Mindful meditation is not a religion or a strange exotic Eastern practice although its roots are firmly in the Buddhist tradition that started some 2,500 years ago in India by Siddhartha Guatama (the Buddha)
The word meditation and medicine come from the same Latin root, so its not surprising that meditation is often thought of as a form of healing especially since it releases the body from the symptoms of stress.
It is a practice that has us living in the moment, in the here and now, it does not make us different from whom we really are, it helps us to become aware of what is true moment by moment in our lives, connecting us to our own inbuilt wisdom. It changes our relationship to our daily life so that we can feel more in tune with ourselves and others, to what is really happening around us at home, at work, with our families, friends and other relationships that we have.
It also teaches us to deal with the discomforts of being alive, the difficult times that we face during our lifetime. We cannot live modern day life without stress or avoid emotional pain but we can learn ways of allowing ourselves to release negative emotions so they do not become the focus of our lives.
“The way to live in the present is to remember that “This to shall pass” when you experience joy remembering “That this to shall pass” helps you savour the here and now, when you experience pain and sorrow remembering that “This to shall pass” reminds you that grief, like joy is only temporary. (Joey Green) American author.
Benefits can be numerous physical, mental, emotional, psychological, spiritual all or some of these can help us to create a better, less stressful life for ourselves.
For our health when practiced regularly it can help to lower blood pressure, slow the heart rate, ease symptoms associated with anxiety, help with weight loss, assist in chronic pain relief, sharpen your mind, deepen concentration and balance your emotions.
Living on autopilot, making unconscious automatic decisions in every day life, doing two or more things at the same time. Have you ever driven your car or walked somewhere and arrived at your destination only to realize you remember nothing of your journey, started to eat a bar of chocolate then suddenly notice all you have left in your hand is an empty wrapper. When we live this way our attention is in our wandering minds and we are not in the present moment.
Mindful breathing is always available to us, the practice of being aware of our breath helps us to become conscious of our feelings, thoughts, sense, emotions, our physical bodies and its sensations. With every in breath we draw in oxygen that the heart pumps through the lungs to fuel the life process in the cells of the body. With every out breath the cells waste is pumped out into the atmosphere in the form of carbon dioxide.
The on going rhythm of inhalation and exhalation is our mental focus for assisting us with mindful meditation, the rise and fall of the breath felt in our chest and abdominal area helps us to keep our focus in the present moment. This technique can be used at any time as our breath is always there, we can try short 3minute sessions up to longer 45minute sessions, whatever our daily life schedules allow us to do, we can sit in a comfortable position or lie down, even slow walking with awareness is an option.
It is not a process of trying to stop thoughts from entering our heads, that’s just what our minds do, the acknowledgement of a thought is required, then return your focus with kindness back to your breathing without judgment or frustration. Our thoughts are transient they come and go. You have a choice about whether to act on them or not.
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