Image by .mands. via FlickrI usually talk about new technologies and creative subjects that help us with our businesses. But there are other types of “technology”. Amidst the growing chaos and worry out there in the world, it is ever more apparent that all of us need something that gives us some peace; an oasis of stillness uncluttered with the buzz of our overly stimulated minds. A place to recharge our weary spirit.
One such technology is meditation. I know this conjures up chanting monks in a Tibetan monastery for some (I kinda like that, myself). But there are many reasons that a westerner might become interested in meditation; stress-management, coping with a challenging illness, sparking creativity and problem solving, or your own personal spiritual quest.
To those of us living busy lives in a materially-driven culture, meditation has many gifts to offer. But the benefits are especially valuable for folks who need to be creative every day. Here are just a few of the benefits of taking some “time out” for silence:
- deeply restful relaxation
- quiet, private rejuvenation
- focused problem-solving
- effective visualizations for self development
- creative stimulation (amazing for ideas and seeking new directions!)
- cultivating awareness of the present moment
- prayerful communion
No matter what the method, if one persists with the meditation practice, we have found that you will come upon some interesting realizations:
- that your mind has an innate restlessness, a tendency to distract or disturb your equanimity (if you have any)
- that the essence of your SELF is not your mind or its endless thoughts
- that the essence of your SELF is definitely not your body
- that your attitudes (habitual thinking patterns), beliefs, and past emotional traumas shape not only your view of life, but even your body’s dis-comforts & dis-eases.
Meditation is an exploration….a self-realization exercise, not a particular religious ritual. Some religions may incorporate formalized meditation, but that’s not meditation’s most beneficial application.
Many meditation techniques exist. We have listed some below for your reference. It is important to pick a practice that resonates with YOUR needs & goals – a method you can incorporate into your daily routine in order to get the deeper benefits. Don’t get me wrong…. ALL meditation is good, whenever you can manage it. But, realistically, sitting down to meditate once every six months is not going to do you much good. It is like working out at the gym; your inner muscles need some exercise on a regular basis in order to develop your awareness. Try it and you’ll notice the benefits very quickly…. not only a your “sitting time” but in the rest of your day. Trust me… wondrous things will start happening. You will see life differently and it will open the door to much more than you can imagine.
Some suggest doing meditation in short sessions of 10-15 minutes in the morning & evening. Other practices demand a large commitment of several hours daily.
Image by nickpix2008 via FlickrMeditation may incorporate positive affirmations, a repetitive phrase (mantras), or listening to music or “the silence” within. Or it might be a way of dialoging with one’s “higher self”, your soul, or the Creative Force. Become an inner explorer in your very own lab! It costs nothing but a little time and you can take this anywhere in the world. No equipment needed!
Interested in learning to meditate as a way to manage stress and find joy in the present moment? Start looking beyond your routine and begin to become open to new possibilities. Your life will provide different venues for you to find an appropriate meditation technique. For you it might be your connection with a health care practitioner that opens the door to a local meditation group. Maybe your local community center offers classes. And, for us “wired” types, the internet offers a ton of information about meditation.
The following links may get you started:
- Buddhist Breathing Meditation
- Online Meditation Center
- Mayo Clinic
- Transcendental Meditation
- Vipassana Meditation