It is a practice which is independent of any religious belief and an integral part of daily life for many practitioners.
Our lives are dictated by material pursuits and we are on a treadmill of financial fulfilment. We are so busy with our digital lives and social media that we have neglected the need to be spiritually abundant. Financial comfort and personal pleasure are important, however, in themselves, without a spiritual anchor they are empty and meaningless.
I have been asked countless times what meditation consists of and how to go about doing it. In itself, meditation is such an expansive subject that it is not possible to go into great detail in a short post.
What I can say is that regular practice will profoundly change your life.
How can it do this? Well, it changes the chemicals in the brain and how the brain functions. Meditation helps to shift negative emotions like anger, fear and self doubt into more positive and stable ones. It increases self worth and confidence and promotes a more compassionate nature. It calms the mind and helps you connect with your higher self. Whilst it may not change your immediate challenges, it certainly changes your attitude to them. Surely that, in itself, is a miracle.
Meditation not only enriches our emotional and spiritual wellbeing but it has a significant impact on our physical health. Mainstream universities, Harvard included, and the health system in many countries have shown a great interest in meditation and conducted research into the changes meditation can bring.
They have shown that meditation can:
- Boost your immune system by reducing the stress hormone cortisol,
- Lower stress and anxiety levels balancing the bodies neuro-chemical system,
- Decrease levels of depression,
- Physiologically heal the body by stimulating your nervous system, allowing your body to naturally rejuvenate, repair and rebuild itself,
- Clear the mind for better quality sleep.
It is important to clarify there is no single way to meditate. There are many forms of meditation.
For the sake of simplicity and to assist beginners, I have created an easy 3-minute guided meditation which is suitable for children and adults. It requires no fancy tools, just a personal promise to practice it on a daily basis for the best and long lasting results.
In order to experience the benefits mentioned above, it is important to calm and relax the mind. If your mind is flooded with thoughts, let them pass and know that with practice the thoughts will occur less. Try to bring your focus back to your breath if your mind wanders.
I welcome you to commit to an 11 day meditation challenge starting on 3rd February. Once you have successfully completed the 11 days please try to make it a part of your daily routine and build up the time from 3 minutes to 11 minutes.