What is Meditation?
The practice of meditation is at the heart of any spiritual practice. When we meditate, we drift into a deeper state of consciousness and ultimately relaxation. Some say that the purpose of meditation is to discover one’s self, or connect with god. Epistemologically, ‘med’ means to heal, as in ‘medicine’. When we meditate, we are healing “ourselves”.
At its heart, when we meditate, we are truly taking time out for ourselves: to find our centre, organise our thoughts, and slow the mind down. Buddhists refer to the mind as a “monkey mind” – constantly jumping from thought to thought, sometimes in a very frantic manner – we’ve all been there. By meditating, we can control our minds, to the point where there is simply a state of being. That state may only be momentary, but each time in our meditation we draw our mind back to our single point of concentration, we are training the mind to be calmer, and stiller. In the end, our inner state will manifest itself in our outside world – like a mirror. There are many different styles of meditation – Transcendental Meditation (or ‘TM’), mindfulness, visualisation etc… See what works for you, and stick with it.
What are the benefits of Meditation?
Meditation has been scientifically shown to reduce blood pressure, improve concentration and attention, help break addictions, relieve stress, anxiety and depression and last, but not least, it has been shown to have an ‘anti-aging’ effects upon the brain! Last, but not least, it brings us back to the present moment, helping us be more grounded and calm.
For more information, this article by Forbes magazine, is a worth a read. For busy city workers, just taking 10 minutes or so out of your day to meditate, either before work or after, can really make a difference if done as part of a regular routine.