For the 4th article in my series of contributions, the lovely Calumn has challenged me to write on Meditation as this months subject to explore.
So, with timely contemplation, alert stillness, as calm as a lake, follow this insight and create your own meditative practise that will reap the benefits that meditation can bring, senses of realisation, wonder and perhaps even a mental, emotional and physical transformation.
So what exactly is a meditation? From my own experience it's a time set aside just to be present with myself and all that is. It starts with an intention, say intending to sit in meditation for 10 minutes paying attention to my breath, trying to be centred with those 10 minutes, if and when I see myself straying from the intention I come back, and on it's completion of the intention I still myself to reflect. Mindfulness is making everything a meditation, a practise that you can weave into your life to become more conscious. Whereas you can also have a an occasional time set aside to just sit or lay, to be aware of breath and sensations and check in with yourself, to authentically see how you are.
Here are 5 pointers of how I've learned to incorporate a meditative practise into my daily life, pick and choose what might benefit you.
1. Observe the 5 Elements of earth, fire, water, air and space, and question, is your internal and external environment integrating them? Are you comfortable and at ease? What could you do to be more comfortable? Are you warm enough? Is there anything you need to eat, drink or eliminate? How is your breathing at this moment? And what were you dreaming about in between these lines? Awareness is what meditation aims for.
2. If you are attempting a sitting meditation, pay attention to the straightness of your back, your tongue on the roof of your mouth, chin slightly tucked and hands either on your knees or palms facing up and centred. This position is designed to keep your energy contained and freely flowing.
3. Remember that mindfulness runs along the same lines as meditation, and can be done alongside just about anything, walking, eating, cycling, taking a shower... Everything you think, say and do matter, so remind yourself by coming back to your intention, to partake in only what promotes that intention. By doing any form of active or passive meditation you can realise what truly matters to you.
4. Try practise only one thing at any one given time to enhance your focus and give whatever it is your doing your best shot. This could be as simple staying silent and cutting out, needless conversation. Pro actively dealing with any kind of resistance or distraction that is taking away from your intention will lead to better success.
5. Forgive yourself and smile. Just being there, positioned in a way that can be sustained for a lengthy time, loose and relaxed working on your self awareness may be a challenge at the best of times. Thoughts, emotions and sensations may arise and sway you, assure yourself they will also pass. This is all part of the cultivation of compassion for yourself and for others, suffering will come but will also go, being present, seeking to understand will make it easier. The fact that you've showed up, taken steps, read this far, needs your gratitude.
And how long should you meditate for Calumn asked me. Well that all depends on how much time you can spare for it, so a good survey and assessment of where your time is going and where it can be saved needs to be done. Starting with a minimum of a few committed minutes and seeing how you feel, naturally you may start to realise the benefits and eliminate the things that would allow more time for it. The most important is that to whichever degree, you've got yourself centred, more aware and stronger in the process.
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My name is Calumn, founder of CD Fitness Coaching. You’ll find me in and around the gym and helping like minded people get the results they deserve. I enjoy everything from keeping fit, yoga, snowboarding, coffee and making people happy. If you would like to be a part of the bigger community join my Facebook group, Healthy Living With CD Fitness Coaching is a must.