Why meditate?

Forget yesterday - it has already forgotten you.  Don't sweat tomorrow - you haven't even met.  Instead, open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift - today.” Steve Maraboli 

Meditation is a stillness of the mind that involves the practice of slowing down your thoughts.  It is a conscious focused awareness on connecting with your breath and being present in your body so that you can fully experience the now, the present moment.  Meditation purifies our body with the breath and calms our mind by enabling us to release thoughts that do not serve us.  The purpose of meditation is to connect with our body and to feel good.  You can meditate for as long as you like, but I believe ten to twenty minutes per day to be perfect.  There are some days when I miss, but I try to maintain a regular practice of several times per week.

When you meditate, you are practicing controlling your mind by focusing on one thing.  I like to focus my mind on my breath.  As I begin meditating, I close my eyes and begin breathing.  I inhale and exhale fully, and I will often count my breaths to help keep me focused on my breathing.  When I get to ten breaths, I start counting from one again.  After several times of counting to ten (usually around five minutes or so), I can stop counting because my mind begins to slow down and it becomes easier to let go of thoughts and focus on my breath.

At first it was very hard and a little torturous to just sit and breathe.  The first time I tried, I wanted to quit in the first five minutes, but I refused to let myself stop before the time was up.  I thought about all the things I could be doing instead of just sitting and breathing.  I kept going and continued breathing and after about ten minutes (I’m not really sure how long because I kept my eyes closed) I suddenly began to feel really good.  A wave of peace and love washed over me and felt like I was floating.  I could barely feel my body.  And then the time was up.  

Now I look forward to meditating, to that feeling of floating and of detachment from my busy thoughts.  I love the calmness that washes over me.  It’s a very powerful yet soft sensation.  When I open my eyes, I am happy and everything looks more beautiful.  Since I’ve started meditating, I notice the world around me more.  I see beauty everywhere and colors are brighter.  I appreciate things that I didn’t notice before.  Meditating naturally raises your vibration by helping you release resistance in that it stops negative thoughts.  It clears your mind and reverses the unhealthy effects of stress.  When I meditate, I feel more at ease and centered.

How to meditate:

Sit on a pillow with your legs loosely crossed or if that is not comfortable then sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor.  Sit tall with your shoulders back and your chest open because slouching impairs breathing.  It can be uncomfortable to sit still and with good posture at first.  If you prefer, you can lie down, but sometimes you can get sleepy and it can be harder to focus your mind on your breathing  Set a timer on your phone and start with ten minutes.  Then, when you’re ready to sit for longer, set it for fifteen minutes and maybe work up to twenty if you like.  It isn’t necessary to spend hours per day meditating.  We are here to experience life, not withdraw ourselves from it for too long.  

Be playful about it.  Don’t be too hard on yourself when your mind wanders.  Controlling your mind is a lot like trying to hold onto a squirming kitten.  Recognize when you are thinking, but don’t judge your thoughts or yourself.  Simply notice that you are thinking again, and bring your mind back to your breath.  Allow whatever thoughts you started thinking to dissipate as you focus on being present in the moment.  Meditation teaches us to be more present in every moment of our life.  Happiness is not something that you strive for.  It can be found in every moment if you will allow yourself to enjoy it by being present and noticing the beauty that is there for you.

This is a beautiful ten minute video that reminds us to appreciate the present moment and open our eyes to the gift of today.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gXDMoiEkyuQ

In love and light,

Sydney