Do you want a bit of calm and inner peace from the hustle and bustle of today’s busy life?
That’s where meditation can help enormously. It basically focuses your attention and helps you to be conscious of what’s going on in your head (mindfulness) rather than being on auto-pilot. Some of the benefits are;
- Dissolves unwanted thoughts
- Brings calm to any situation
- Relaxes and strengthens your body and mind
- Makes you feel happier and more content
- Helps with depression and anxiety
- Helps you create more purpose in your life
- Improves self-confidence
- Improves memory
- Keeps your energy positive and constant
- Focuses your creative energy to attract the things you want into your life
Meditation also helps you turn around negative thinking habits, so for instance instead of saying to yourself; ‘I look fat today’, you will say; ‘I’m going to eat less and move more!’ You will noticeably pay more attention to what you’re thinking about and act on those thoughts.
When and where can I meditate?
You can plan to set aside an hour or do a spontaneous five minutes to feel the benefits. And the even better news is, you can do it almost anywhere!
You can do it in the shower, while you’re stuck in traffic, when you’re queuing in the supermarket, walking, during your lunch hour, before bed…the list is endless. Find the time of day that suits you and don’t deny yourself opportunities to meditate because you think you can’t find the perfect time or place.
How to meditate
There are no rules except to relax and be comfortable. Posture is also important when meditating. An incorrect one could cause pain and distraction.
The ideal posture we use during Buddhist meditation is called the ‘Seven Point Posture’. Here we take you through it step by step. Remember, meditation is a wonderful practice, but can prove difficult to start with so be patient, practise regularly and you will be amazed by the results!
The Seven Point Posture
1. Sit with legs crossed or sit on a chair
You should be relaxed but upright. Usually a cushion is used directly under the spine. You should be solid and unmovable like a mountain at ease with oneself. There should be a slight tilt forward until you feel comfortable.
2. Sit with a straight but relaxed spine
It is said that the spine should be as straight as an arrow. It may help to imagine a pole from the base of the spine to the top of the head the pole can be made of light or like a stack of coins.
They should be relaxed, rounded and open like wings. Elbows should be away from the body. This allows the chest to open and allows the breath to flow easier.
Draw it in slightly. The head remains in line with the straight spine and balances comfortably on the neck.
These should be in the resting ‘Mudra’. Right hand sits on top of the left palm with the thumbs touching. Mudra means seal, mark or gesture. The Mudra locks in or seals the energy flowing around the body. Lower arms should be relaxed with no tension. The hands rest in the lap just below the naval.
6. The Tongue
Place lightly against the top palate just behind the front teeth. Your mouth should be relaxed. Breath through your nose.
They should be downward gazing along the tip of the nose. Closed just enough to let in the light. Defocus and let the muscles either side of the eyes relax. At first you may benefit from closing the eyes and focusing within. Once you feel calm open the eyes.