Meditation is a technique to help us relax, relieve stress and be in touch with our own essential selves and our own wisdom.
"As one lamp serves to dispel a thousand years of darkness,
so one flash of wisdom destroys ten thousand years of ignorance." Zen quote
is a way to bring us back in contact with ourselves. Life is so busy.
From the moment we are born we are busy being socialised into our
particular social setting. What happens in our early life to a very
great extent determines who we think we are. Even the language we learn
to a great extent shapes us. People tell us who we are and if we are
told it often enough we begin to believe it. Sometimes we develop a
'false self concept' because of this. We can believe we are this
particular person and that we must remain as that person or we will be
letting ourselves and others down. It can become very stressful.
stressful and the more modern technology we have the more stressful it
seems to become. Meditation offers a way out of this. It offers a way
to quiet the constant chatter we have with ourselves, a way back inside
to become centred and in touch with ourselves.
So often we
are living in yesterday or tomorrow or even ten minutes from now.
Meditation is a way of bringing ourselves here into the now, so that we
may experience ourselves exactly as we are and we may experience what
is going on as it is.
A simple form of meditation is as follows:
sit cross legged with a cushion for support or if you find that
uncomfortable sit in a comfortable chair. There is really no reason why
you cannot meditate even lying down - though if you fall asleep, you
will miss the experience! Assuming you are sitting, put your hands
comfortably on your legs, palms up. For some reason this gesture seems
to help the flow of energy within you. Just sit there for a minute or
two and feel what your body feels like. Notice any tension and try to
relax into that spot and accept it. After a couple of minutes,
concentrate on your breathing. Don't try to change your breathing, just
be with it, experience it and stay in this moment. Be aware of any
feelings you experience but just experience them. There is no need to
analyse them, just allow what is. If you notice yourself thinking, just
bring yourself back to your breathing. Try this for ten minutes.
find that when they first try to sit simply listening to their own
breathing that it is very difficult to do. Really this is simply
because we are all so used to our minds racing. When we meditate we
begin to live in the present. We tend to live either in the past or
worrying about the future and by so doing we miss out on the very
moment we are living. Whatever we do, be it washing the dishes, talking
with a friend, having an argument or making love, the goal of
meditation is to bring us fully into that moment so that we can
experience it most fully. Far from putting us into some kind of trance
like state as some people imagine, meditation is a vehicle to help us
be truly alive and experience life as it is happening.
and cities offer places where you can go to meditate nowadays and there
are also some very helpful CD's and programs. I would recommend Mindfulness Meditationby
John Kabat-Zimm. He has a very down to earth way of teaching
meditation, without religion, and yet it is in that very down to
earthness that we can most easily become in touch with ourselves.