When we speak about meditation, most of the people think of it as a religious ritual or imagine monks standing still and meditating in their temples for hours. This wrong perception makes people look at mediation as something strange, something that does not belong to them, thus they do not make an effort to understand what it really is.
What I just said above reminds me of myself about 12 years ago, when I first tried to meditate. It was very difficult in the beginning, I had to stand sit with my legs crossed for many minutes, with eyes closed and with a controlled breathing in order to pause my thoughts.
Not at all! If you just carefully notice the infants at their first months, you will see how the fixate their eyes at a point in space for a very long time. This is what meditation looks like. Until they become 7 years old, children have their brains dominated by Alpha brain waves (relaxing waves). This is a simple notion about meditation that doesn’t define the true concept of meditation.
The simplest way to understand what meditation is if you go on vacation in the nature. The first days it is not going to be easy to reduce your thoughts but day after day you notice that you start to relax when you try to meditate. You find yourself looking at the sky, the white clouds, the green life… and you feel happily lost in all this. At this point, you have started to meditate. Your mind is gradually relaxing and has a reduced traffic of thoughts, you are surrounded by the clean air, the sun lights, you dive into yourself…
The reason why I started the article by explaining meditation is because we all meditate sometimes, we just don’t notice it. And we feel good. But, when we hear someone telling us that we should meditate, we resist the idea. We make up excuses: I don’t have time; it’s impossible; ah, if I had more time to meditate; meditation is not for me, ect.
That is why I wanted to share with you the positive effects of meditation and the fact that we can meditate no matter how busy we are… (even though I do not believe when people say “I am busy”, “I don’t have time”.)
You can start meditating by using the following techniques:
- Dedicate yourself a few minutes in the morning as soon as you wake up by keeping your eyes closed (this technique allows our brain to operate under Alpha brain waves, known as the relaxing waves. This is the main reason why we sleep with our eyes closed.)
- In the first minutes, you might feel uncomfortable but this is a normal sensation. It takes more than 21 days for our brain to create and adapt to a habit.
- It would be better if you would choose a favorite silent corner to sit and meditate (at the same time every day). If you don’t have time to meditate at the same time every day, you can do it at different times also.
- At first, you will have many thoughts in your head and it seems impossible to relax. That’s why we should think of how to relax our minds. (Do you know that our brain processes more than 50 thousand thoughts every day? 95% of them are the yesterday’s thoughts.)
- If you can’t concentrate at the beginning, it is okay. The most important thing is to understand that you cannot meditate. Follow your thoughts. Observe your thoughts as a third person that is looking from outside what is happening in your brain. Imagine that you have given the task to observe what is happening with your thoughts; how many thoughts are you processing at a certain moment; how many of them are positive or negative; how many of them are repetitive? You will master the skill of observing gradually until you start observing some thoughts, then 2 or 1… and then… complete silence. At this moment, you are meditating and relaxing your mind.
There are many theories on meditation but I tried to explain its meaning in the simplest way possible.
Just try to relax your mind, reduce the traffic of your thoughts until you reach a peaceful silence moment. I am now reminded of the day Pope Francis visited Tirana… a peaceful silence prevailed on the city, it gave us all light and soul. We can achieve this state of being inside of ourselves every day, and this is the biggest reward we can give to our mind and body.
Benefits that come from meditation are tremendous, I would like to list some of them:
- Clarity and Focus
- Effective Communication
- Right Decisive Process
- Tangible Results
- A positive image
- A healthy body (it lowers the blood pressure; it helps you release positive emotions; it improves the digestion process; reduces pain; reduces inflammation in cases of attrite or asthma.)
If you say, “it is hard or impossible for me to meditate”, let me ask you some question: How do you want to feel during your day? What is your goal? How you plan to achieve it?
The choice is always at your hands, but don’t forget that even if you don’t choose you have already made a choice. Take care of your state of mind and you will be rewarded.