You have heard of meditation before, but you aren’t sure what it is so you don’t think that it is for you. You might think that you could never do it, you aren’t cut out for it. For all of the years that you have been alive, your mind has been running wild. Like any other muscle, your mind needs to be trained. Sitting is a practice that takes much discipline. Similar to going to the gym, or changing your diet- meditation is a new habit that will take time to adjust to. With practice, meditation becomes easier. Here are some of the benefits that I have personally experienced from my daily sitting practice.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice of cultivating stillness. You sit with the intention of listening to whatever arises for you. Meditation is about training the mind gently. This practice is NOT about stopping all of your thoughts. When each thought arises, you can simply observe it, and release it without creating any drama or story around the thought.
You might think “I need to go to the grocery store.” That thought inspires you to think of what store you will go to, what time you will go, and ten other things that need to be added to the list. Rather than getting upset that you had these thoughts, you can enjoy a laugh when you notice that your brain was thinking again, and gently release the thoughts.
If I miss one day of sitting, I notice myself getting anxious and rushing through life. The purpose of this life is to enjoy each moment. Meditation allows you to be calm and present in each moment with peace.
Silence allows issues and thoughts to arise. When you sit, you are giving yourself the opportunity to resolve any conflict that you are having. When we pull the weeds from the root out of the garden in our psyche, we are cleansing our minds deeply to access inner-peace. When you begin to face all of the problems you have been running from, you find a deep sense of mental calmness and composure.
Sitting in silence gives you time to process everything that you are consuming. When you take time to connect with yourself, and source- You will have a clearer mind. You will react less based on your emotion. The decisions that you make will reflect this healthy habit.
When the monkey-mind runs wild, it can challenge your peaceful sleeping patterns. Cultivating silence intentionally will allow you to manage your thoughts better so that you are not up all night with regrets and worries. You can have a clear mind that is disciplined, rather than running wild.
Having a daily sitting practice will help you to be more present with your loved ones. When you are able to give your full attention, your relationships become healthier. You are able to listen and connect deeply with the people in your life. This leads to positive connections and peaceful conversations.
We are constantly bombarded with new things to consume. This can be problematic when you are overwhelmed or comparing your life to other people’s. Your meditation practice will give you space for original, fresh, new ideas to enter.
It is easy to scarf down a basket of fried southwest chicken rolls when you are not thinking about how harmful the grease is for your body or how poorly the chickens were treated. This might be challenging for some individuals. It is hard work to start noticing everything that you are consuming. A lot will change. This can be a difficult transition, but the benefits of mindful eating will literally add years to your life. Meditation gives you the time to consider your choices.
To open space for the resolution and release of problems, you create space for joy and happiness.
Tame the Monkey Mind
Buddhism refers to the untamed mind as “the monkey mind”. If you don’t ever administer discipline, the voice in your mind will seem like it is running the show. That voice is not you. You are the consciousness that is observing the thoughts. You will always have thoughts, but with a daily meditation practice, the thoughts will not run as wild. A thought will arise, and you will acknowledge and release it.
We all have superpowers. We all have the ability to communicate telepathically with others at a distance. We also can communicate with dead people and animals. After a 75-hour meditation retreat, my mother and I could feel the presence of each other. That is our natural state. When you train your mind, you will begin to feel and sense things clearly. You will be able to read other people’s emotions.
Anxiety comes from worrying about something that has already occurred or something that has yet to occur. When you are in the present moment, observing each breath, you are unable to worry about things that are not happening at the moment. (more on anxiety)
The recommended time to meditate is at least 20-minutes per day, and if you don’t have time to meditate for 20-minutes, you should meditate for an hour.
Your brain has likely been running the show for a while and will resist this new practice. Take charge! My life coach holds me accountable. I would be happy to be the coach to hold you accountable, but it is up to you to make the decision to be healthy and honor your commitments.
Thank you for sharing this blog so that your friends and family can also reap the benefits!