Are you feeling insecure, anxious and/or depressed over the current state of our world? In times of chaos and uncertainty, one of the best skills that you can hone is the art of meditation.
For those who are unfamiliar with meditation, this can seem like a daunting practice; especially if you are already overwhelmed by your own thoughts. However, meditation can offer many benefits and is particularly useful if you are feeling like a prisoner within your own mind.
Meditation brings you into the present moment; it sharpens your concentration and awareness. Meditation can also offer a natural form of healing and there are several tools available that make meditation for beginners accessible and enjoyable.
During this period of enforced isolation and physical distancing, you can’t escape by going outside-but you can travel inward. As travel journalist Nel-Olivia Waga writes “…Meditation has allowed me to escape all kinds of situations, and go on my personal mini vacation, my safe space, for a few minutes to regenerate and to balance my mind.”
1. The Importance of the Present Moment
Proper meditation can bring you into the present moment by allowing you to focus on what is happening right now. But why is this important?
The present is the only moment that actually exists; the past has since ceased to be and the future is only a prediction, constructed by our minds. When we live outside of the present moment, we reside within a space of worry, regret and unsubstantiated guesstimates.
As world renowned author Eckhart Tolle states “You are not your thoughts. You are the space for your thoughts.” You as a Higher Being, exist separately from your mind.
In times of difficulty, it is especially important to remain within reality. The present is the only moment that we can control; the practice of meditation will help bring you there and will help to keep you there.
2. Focusing On The Breath
There is a widely held misconception that meditation involves silencing the mind; removing all thoughts from your head. This, in fact, is impossible because if you are alive, your brain is active.
Meditation in action is actually about cultivating a deep sense of self-awareness and maintaining the ability to focus. One common method is to turn your attention to the rhythm of your natural breath.
While you are breathing, you will still be thinking; that is a perfectly normal brain function. But because you are separate from your mind, you possess the ability to move away from your own thoughts and to shine the spotlight on your breathing instead.
When you meditate on your breathing, you are focusing on something that is consistent and natural within you. There are sensations that you can concentrate on; the temperature of your breath, the sound it makes and the rise and fall of your chest.
You can monitor your breath as it is or you can manipulate your breath in such a way as to bring more energy and/or a deeper sense of relaxation to your practice. For example, Prana meditation is a particular method that combines both breath-work and meditation.
It’s important to remember that no matter how hard you focus your attention, thoughts will still travel into your mind. The key (and the part that many people find challenging) is to accept this as the reality and to avoid being consumed by your thoughts; instead, turn your awareness back to the natural rhythm of your breath.
3. Free Guided Meditation
If you are new to the practice of meditation, you may find it easier to enlist in the help of a meditation coach or to explore meditation classes online. There are also many phone apps available that offer free meditation exercises.
An experienced meditation teacher can offer insight and guidance as you begin your meditation journey. However, there are a few key points to look for, when considering the help of a teacher.
Certification and training
A teacher who practices daily meditation
Someone that you connect with
A teacher that is versed in various styles
Someone who inspires and encourages you.
In this digital age and especially during a time of enforced, physical distancing, free online meditation has become widely available. There are multiple tools that you can use to strengthen your practice as well as to help dispel the mystery around what meditation is.
If you prefer to use your Smart phone, consider exploring these free, meditation apps
Stop, Breath, Think
Opening yourself up to the teachings of meditation can be truly enlightening. Learning with a coach or via meditation programs online can also offer a deeper and more connective experience.
4. A Natural Form Of Healing
Meditation can offer relief from depression and anxiety, which is perpetuated by worries of the unknown. You can also use meditation as a way to develop patience within yourself; thus, it is a form of self-care.
Whenever you start to feel overwhelmed by your thoughts, you can turn inward, bringing your attention back to the present moment. It is within this moment that you will find inner peace and a more grounded sense of reality as it truly is.
You can also self-soothe by implementing kindness into your practice. When your mind starts to wander off into a dark place, gently bring your awareness back to the breath.
Treat your thoughts with tender care; meditation is not using aggression to force yourself into a particular state. Instead, use compassion and self-love to bring yourself into a place of healing.
The teachings of meditation can help you to build a foundation of security and empowerment. In turning inward, you can establish a new reality through connection to the present moment.
Even during a time of isolation, there are multiple tools available, such as meditation lessons online, that will help to support your practice. Give yourself the gift of serenity by conditioning your mind and your breath through the ancient art of meditation.
Want to work with us? Check out our meditation coaching program that will change your life for the better.