Why meditate? (And why I ask my clients to do so.)
I was thinking the other day that I suspect that meditation can seem daunting and/or pointless to some people. Actually, I dont suspect it, I know it. Ive heard more than one person say they get bored, they cant stop thinking, they cant sit still, etc.
I totally agree with them. All of its true (for everyone, at least sometimes). But there is more to the story.
Even if (okay, when) we are bored and fidgety, with a cascade of unrelenting thoughts, meditation (or some form of doing nothing) is beneficial. It creates in us the three cs: calm, clear, and connected. The three cs are the basis for happiness, in this very moment.
People who meditate are shown to activate a different part of their brain that is associated with less anxiety and a better outlook on life. By not activating the anxious brain, our bodies are less likely to be tense, ready to fight paper tigers. This state of calm and subsequent body relaxation often leads to a decrease in physical pain, if you are experiencing any.
Mental clarity is such a beautiful thing. A regular meditation practice (especially a mindfulness practice) teaches us how to pay attention, right now, to what is in front of us. Instead of having thoughts about the past, or the future, we are here. Being calm and in the moment, leads us to make better decisions, based on the reality of the situation at hand. This clear mind also allows us to identify thoughts and beliefs that are causing us pain.
When we meditate, we access a part of ourselves that is beyond our thoughts. There is a part of us that is still and all-knowing. When we meditate, and we practice watching our thoughts, who is watching? Hmmmm. in eastern philosophy, this is referred to as the watcher. I like to call this place your inner guru. Meditation teaches us to access this place of wisdom and knowing. Over time, we are more connected to that place. This part of ourselves leads us to our best life, to the best choices, to the best experiences. To be connected to our inner guru is a priceless gift we give ourselves.
I encourage everyone to take at least 10 minutes per day to do nothing. Be it walking meditation, sitting and staring at a wall, chanting, breathing, mindful meditation. there really is something for every temperament. I do it, and ask my clients to do the same, because any personal development work that we wish to do is enhanced and made easier by the art of doing nothing (aka; meditation).
It is so much fun to have a group to do nothing with! If you are a long-time meditation practicioner or a newbie, I am hosting a free, 45 minute call each month to answer questions and to lead a practice of doing nothing. The first call is coming right up Thursday, in fact (6am PST/9am EST).
If you are interested in developing a strong personal practice of doing nothing, you might enjoy the upcoming 6-week telecourse, More Happy, Less Stress. You will learn 4 different variations on meditation, there will be a led practice each week, you will have weekly do-nothing assignments, have access to a private social network of people who are also developing their practice, and, you can ask questions Ill be there to answer. Check it out, see if it appeals to you. Its going to be fun and I hope youll join in!
But really, I hope you will join in the free, monthly call. See you Thursday on the call!
Photo courtesy of Permanently Scatterbrained via Flickr under creative commons license.
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