Exhaustive research conducted over the last couple of years has shown that meditation is an excellent antidote against stress, hyperactivity, and fear related themes. It has been found to increase your energy, as well as lower blood pressure and heart rate. Meditation can also be used as a successful tool to accompany many medical, psychological and alternative healing therapies. Last, but certainly not least, for centuries, people like you and me have been using the art of meditation to control the mind-chatter that so often interferes with our connection to inner peace and the energy of the Divine Being that we are. So the question is, if meditation can do all of this and more, how is it that so many of us can't seem to do it!? To get the answer, let's explore all of this a bit further.
The definition of meditation is almost as broad as are the numerous ways you can choose to experience the process. I have found that the best way to define it is as follows; simply stated, meditation is what happens between your thoughts.
Think about that for a minute. If you choose to read many of the hundreds of books written about meditation, most will tell you that unless you can control the oftentimes overactive thought process, then the peaceful energy of meditation will elude you. As a matter of fact, many state that one of the most common obstacles to experiencing a true meditative state is mind-chatter/thought interference that all too often can occur moments after one attempts to enter a period of meditation.
So what to do? First, it's important to note that we meditate more often than we consciously realize. The energetic state of meditation is something that we engage in many times each and everyday. Anytime you are focused on one thing and remain focused on that one thing without thoughts of the past or the future, that can be said to be a meditative state. It is the peace that can be felt walking along the beach, hiking through the mountains, or jogging. The joy of hearing a beautiful piece of music, playing an instrument, even brushing your teeth can be said to be a mindful meditation because you are focused on one thing and while this occurs, there are no distracting thoughts present. When you are totally based in the present moment, then you are actively involved in the energy of meditation.
But how easy is it to stay totally anchored in the present moment with no thought interference? Not very, it would seem, since this phenomenon is said to be the number one pitfall to successful meditation. So what is mind-chatter anyway? Many believe the phenomenon of mind chatter, described as a constant battery of inner thoughts, effectively keeps us out of the present moment and is closely associated to the energy of our ego.
Try this for a moment; close your eyes and see how long you can stay totally within the energy of the present moment with no mind-chatter interference at all. Most of us won't be able to go too long without some thoughts coming in to cloud the picture. If you are the energy of the clear great vast blue sky, then it would only seem logical that at some point, a cloud, or series of clouds, might pass through to cloud up your particular sky.
If mind-chatter can be thought of as clouds, the important thing to remember is that the clouds will pass through, if you don't hold onto them! This means that thought interference is not a bad thing. It is not something that needs to be repressed or stomped out. It simply needs to be put in its proper place. All too often we have honored our ego's mind-chatter to the point where we think that is all we are. If you buy into your ego's chatter, if you zero onto a cloud that wants to pass through your clear blue sky reality, then you have let your mind-chatter go too far. Don't let your ego do everything it thinks it should do! You are in control here, not it! In giving into the energy of thought interference, you could very well be blocking the energy of your True Self, your Spirit Self, the You that is so much more than your thoughts or your physical body. To fully realize the Sovereign Being that you inherently are, there must be a balance between the ego-self and the Spirit Self. Without one or the other, we are incomplete, and too often this incompleteness manifests in our lives.
If you can learn to flow with the energy of mind-chatter, then you will be able to successfully meditate any time, any place, and it's easier to do than you might think. Try this basic exercise. Close your eyes and shift your awareness to your breathing process, that natural flow of breath that you engage in every moment of your life. Let the breath begin to breathe you and see what that feels like. Let the breath be the most important thing. Surrender to it and do nothing else. Each breath can be said to contain the energy of the clear vast blue sky and whenever a thought comes in, whenever mind-chatter jumps into the picture, just let it, and acknowledge it (as if it were a cloud). Then return to the breath and to the energy of the clear vast blue sky.
Whatever type of meditation you choose, let it become a natural part of your life. If you but practice, the desired results can be achieved! Remember, "It's the journey, not the destination that counts."
Meditation For Dummies (Book and CD edition)
by Stephan Bodian.
About the Author
Robert Landau, a fully trained, certified hypnotherapist and Higher Self Facilitator, offers workshops, and private sessions to facilitate a connection between you and your Higher Self so that a clearing, healing and empowerment can take place. You can reach him at Higher Self Technologies.