When someone mentions meditation what comes to mind?
Meditation is described in many different ways depending on cultural and religious orientations.
Meditation originated in India 5000-3500 BCE. From its origin it spread across the continents at a great pace, which is an indication of how a good idea spreads quickly.
If meditation did not work it would have died out, but more and more people are using mediation daily across the world than ever before.
My favourite description and meaning of meditation is ‘the act of giving your attention to one thing’
I also like the quote from a Zen master who was asked ‘how would you describe Zen and Meditation?’ he replied ‘living on the razor edge of now’
Ultimately meditation is mind training. When we train the mind to be more focused it leads us to a peaceful and balanced life.
The gateway into meditation is the breath and the following technique is a wonderful way to begin. This simple technique has many benefits physically and mentally. It can be practised twice daily or anytime you are having a challenging moment.
This breathing technique helps the mind focus and calm down. It sends signals to the body to relax which is the opposite of what happens when we feel anxious.
During anxious thoughts and moments our breathing becomes shallow and fast and the body becomes constricted and stressed as the flow of oxygen is restricted.
The opposite to anxiety and stress is calmness and peace. This breathing technique trains the mind to anchor in breath and the present moment, which will improve all aspects of your life.
Try it for a week twice a day and experience for yourself the benefits.
1. Take a deep breath in through the nose and then purse your lips (like you are blowing out a candle) and breathe out fully.
2. Now inhale through the nose for the count of four with your month closed and the tip of your tongue resting behind the upper front teeth.
3. After inhaling through the nose for a count of four, hold the breath for a count of 7.
4. After holding the breath for a count of 7, exhale through pursed lips for a count of 8.
5. Repeat the process 4 times.
This simple technique will improve your state of mind and is a gateway into meditation.
To learn more, please browse the website Still Mind training