Recently I’ve been following a webinar about meditation that is very inspiring. I’ve often wondered why it is so hard for me personally to take the time to sit down and meditate. It’s as if my mind resists meditation even though I know it is good for me.
The benefits of meditating regularly are well known
- helps keep you stress-free
- reduces ageing
- helps you appreciate life more
- helps you feel more connected
- increases your attention span
- increases your immune system
- improves your metabolism
- helps you have better sleep
- improves the functioning of your brain
- makes you happier
So why is it so hard to take the time to do something so obviously beneficial to one’s health?
Well, I think one part of it is that our brain has grown accustomed to having lots of meaningless and random thoughts constantly swirling around. In a way, it finds a certain reassurance to this constant thinking process, even though it can be quite detrimental to our over-all health. Another part is that meditation’s ultimate goal is to calm the mind in order to rid oneself of the I-thought or the ego. The power of meditation is the self-realization that we are not really the one thinking the thoughts. We are just there to observe the thoughts as they come and go. How can someone be the observer and the observed at the same time?
Here is a simple form of meditation that I learned recently from a man named Robert Doane that I would like to share with you.
- sit comfortably
- close your eyes
- breathe in and out
- after about twenty seconds start thinking the word ‘I’ slowly over and over
- That’s it!
It won’t take long before your brain starts thinking this thought or that thought. That’s okay. Accept it. When you realize that you have stopped thinking the word ‘I’, just gently return to the word until thoughts creep in again. Over and over, return to the word ‘I’. Do the meditation for about thirty minutes in the morning and the evening. You will see that it brings deep and profound relaxation.
The use of the word ‘I’ as a sort of mantra is interesting. The idea is to slowly break the spell of the I-thoughts. It helps us to realize that the vast amount of thoughts our brain produces is just brain-chatter. They are meaningless bits of memories or fantasies that really have no relevance in our lives.
By meditating regularly one can realize all the benefits of meditation, but it does take a certain amount of will-power in order to create the habit. Most people exercise to help improve their physical body, it is time we exercise our minds as well.