Tuesday, July 12, 2011

0012: The Art of Meditation

I begin with stating the obvious - Meditation has been around for thousands of years. Indian scriptures mention meditation over 5,000 years ago and of course Buddha - a major meditation icon - first made his mark about 500 B.C.

The latest article I read was from US News & World Report (Benefits of Meditation, 7/8/11), it said meditation can calm your mind, relax your body, and soothe your spirit. I personally have such a tough time with meditation. I have been trying to meditate for years but I get so distracted - I think of everything but calm and serenity... But I keep reading of the benefits and continue to try - half-heartedly at best but will give it a sincere shot over these next few weeks and see where it takes me.

This same article suggests the following tips to get started:
  • Select a meditation technique that fits your lifestyle and belief system. Many people build meditation into their daily routine.
  • Set aside some time. Start with 5-minute meditation sessions once or twice a day and work up to 20 minutes each time.
  • Keep trying. Be kind to yourself as you get started. If you're meditating and your attention wanders, slowly return to the object, sensation or movement you're focusing on.
  • Make meditation part of your life. Many people prefer to start and end their day with a period of meditation. Others prefer to take meditation breaks during the day. Experiment and find out what works best for you.
Clearly they had people like me in mind when they wrote bullet 3! 
Another cool article I came across was "3 Meditation Techniques for Beginners". Their suggestions were: 1. Count your breath, 2. Stare at a flame (Some think that primitive hunter-gatherer societies may have discovered meditation and its altered states of consciousness while staring at the flames of their fires...), or 3. Relax using visualization. Check out the full article - here.  Until our next encounter - Namaste!

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