"Why should I meditate?" "I'm too stressed to meditate." "I don't know how." "I can't sit still". "I'm too busy". "I've got too much to think about." "I dont have time to meditate." "I don't want to do any weird chanting!"
These are some of the excuses I hear as to why people can't meditate... So, here are reasons you CAN meditate, and how?
What is meditation?
The English meditation is derived from the Latin meditatio, from a verb meditari, meaning "to think, contemplate, devise, ponder, meditate." (from Wikipedia)
Meditation has been linked to a variety of health benefits. Examples of such benefits include: reduction of stress, anxiety, depression, headaches, pain, and elevated blood pressure. All religions believe in and practice some form of meditation. Some research has shown that meditation can also help with your metabolism, digestion, and your ability to loose weight.
How to meditate?
Time is up to you, something everyday is always better than nothing; 5 min, 20 min, an hour, or try short multiple sessions through out the day.
1. Find a quiet, dim-lit place
However, it is not necessary, one will have to focus a little harder to drowned out the sound. Some relaxing yoga music, or white noise machine can help too.
2. Comfortable position
Some ideas would be lotus pose (seated w/ right foot on top of left thigh, left foot on right thigh, palms up on knees pointer finger & thumb touching), half lotus pose (right foot on top of left thigh, left foot under right leg, hands same as lotus pose), corpses pose (laying flat on back, arms out to side palms up, feet relaxed), or cris-cross applesauce (palms up on knees pointer finger & thumb touching).
3. Close your eyes
Yes, close them, keep them closed!
4. Focus on your breath
Focusing on your breath helps you to clear your mind, and helps you to relax.
5. Check body
Do a mental check from the top of your head to the tip of your toes, make sure you are completely comfortable & relaxed. That your not holding any tension in your face or body parts.
6. Continue to breathe
Focus on the inhale & exhale only, when your mind starts to wander, distractions try to invade meditation, go back to the breath.
Oms are optional, as you become a seasoned meditator, you might enjoy the vibration in the throat & chest, it's like an internal massage. In a deep register, from your diaphragm, as quiet or as loud as you want, "Oohhhhmmmm", repeat. This will also help you stay focused on clearing your mind
My personal meditation:
I meditate everyday, twice a day (and sometimes more). Once in the morning, and once before bed. I prefer laying in corpse pose for my morning & bedtime meditation. If I add additional sessions, I usually sit in half lotus pose. I have meditated at home, in hotels, in yoga class, at work, on airplanes, all over. My morning meditation helps me to great the day with a clear mind and an open heart. My bedtime meditation helps me to clear my head, and to make sure the stress/negativity from the day does not interfere with my sleep. I personally choose not to use meditation for prayer, I prefer to keep them separate, so I can focus on both.
Overall, meditation is good, with health benefits, and it's not weird! Relax & enjoy the calmness it brings!!