Most people know how to look after their body. The practice of eating well and exercise might be difficult but we all know how to do it in theory. But how do you get your mind into shape? One in four people will suffer with mental health issues.
Meditation can focus and quiet your mind enabling you to gain inner calm. Neurologists have found that regular meditation actually changes your brain in ways that can help you to control emotions, enhance concentration, decrease stress, and even become more connected to those around you. It takes practice but you can achieve a sense of tranquility and peace no matter what’s going on around you.
The ultimate goal of meditation is to transcend the mind and experience directly the Oneness of the Universe. An experience that is difficult to describe in words. People describe it as Enlightenment, Ananda, Self-Realization, Oneness with God, a state of Grace, peace, happiness, bliss.
People meditate for years and never achieve true enlightenment. The ultimate goal is not important, the practice of meditation is. It’s the journey and not the destination that is important. The practice of meditation allows you to rest your mind, attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state. With regular practice a complete beginner can feel the benefit quickly.
The part of the mind that dreams and sleeps—the vast realm of the unconscious which is the reservoir of all our experiences—remains unknown and under developed. Except for the practice of meditation, there is no method to truly develop control over the totality of the mind.
Practicing meditation can reduce stress and anxiety. You can understand yourself better, use your full potential, feel calmer and more connected.
Meditation is very simple, it is paying attention. You use your mind to focus your attention on one thing.
Your mind, in a normal state, has any number of thoughts speeding in and out all begging for your attention. If you are in an anxious state of mind then more thoughts race in and out, leaving you with a sense of being overwhelmed. To meditate is to calm the mind. To calm your mind, you narrow down your attention. Instead of fleeting from thought to thought, going round and round in circles. You focus your attention on one thing.
Meditation is not about clearing your mind of all thoughts and trying to think about nothing. It is calming your thought processes and practicing focusing your attention one on thing.
When you practice meditating and focus your attention on one thing your mind will wander. Without realising at first you will suddenly become aware that you have stop focusing and are have been thinking about what is for lunch, or what work you need to do or any number of thoughts. Meditation is learning how to calm your mind. Learning how to focus your attention. It is a learning process, every time you find your mind has wandered, simply return to whatever it was you were focusing on. Do not kick yourself for making a mistake. Do not try harder you stop your mind from wandering. There is no need to judge yourself every time your mind wanders. Just accept it and return you attention to your object of focus.
Every time you practice meditation your mind will wander. Every time your mind wanders you will learn how to focus your attention. You do not need to judge your progress, it will only slow down the learning process.