Meditation is a real buzzword at the moment and you may have wondered what it’s all about and whether it’s for you?
I am writing this in the hope that I can help you understand a little more about how meditation can become a real and useful tool in your life kit, which will enhance your well being on all levels; physically, emotionally and spiritually.
It really is wonderfully life enhancing and this has certainly been the case for me.
I got ‘in to’ meditation as a result of becoming a Holistic Therapist. I realised that people would often come to me for massages filled with tension in their muscles and bodies due to their stressful lifestyles and habits. I noticed, that massage therapy would initially make them feel much better, but after a while the body would once again return to a default state of absolute tension. And so the cycle would continue in that a client would continue to amass their life stresses into their muscles and, as their therapist, I would absolve to rid them of it.
I realised that I needed to share my own experiences with meditation in an attempt to assist my clients and help them to help themselves.
So, I began introducing a simple relaxation exercise at the beginning of each massage to imbibe some mind calm. The brain can become like a tightly coiled ball of string and sometimes needs a little encouragement to unravel. Once unravelled, this then encourages the body and the muscles to follow.
Massage becomes more effective and deeper on all levels.
It occurred to me that perhaps I should learn to teach meditation.
Nervously, I ran my first ‘Introduction to Meditation’ course over a period of 5 weeks in my local church hall and was amazed to have a dozen participants. It was their experiences and feedback that has really encouraged me to keep going. It was amazing for me to see how each person could grow and benefit from this and although everyone had their own unique experiences, there was no doubt in all of our minds that we were all feeling –
What is Meditation?
It’s mind calm, really. It’s reaching a point of your awareness that’s free of everyday thoughts by creating the time and the opportunity to do so. It does take patience, particularly at first, but it is something that is well worth working on to achieve this uninterrupted level of awareness. Your brain is a muscle and, in order to fully let go of the never ending ‘mind babble’, it needs to be strengthened and taught how to do so.
To get the best results, you need to start your meditation practice by relaxing your body in a suitable environment; one that is free of interruptions e.g. no phones, no TV, no arguing children!
Once you have some experience…you can mediate anywhere!
I have even done it for short periods on the Tube or train. The idea being that in a busy crowded situation, meditation will recentre and ground me.
Meditation usually starts with breath work. Breathing correctly is so important and is really the first step in the letting go and relaxation process. Suitable music can help and there are certain types of music, or particular tracks, that work better with this.
You can also use chanting, as the rhythm of quiet, repetitive chanting is soothing and can override an overthinking mind. Guided meditation with a teacher or using an app or CD is a great way to begin. With regular, daily practice you will look forward to your Meditation sessions…I promise!
What are the benefits of meditation?
Physically, meditating helps slow down our electrical brain waves and it is this which creates gaps between our thoughts. Don’t underestimate the power of those gaps; they are necessary spaces that are essential for optimum creativity and inspiration. Meditation also lowers the ‘fight or flight’ hormones, such as adrenaline, and allows the feel good endorphin hormones to take their place instead. This results in the physiological effect of lower respiration, blood pressure and heart rate and relieves tension in our body as the muscles relax.
Meditation also enables us to connect with our more spiritual side and to see the world around us more clearly and compassionately. It can really help you transform your outlook on life to a more appreciative and positive one.
If you intend to start a regular mediation practice, it is a good idea to create a special place in you home. If you would like some help and advice on how to do this I recommend contacting me about the meditation courses I run, as this is something I cover within the course and I have plenty of tips to share with you.
“I’m too busy to meditate how can I fit it into my schedule?”
I personally, as I’m sure is the case for many of you, don’t have the time to be sick, so I prefer to take the time to be healthy, which makes meditation an absolute priority for me. How can you fit it in? Simple changes like, getting up earlier or going to bed later, or putting your electronic equipment to one side for once. How often do we waste our precious spare minutes drifting along on the tide of social networking?
It’s difficult to override a lifetime of aimless thinking and disconnected thoughts, but it’s not impossible. You must remind yourself that you are retraining your brain to ignore these haphazard thoughts. Don’t beat yourself up if thoughts creep in during the quiet of meditation. There is no doubt they will. The important thing is to notice them, let them go and then refocus your attention on clearing the mind space.
I have come to the conclusion that my clients mostly want love, happiness and peace in their lives. These life qualities are what I truly feel brings us joy as human beings. Through the practice of meditation we can move forward in letting go of the negative and embrace more positive thoughts and feelings by tuning into the inner us; our real feelings and not what we are bombarded with every day via the media.
I hope that one day meditation will be on the curriculum and already trials and studies in schools have proved how beneficial and positive this practice can be to children’s learning and behaviour.
So, go on give it a try.
What do you have to lose?
Just the mind babble…and who needs that?
I hope this article inspires you to begin your meditation journey and to follow your path to feeling happier.
Helen Adams is a former Nurse and is now retrained as a Holistic Therapist (a therapy that treats the whole person, not just the symptom), Reiki Master and Meditation Teacher.
Helen offers daytime and evening introductory Meditation courses, which run for 5 weeks, in Greatham and Petersfield, Hampshire. As well as this she also offers Create and Meditate sessions where you can get creative and try Relaxation Meditations in an informal setting.
Helen, along with other talented therapists, will be running a three day ‘Divinely You’ retreat in September 2016 at Park Place Pastoral Retreat in Wickham, Hampshire, which will showcase lots of different meditation.
On Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
By Phone: 07749574681
Via her Website: www.petersfieldmassage.co.uk
Via her Facebook page: Petersfield Massage