What is meditation

You are never more deeply, profoundly yourself than when you meditate.” Eckhart Tolle

Meditation is basically the practice of dissociation from stressful thoughts and thought patterns. It is uncritical awareness in the moment. And yes it is a way to quieten the mind. I have already explained that the neuroscientists have done extensive research that show  that as little as 8 weeks of meditation can change the way our brains function.

The reason the medical fraternity are so excited is because of the research that has shown the difference meditation can make to depression, anxiety ,stress anger.  It has now been empirically proven by scientists that meditation has profound benefits both psychologically as well as emotionally -which I have seen time and again with my clients.

The clearest way I can describe it is like the mud settling in a muddy pond to leave the water clear and transparent. It allows the mind to work as it is supposed to – easily, efficiently and clearly. Of course meditation has been around for thousands of years in the East and we are only just fully  understanding the benefits here in the West.

Meditation used to have connotations of being a hippy or zealously spiritual, now that people are becoming aware of the scientific findings it is becoming a good habit like brushing your teeth. Several of the people who have come to me went to teachers who insisted on a very rigid and disciplined routine that my clients felt was unsustainable. I feel there is a gentler, easier, more enjoyable way.

There are many different ways to meditate – the way I like to meditate is to sit upright in a chair with my eyes closed. I find the easiest way to meditate is a guided meditation or to attach to a white noise like a fan or the sound of rain and to focus on my breath.

Some people prefer to start with just a few minutes a day until they are more comfortable with the practice. I would say, especially in the beginning, it is more important to build up some regular meditation than to worry about how long you do it for. Obviously meditation is experiential and it can take some gentle discipline and dedication to begin with. Like anything it does take practice but it gets easier and easier and more enjoyable.

I thoroughly enjoy meditating now and if I missed a day of meditating I don’t feel quite myself – I guess that’s because the ‘chattering monkey’ starts to take over my mind again.

I have always had a super active mind and sometimes felt like my thoughts were thinking me, instead of the other way around. It feels so much better to have learned how to calm my mind.” Marilyn James