Healthy Beginnings

5 Minutes to Meditative Bliss

Granlibakken

We have all heard the benefits of meditation: decreased stress, anxiety and tension accompanied with feelings of wellbeing, patience, concentration and compassion. With the best of intentions, we sit down in a silent room and get to “shutting our brain off.” It’s not long before our knees start hurting, our to-do lists start screaming and our shut-off brain is running on overdrive.

The problem is not you or meditation – it’s the approach. To begin, be easy on yourself. Choose a technique that suits you personally, and just challenge yourself to five minutes a few times a week. Meditate in a truly comfortable position. You can practice at home, or if you do better with group activities, attend a class in your community.

When many of us think about meditation, we think of the Zen Buddhist practice of zazen, sitting down in silence with our legs crossed and our mind blissfully blank. Many more types of meditation exist, however, and for every learning style there is an approach to meditating.

Guided meditations are extremely useful in anchoring you to the present moment by providing structure and sound. If you don’t want to attend a class, there are many excellent free guided meditations on the internet (visit the Resources page on www.sustainableearthyoga.com to start).

Visualizations are also extremely useful anchors and can be guided or learned ahead of time. Some people use a mantra (a word, sound, or statement) that is silently repeated or murmured. This mantra is very straightforward, memorable and can be done anywhere: http://www.chopra.com/so-hum-meditation.

For whichever approach you choose, remember:

  • The purpose of meditation is not to attain anything – we meditate to become present.
  • The brain will not simply shut off; the trick is to allow thoughts, ideas, images, etc. to come without holding on or judging.
  • Meditation is a practice whose progression will reflect the amount of time and effort put into it.

For more information, contact us at (800) 543-3221.