Why meditate?

Meditation calms the mind and helps you tap into a state of awareness that brings you inner peace. It gives you total relaxation and is ideal to relieve stress and anxiety. There are many health benefits associated with meditation, including lower blood pressure, less stress and improved breathing and circulation. It relieves tension and brings peace, joy, harmony and compassion into your life.

Where can I meditate?

Initially, you may prefer to find a quiet space to sit or lie down for about twenty to thirty minutes. Later, as you become more accustomed to meditation, you will be able to meditate whenever and wherever you wish, even next to road-works without worrying!

How to meditate

Ideal times to meditate are on awaking and prior to sleeping. Meditation can then very easily become part of your daily routine.

Sit with a straight back or lie down whichever feels more comfortable. You can if you wish, place each thumb on the first two fingers of each hand and relax your arms either by your sides or on your stomach (this is not essential, yet it may help you focus without trying too hard).

Close your eyes and slowly start to let go of everything. If you wish, say to yourself Let go to help encourage relaxation. No effort or force is required. Let go of all your problems, any planning, future appointments, future concerns, past concerns, fantasies, whatever might be occupying your mind just let go.

The only energy you need is an awareness that stops you falling asleep or day-dreaming! That takes a bit of practice so be patient and dont be surprised if you do nod off at first!

Try to calm your mind and observe silence.
If there is noise present, pay attention to the gaps between the sounds.
If it helps, you can observe your breath or navel or imagine an object. If you feel your mind wanders or thoughts come in, you could try imagining a white or black wall and just be patient as you wait for your thoughts to subside.

If thoughts arise, simply observe them and note – there is a thought, then let it go.
There is no need to investigate the thought.
It may take several attempts to clear your mind.
It is common for your deepest worries to appear; allow them in and observe them, without making any judgment and you will notice that they will float away naturally.

You will soon see how thoughts cannot harm you unless you let them.
They are just thoughts!

Often more thoughts appear than normal in the early stages of practicing meditation – observe them and try to let them go. Laziness, impatience, restlessness, doubt and fear can all creep in when meditating. Simply relax, as it takes patience and practice at first.

When going about your day, start to listen more to the silence and stillness beneath the sounds and the space between words; music is created by the space between the notes not the notes themselves.

Develop your senses when you are with nature and observe nature in silence, becoming aware of the stillness in trees, plants and flowers. Soon you will start to experience the present moment with greater appreciation and attention, clarity and alertness.

Book Excerpt:

From One Minute Wisdom by Anthony De Mello ISBN 0385242905

The governor on his travels stepped in to pay homage to the Master.
Affairs of state leave me no time for lengthy dissertations, he said.
Could you put the essence of religion into a paragraph or two for a busy man like me?
I shall put it into a single word for the benefit of your highness.
Incredible! What is that unusual word?
And what is the way to Silence?
And what, may I ask, is meditation?

Suggested Reading:

Principles of Meditation by Christina Feldman
The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual
Enlightenment by Eckhart Tolle
One Minute Wisdom by Anthony De Mello
What is Meditation? DVD version also available on Audio CD

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