By Nancymarie B.
The world is a noisy place, full of distractions, opinions, and standards. Everyday we are fighting off the negativity that is fueled from different sources and that can take a serious toll on our overall well-being. You are your most valuable asset. Your mind, emotions, body, and spirit deserve to be nurtured, so, in turn, they can operate at optimal function. Meditation is a powerful way to nurture yourself and a balanced approach can pour light and life into each day.
Myth and Truth
TRUTH ABOUT MEDITATION
Yoga International defines meditation as, “a precise technique for resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state.” There are many misconceptions surrounding meditation practices and who can participate. Unfortunately, the myths keep many people from embracing the numerous benefits of this experience. Let’s expose some of the most widely spread myths.
MYTH: Meditation is a practice belonging to a particular religion which conflicts with mine.
TRUTH: Meditation is a scientific process that, when followed, consistently brings about proven results. Regardless of your religious beliefs, meditation can be tailored to fit your needs and faith.
MYTH: Meditation is easy. Meditation is difficult.
TRUTH: Meditation offers a process that can be frustrating at times and rewarding at others. In the beginning, meditation may seem impossible but that usually comes from putting unrealistic expectations on yourself and your process. Meditation calls for us to do the opposite of what we have been conditioned to do. It invites us to slow down, be present, accept reality for what it is, and take a natural approach on what steps we take moving forward. This can be very uncomfortable at first, and even throughout the journey. In a world of instant gratification, meditation says, “Wait”.
MYTH: Meditation only works for people who are…
TRUTH: Meditation is about practice and patience. If you want to experience true results you will have to decide to be patient with both yourself and the process. And, like anything else, one must be consistent and disciplined to see results. Anyone can meditate and reap the rewards if they commit to practice and patience.
MYTH: I can’t meditate because my thoughts run rampant.
TRUTH: Despite popular belief, meditation has nothing to do with having a mind without thoughts. On the contrary, it is about being aware of your thoughts and bringing your mind back to your original focus. It is about developing self-control and awareness. If your thoughts seem to be all over the place, that’s ok. Through meditation you will learn how to acknowledge your thoughts and re-focus.
MYTH: I want to meditate so I can just escape from reality.
TRUTH: Meditation is all about facing reality head on and finding the lessons in it. When meditating you don’t want to escape; instead learn to rise up as the bold eagle you are and confront it. Confront without shame, guilt, and judgement of yourself. Meditation reminds you there is nothing you cannot get through if you change your mindset. Meditation is a natural approach to altering your perspective.
Holistic health focuses on the entire being, spirit, body, mind, and emotions. Meditation promotes health in each area of our life. A relief of stress and change in mindset are two of the first things people experience when meditating. When stress levels are reduced and the mind is able to see what is good, the trajectory of a person’s health begins to transform. Physical pain is a side effect of high stress levels and a negative mindset. Through meditation, physical pain can be decreased, if not eliminated. It also makes dealing with emotions more manageable. Once the mind and body are free of stress, there is room for clarity. And, with clarity comes healing, productivity, creativity, and confidence. You will be able to build a strong spiritual connection with your higher power. Through regular meditation all of this is possible.
As we stated before, anyone can enjoy the benefits of meditation. Your religious beliefs, age, gender, race, socioeconomic status, or anything else, does not matter. All you need is a willingness to embrace a different way of thinking about and processing life issues.
GUIDED OR UNGUIDED
When you meditate you can choose to be guided or to guide yourself. It is suggested that beginners start with guided practice as it provides step-by-step instruction through the process. It also tends to relieve the stress of learning to meditate, through a calm voice and affirmations. Consider trying several of both styles until you find what works for you.
Whether you woke up late for work and only have 3 minutes, or it is your day off and you have an hour, you have time to meditate. Do not focus on how long you meditate, but on being consistent with it. It is quality over quantity that is important. Beginners can start with three to five minutes of meditation each morning for seven days. This allows you to ease into the practice and commit without the pressure of time. Once you have gotten comfortable with this regimen, consider adding another five minutes and another seven days. Remember, practice and patience.
What do you picture when you think of a meditation posture? Do you think of a cross-legged, levitating guru? Though that is an option, it is not the only one. Meditation can be done with your legs crossed and hands resting on your knees. You can also lie down, sit in a chair, or exercise. Many guided meditations will suggest a position for you, while others will give you the freedom to get into a relaxed position of your choosing. Just note your posture should enhance your experience, not distract from or hinder it.
For those who follow a particular religious teaching, such as, Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism, there are specific meditations just for you. Religion, or lack thereof, need not be a barrier to the meditation experience.
IMPLEMENTING MEDITATION FOR YOUR DAILY LIFE
One of the best ways to begin implementing meditation into your daily life is through apps like Insight, which can be downloaded to your phone as well as accessed online. Decide on the day(s) and time you want to meditate. We suggest keeping the same day and time each week to build consistency. Find a meditation that addresses something you are currently dealing with or need. And, just go. It is okay to try many meditations until you find one that you are comfortable with, and the same goes for postures and times. Constantly remind yourself that this is your unique journey and it won’t look like anyone else’s.
Life is too short to be lived in stress, negativity, and fear. Through meditation, peace, acceptance, and love, a host of other characteristics of “light” can be produced. Visit the Natural Detox Center and participate in our meditation or yoga classes. Our practitioners will be happy to answer any questions you may have, address any concerns and help your create a self-guided meditation practice that works for you. Your well-being and your relationships will appreciate the investment. Namaste.