Stress to Energy…5
Meditation has been viewed with mixed feelings over the years. There are the total believers, and the skeptics.
Meditation is the training of the mind’s attention on one point, to the exclusion of all else. That’s all it is.
Because it was associated in the sixties with the robes and sandals, dope-smoking and free love communes, it was seen as a practice for the Far Out brigade.
Most of us have meditated at some time or other, many of us a lot, only we didn’t call it that. We called it prayer, or reflection, or concentration, or entrancement.
When we focused on a particular thing or subject, to the exclusion of everything else, we were brought to a state of mindfulness, or concentration. Some people have experienced this in sport; golf, tennis, a field sport, driving, music, reading some captivating passage, where everything gels, drifts into a zone, and not only seems to go perfectly right, with no effort, but to the point where it can’t go wrong.
A man told me recently that he regularly achieves this state of being when he walks on his own. He has a route, by the sea, which he takes daily, in all weathers,at any time of the day or night, and always experiences a sense of perspective on life, a peacefulness and self-sufficiency. He finds it particularly useful in testing times, when the walk clears his head, relaxes his body, and allows him see what’s relevant and what’s not.
This event is so strong in his life that he need only imagine himself on his beloved journey to help him de-stress and relax. Now that’s an example of true Mindful Awareness.
Like all skills, it needs practice. It needs to be learned, practiced and applied. This is where people who never experience success in this tend to fall down. It needs a definite decision, implementation, resolve and repetition, and then evaluation, to see how it’s working.
But when you practice it frequently, you’ll find that your mind opens to the possibility of the idea, and then begins to accept it. As you continue to practice, the idea strengthens and grows and assimilates into your mind as something that happens, simply because you’re doing it.
Like all valuable accomplishments, it needs some sustained attention to help it along.
It needs that bit of discipline at the start, before it develops into a habit, and then becomes instinctive, a part of your own mindset.
What calms your mind? What thoughts give you peace? What ideas quieten your mind, calm the thoughts, soothe your nervous system? When do you reflect on them, purposely? When do you bring them up to your level of conscious awareness and dwell on them?
That’s the essence of Meditation, Mindful Awareness, Active Relaxing.
And once learned, you can do it anywhere, at any time, in any circumstance. It’s what Dr. Herbert Benson, the world renowned authority on mental health, and best selling author of health books since the sixties, called ‘The Relaxation Response’.
Find a five minute spot in your day, five minutes, that’s all, and bring to your waiting mind an event, a person, an instance, that means a lot to you in a very warm and helpful way, that actually occurred in your life, and dwell on it.
For five minutes. Do it daily