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Meditation is a practice that everybody can benefit from. And it is also something that you can do very easily – any time and anywhere! Read on to find out how.
Below are also listed the top 10 benefits of practicing meditation. If you are a beginner and not sure how to start your meditation practice – keep on reading, I have included some tips to help you get started. Enjoy!
Five myths about meditation
#1. I need to take time out to mediate.
If you can find the time to sit down quietly with yourself and your thoughts, that’s certainly great. But not everyone can afford it, and that’s fine too. You can still practice meditation while being busy! Meditation is simply awareness – nothing more, nothing less. Once you understand that, the excuse “I don’t have time to be aware” becomes ridiculous.
#2. I need to be in the right head-space to meditate.
If meditation is simply awareness, all you need to do is become aware of what head-space you in, whatever that may be. You don’t need to feel “ready” and you don’t need to “feel like it” to be able to meditate. All you need to do is notice where you are at, and observe it quietly. If you are angry, you are angry. Acknowledge it and wait to see how long it takes before that shifts. Don’t do anything to shift it – that will mean you want to force an outcome because you don’t accept where you currently are. But you can only be where you are! You can’t be where you want to be. So get present to where you are and observe it with detachment. That’s called Meditation.
#3. I need peace and quiet around me to be able to meditate.
You meditate to create peace and quiet, you don’t find peace and quiet first to then meditate. Going to a meditation retreat is a temporary fix. You haven’t learnt anything from the retreat if you are blaming your busy environment for not being able to keep up your daily meditation practice. To be aware means to have an idea about what is going on internally as well as externally. Whatever is happening in the outside world is a reflection of your inside world. Become aware of what’s going on, observe it and detach yourself from it – this is called Meditation. You can do this any time and anywhere regardless of how noisy it is around you. All you need to do is notice the noise and stay cool about it.
#4. I should be able to get rid of my thoughts while meditating.
Many people think that a successful mediation practice is achieved only when you empty your head and don’t have any thoughts! First of all, it is impossible not to have any thoughts. Secondly, you have absolutely no control over your own thoughts (if you did – you would be having only “positive” thoughts, right?). In meditation you simply need to become aware of the thoughts that come to your mind and let go of them without getting triggered. Instead of trying not to have any thoughts, all you need to do is practice neutral and detached observation of your thoughts. This is called Meditation.
#5. I should feel blissful while meditating.
Meditation is not about feeling happy and blissful. It is about being aware of how you are feeling (whatever that may be) and not getting triggered. The purpose of practicing meditation is not Bliss! The purpose of meditation is Acceptance! Bliss comes and goes. And so does Misery. Real peace is only ever achieved when we accept whatever is and detach ourselves from it fully knowing that “this too shall pass”.
Top 10 benefits of meditation
- Boosts your immune system.
- Helps cardio-vascular health.
- Helps pain relief.
- Helps the healing process in chronic conditions.
- Helps fertility.
- Turns off overall stress in the body.
- Improves focus, concentration and memory.
- Improves self-esteem and confidence.
- Helps improve your relationships.
- Increases a feeling of wholeness, wellness and connectedness.
Meditation tips for beginners
If you are new to meditating, we certainly don’t expect you to be able to stare at a candle for hours on end without losing focus and without noticing anything else around you. Don’t worry! You don’t need to go that far at the start. Remember, meditation is simple! It can be done anywhere, any time. All you need to do is tune in and become aware.
For a start, turn off your TV. See if you can do it for a few hours every day, or for a few days every week. Eventually, you may decide to dispose of it altogether but that is certainly a more advanced stage of being aware. For now, go without a TV for a little while every now and then. Don’t turn on the radio instead though! Just try to be with yourself and to become a bit more aware of what thoughts are going through your head in the absence of the noise coming from the black box. You will be amazed at what you are going to discover out about yourself!
Your next step is to stop reading the newspaper – do it for a few days or for a whole week. This will also allow you to turn your focus inwardly.
How are you surviving so far? Ready for the next step? Go internet-free for a whole day! I know, that’s a hard one… But maybe not? Try it and see for yourself. One of the purposes of meditating is achieving self-control. So if you can find the discipline to go internet-free for a day, this is certainly a step closer to achieving self-control.
And the last one – turn off your phone for 24 hours! I can already hear all the arguments about why this is not such a good idea. Save yourself the excuses and just do it. Don’t be afraid of being with yourself. This is the only way to become more aware.
If you follow the tips above, your stress will gradually disappear, your brain will start functioning better, your health will improve, and your life will seem a whole lot less painful. In fact, life will become meditation.