells. Each of our body cells is governed by the instinctive subconscious mind. They have both an individual and collective consciousness. It has been scientifically proven that positive thoughts bring positive health to cells. As meditation brings about a prolonged positive state of mind, it rejuvenates body cells and retards decay.
Research has confirmed that profound physiological and psychological changes take place when we meditate, causing an actual shift in the brain and in the involuntary processes of the body. Using an EEG (electroencephalograph), it is shown that when the mind and body are very active, the EEG registers jerky and rapid spikes categorized as beta waves. As the mind slows in meditation, the waves become smoother and change to alpha waves and as meditation deepens, the lines smooth out even more and become theta waves. Perspiration decreases and a slower rate of respiration occurs along with a decrease of metabolic wastes in the bloodstream. Blood pressure lowers, and the immune system is enhanced.
Different methods can be used to achieve a meditative state. Sit in a comfortable chair, on the floor, or lye on your back. With eyes closed, focus internally and watch your own mind as if you are the witness. Slow the breath and breathe deeply to calm yourself. You can use tools such as repetition of a word or short phrase, counting beads, chanting, imagery or gazing at an object or a candle. Meditation can be done walking, sitting in nature, or in a quiet corner in your home. Anyone can meditate anywhere!!!
There is no need to be attached to any religious or spiritual beliefs to reap the benefits of a regular meditation practice. Having a calm, balanced and peaceful mind is for everyone. The result is that meditation teaches us how to manage stress which enhances overall physical health and emotional well-being and gives us that quiet moment of pause we're all yearning for-