Meditation and Mindfulness
What is Meditation?
Meditation is an excellent way to learn to relax and to pay attention. Focusing on the body and muscles relaxes the body, and the act of focusing calms the mind. It is a discipline that involves turning the mind and attention inward and focusing on a single thought, image, object or feeling. Years ago meditation was understood as some type of spiritual practice whereby one sits down, eyes closed and empties the mind to attain inner peace, relaxation or even a divine experience. It wasn’t something that interested modern people and modern society, but now it has become very popular with all types of people. Scientific and medical evidence has proved its benefits, but there is still room for more understanding.
What is Mindfulness?
Mindfulness is the practice of living in the now… paying attention to now! It is a mental state that is achieved by focusing one’s attention on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging our feelings, thoughts and sensations without judgement. It all started with the Buddha and the Eightfold Path of Buddhism. “Right Mindfulness” is the seventh path of the Eightfold Path of Buddhism.
Mindfulness helps keep us anchored in the present, with proper intention, effort, and mindfulness, you can train yourself to be present, and deal with whatever arises calmly.. Meditation is the resource to develop mindfulness. As you develop mindfulness through the practice of meditation, you become mindful in your daily life.
The number one purpose of meditation is to practice living in the here and now. Most of us tend to live with our thoughts in the future and/or in the past. Both seem to be a better option than the present. We struggle with the idea of living in each moment as it transpires. This very moment is the only place we can be… but of course each moment is changing by the moment. We should be living for, and in the present moment while looking into the future… Instead we live for what we hope for in the future, while disliking the now. Through meditation, the peace and calm will emerge. The catch is….. One must PRACTICE!!!!!
It is most important to transfer the effects of the peace and calmness you will achieve through
the practice of meditation into your everyday life. Through the practice of meditation you will enter trance like states. Some of these trance states will be deep and some will be light. This will depend on your level of experience and the amount of practice you put in. It is in these states where you will truly understand who you are.
Our intuition and our feelings are our guides and indicators. Learn to listen to them, trust them and learn to use them. We have no control over the unexpected things that life sends our way… or the emotions that come through, but what we do have control over is how we handle, respond and react to situations and our emotions. How we choose to react to the emotions that come through will determine outcomes. And we are able to choose because we are beings of choice. So choose to commence the practice of the art of silence, and start consciously using the gift of choice. Choose to move forward in a positive way. Choose to live by choice and not by chance!
If my words resonate with you!!! If they make you feeeelll… if they excite you, make you feel a little lighter, a little happier, a little nervous, give you a little glimmer of hope, put a little grin on your face, then The Meditation Centre is for you and you are most welcome.
Meditation has been scientifically proven to help reduce stress. Multiple studies have shown that meditation improves:
- increases one’s ability to cope with demands of everyday life
- increase the ability to multitask
- increases focus and attention
- improves ability to think creatively
The Meditation Centre is passionate about helping people make meditation a daily practice and a lifestyle change. The practice and the journey of meditation are unique to each individual and are very personal. We all have our own reasons for wanting to learn to meditate. Know that your reason is perfect for you. Each of our perceptions, view and opinions is valid for each individual… It is a very personal and profound journey. It is a journey which must be experienced and felt!
By turning meditation into a regular practice, a life style, it is very likely that you will become much more relaxed. You’ll find that you are able to address most of what life throws your way calmly.
Through the practice of meditation, you will feel a sense of calm, peace and oneness. Some of the benefits you will get out of regular meditation are:
- Better focus
- Reduce stress and anxiety
- Learn to observe your thoughts
- Become the master of your mind and not the other way around
- Better sleep
- Feelings of inner peace
- Improved concentration
- Improved memory
Mindfulness Meditation is a western, secular, research-based form of meditation derived from a Buddhist form of meditation that is thousands of years old. It is a type of meditation that improves the skill of paying attention to our inner and outer experiences with acceptance, patience, non-judgement and compassion.
The University of California Center for Mindfulness defines Mindfulness Meditation this way: “Mindfulness is a quality, which human beings already have, but they have usually not been advised that they have it, that it is valuable, or that it can be cultivated. Mindfulness is the awareness that is not thinking but which is aware of thinking, as well as aware of each of the other ways we experience the sensory world, i.e., seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling, feeling through the body.
“Mindfulness is non-judgmental, open-hearted, friendly, and inviting of whatever arises in awareness. It is cultivated by paying attention on purpose, deeply, and without judgment to whatever arises in the present moment, either inside or outside of us. By intentionally practicing mindfulness, deliberately paying more careful moment-to-moment attention, individuals can live more fully and less on ‘automatic pilot,’ thus, being more present for their own lives.”
Here’s a great article about mindfulness meditation from Gill Crossland-Thackray who’s a journalist at The Guardian and trains in mindfulness and is a business psychologist, lecturer and consultant with a passion for neuro psychology and performance