“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”
~ Zen proverb
Meditation is one of the most beneficial practices that we can incorporate into our lives. The list of benefits is long and touches on almost every area of our lives.
In my last post – Top 5 Ways to Simplify Your Life – I mentioned that meditation is one of the best ways to simplify your life. I also said I would do an entire post on meditation…because it is such an important subject. Well, I decided that it is so important that I should do the post sooner than later.
This post will include some basic information about meditation and its benefits, and I will include some resources that will help to get you started, if you are new to the practice.
What is Meditation?
Meditation has many definitions, depending on the source. Everyone seems to want to put their own stamp on it, but for the purpose of this post, we will just consider meditation to be a state of deep peace that is experienced when the mind is calm or silent, yet alert and aware. It truly is that simple.
Meditation is simple to practice, and it does not need to be practiced for extended periods…it can be as short as 5-15 minutes a day. During the practice, one calms or quiets one’s mind. This is where it becomes “practice.” Although quieting the mind is a simple thing to do…it is one of the most difficult things that we can try to do. Once again we run into on of life’s truths, simple does not equate to easy.
In our everyday lives we are rarely without thoughts running through our minds. We seem to need to constantly fill our minds with some thoughts. Although some feel that meditation should empty our minds of thoughts, I feel that it is more like just quieting the mind, observing the thoughts and letting them go.
Benefits of Meditation
There are so many benefits to meditation that I cannot presume to list them here. Instead, I will let you know the areas in which you can expect to receive benefits, and a few of the specific benefits in that area. From there you can explore. There is a plethora of information on the benefits of meditation out there on the World Wide Web.
- Lower your heart rate
- Allow you to relax more deeply
- Enhance your immune system
- Reduce tension and anxiety
- Build self confidence
- Improve learning and memory
- Increase emotional stability
- Develop intuition
- Improve relationships
- Develop will-power
- Help you keep things in perspective
- Change your attitude toward life
- Increase your capacity for love
- Bring wisdom
- Increase self-acceptance
These are just a few of the benefits. I encourage you to explore further…there are so many benefits that you will be awed.
Again, there are many, many, many resources for meditation on the World Wide Web. They come in all shapes, sizes, and types. There are books, ebooks, websites, programs, applications, and just about anything else you can think of. Some of these resources are free, and some you will have to pay for.
I have listed a few here, just to get you started. I hope you enjoy them. One thing to keep in mind is that meditation is simple. Each of these resources is just trying to help you learn to meditate…but you need to pick and choose…and most importantly, be easy about it…don’t stress. There is no “wrong” way to meditate, but there may be ways that are more effective for you than others.
How To Meditate (http://www.how-to-meditate.org/) - This is a clear and concise little website that really helps to understand the basics. The site is Buddhist focused, but, even if you don’t like the Buddhist philosophy or are unsure about it, the information here is still valid and well worth reviewing.
How To Meditate (http://www.wikihow.com/Meditate) - This site contains some basics that are well worth reading. It explains the process of meditation in a clear manner that is easy to read.
This is one of my favorite books. I think it has the clearest explanation of meditation and has a wonderful approach to it. Well worth the read. Be aware, this book is merely 30 pages long…I told you that meditation is simple!
This is a great little Kindle read. It is only 27 pages long and is written with the beginner in mind. If you feel that you aren’t sure about meditation and want to try it, follow this book. It breaks it down into easy to follow steps…extremely readable…invaluable.
So there you have it…my take on the practice of meditation. I find that there are almost unlimited benefits to the practice, and I have yet to come across any dangers or counter-productive elements to it. It is a total win.
I look forward to hearing your comments. Share your meditation experience with the community by leaving a comment.