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The Benefits Of Meditation - Part One

At time of writing I have meditated around 800 days in a row. I will be honest and say that when I first started I did struggle with it but I’m glad I pursued it. Although some people when they meet me don’t think I meditate because I’m quite hyperactive, or I get annoyed about things, the truth is that I know what I was like before I meditated! This will be a two part blog. In this first part I will write about what meditation isn’t and what meditation is (or can be). In part two I’ll write about some of the benefits I’ve found from meditating regularly.

What Meditation Isn’t

First of all let me just point out what meditation isn’t.

  • It isn’t where you switch off your mind - if your mind switches off, you’re dead.

  • It isn’t something that only religious people can use - anyone and everyone can use it.

  • It isn’t some out there thing where you have to sit crosslegged and go “ohm” - you can do that if you want to and there are benefits from doing so. However, that is only one of many forms of meditation.

  • It isn’t magic - though mediation can produce magic results, it’s not magic itself.

  • It isn’t all about incense and whale song - whilst these can help enhance your experience they aren’t necessary. Any relaxing sound or music can help, and silence is good too. As for smells, if you find a particular scent relaxing of course you can use it, but it’s not compulsory.

  • It doesn’t have to be all about guided meditations. I love using guided meditations and have written a couple myself (buy them here) - but focussing on your breathing and not actively thinking about things is a hugely useful form of meditation. In fact, I enjoy sitting still for a few minutes when I’m out walking. I’ll sit on a tree stump, take a few deep breaths, then close my eyes and focus on my breathing.

  • It isn’t about becoming a new improved person - though this can of course happen.

  • It isn’t about switching off feelings.

  • It isn’t about shutting out the world - unless you have access to a sensory depravation tank you will always get distractions (even with headphones on).

What Meditation Is

Here are some of the things meditation is.

  • Meditation is a practise - it’s not about attaining perfection.

  • Meditation is a series of techniques - there are many different techniques you can use, it’s about finding what works for you.

  • Meditation is a way of increasing your awareness…

  • Meditation is also a way of getting a sense of perspective.

  • Meditation is about observing without judgement - as I stated above, it’s not about turning off your feelings. You observe your feelings but you don’t judge them (as good or bad), they simply are. Same goes for distractions.

  • Meditation is a skill - and like all skills it takes time to develop and improve.

  • Meditation is for you - it is an opportunity to take time out just for you.

  • Meditation is a way to nourish the mind.

  • Meditation is relaxing

  • Meditation is positive

  • Meditation is stabilising

There are many more things that meditation is but the best way to find out is by doing it. In the next blog I’ll write about the benefits I’ve gained from meditating daily.

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