Meditation

Taking the advice of the Eagle Council

eagle sunset

For anyone who read my last post knows that I was blessed to receive information during a meditation with eagles on my purpose.    In short….

The council’s purpose is to pass on knowledge and lead the way.  They emphasised to me that sharing of knowledge is important and necessary for my own personal growth as well as others.    

Today I found myself sharing some information on my understanding of meditation with some colleagues.    So as advised by the Eagles, here is my thoughts on Meditation!   Sharing is caring.

Meditation:        is not just a trend, people have been meditating in different cultures throughout the world for thousands of years, usually as a way of finding inner peace and in more modern times as a way to relax, find clarity and reduce stress.  There is countless evidence that meditation is good for you and has a wide range of health benefits.

Never meditated?    Wonder what it’s all about?   The most important thing to remember it’s not just for gurus but something that’s healthy, doesn’t cost money and can be done almost anywhere.

So what is meditation?      There are many definitions of meditation and these vary depending on the form you are practising.   However at it’s most basic level it’s about slowing the thoughts and training your mind to pay attention.   Contrary to some beliefs it’s NOT about stopping your thoughts and having a blank mind.   We are human with a brain, a brain that’s supposed to think and process.   Meditation is about training yourself to help control your thoughts, stopping yourself from jumping from one to another, and learning to simply acknowledging the thought and let it go.   Meditation is a discipline and with practise helps turn the minds attention inwards to bring clarity of thought, and your attention to how your body feels.

3 ways to use your thoughts: 

1)    knowing what your mind is paying attention to,

  • When you try to still your mind and it continues to jump to a particular area or concern constantly?
  • Are you wasting energy on past events? Or projecting into the future what might happen?
  • Are you simply jumping from one thing to another, to another?

2)   working out where your mind’s attention needs to be focused.   (While this sounds the same as above, it’s quite different because you now acknowledge the thoughts and during your next meditation you focus on ONE thought)

  • In the case of past or present thoughts,
    • Focus your mind on the here and now…the present moment, your breath and while you sit and meditate feel reassured that during those moments all is well
  • If it’s the same thought repeating
    • Focus on what you are avoiding and why.
  • Jumping from multiple things.
    • Are you stressed by being stretched in too many areas? Focus not on all you have to do, but perhaps how your body feels.   It’s amazing when we give our body a chance to ‘speak’ how during a meditation shoulders can become tight as a sign of stress, or we feel a knot in our stomach when something doesn’t feel right.

So now you’ve acknowledge all the thoughts, decided on your focus for your next meditation and now you start training your mind to maintain focus

3)   Maintaining attention on what you want your mind to be focusing on.

  • When you first start, try setting your phone alarm for just 5 minutes.  You’ll be surprised how your mind wants to jump about and the number of thoughts that will pass through in only 5 minutes.   Again it’s about becoming aware of the thoughts….NOT acting on them, jumping onto that train of thought, but simply acknowledge the thought and letting it go.   If you find you’ve wondered off on another thought, that’s okay.  Come back to counting your breath is always a good way to refocus.

As the saying goes, practise makes perfect.  The more you do it the easier it becomes and the longer you can stay in meditation.

Different Meditations;      There are many kinds of meditation, one to suit everyone.  They all help train the mind and all forms of meditation encourage you to focus your attention.  Give each a go and find what works for you or why not mix it up.

A few different types include:

  • your breath  (simply counting your in, hold and out breath)
  • an object (such as a candle, a flame or picture)
  • a mantra (a repeated word or sound, sometimes called kirtan)
  • a visualisation (mental images)
  • an affirmation (positive statements).

Surroundings:     Don’t think you need to sit crossed legs, atop a mountain or in a monastery.   Some of the best meditations can be done sitting outside in the garden, under a tree, near the beach or just in a quiet area of the house.    You need to be relaxed and not get hung up about distractions:  noise from kids, outside traffic, life in general going on.   It’s not about trying to ignore or shut them out completely but rather simply let them be in the background and simply bring your attention back to the focus.  Obviously turning off your mobile phone or telling the kids you are having quiet time and not to disturb you is a good idea before you start.