What is meditation to me.
My curiosity for meditation some years ago lead me to go on a meditation retreat in Wales at the Dru Yoga Centre. At the time it also introduced me to Dru Yoga, which I immediately fell in love with but that is another story.
Meditation to me is a point of stillness, a moment of calmness amongst the noise and chaos of life pressures. It brings me clarity, security, focus and the ability to reconnect with the importance of self (not in a selfish way but in a way that is nurturing both for me and others).
The gifts of meditation from a personal perspective are:
- An automatic coping ability with stressful situations. Instead of thinking I am stressed I need to breathe more deeply or whatever, my mind goes into automatic and calms the stressful patterns. Simply my mind takes care of my body. It is often after the stressful event that I think wow I handled that a lot better than usual.
- I feel younger. Ok I may not look younger but if you avoid mirrors who cares.
- I absorb less negativity both from people and situations. Negativity is so good at depleting your energy while positivity simply increases it. Meditation allows me to become the observer rather than the victim. I am doing the best I can, and I am OK.
- I love the secure feeling that there is always somewhere I can go to sort out problems, challenges and to be accepted as me. You do not need to think too hard just allow the process to do its job. It never fails. You may not get all the answers but that could be you are asking the wrong questions. Change your thoughts, Change your life Dr Wayne Dyer
- I feel happy for no reason. Why should you be happy for a reason, can we not just be happy! Happiness for me comes with a partner, gratitude. A powerful emotion and one that should never be underestimated. It is not easy to feel stressed and have a sense of gratitude at the same time.
Many studies support my own experiences of meditation such as:
- Reduces blood lactate, a marker of stress and anxiety.
- Calming hormones melatonin and serotonin are increased and the stress hormone cortisol is decreased.
- Meditators secrete more of the youth-related hormone DHEA as they age than non-meditators. This helps decrease stress, heighten memory, preserve sexual function and control weight.
- Has a profound effect upon three key indicators of aging: hearing ability, blood pressure and vision of close objects.
- Can help pain relief, insomnia and reduce risk of heart disease and cancer.
So what do you do to achieve all these wonderful benefits? Just sit still and do it regularly. Meditation has an accumulative effect and therefore when you stop so do the benefits.
Sitting still how hard can that be. In my experience this is the hardest part for people to understand and to put into action. Turning off those distractions whatever they may be, families, computers, television, phones, thoughts and so on is hard. My meditation practiced is determined by my lifestyle and started very slowly. I started by meditating once a week on a Saturday morning very early, with a young family it was the only time that seemed peaceful and I knew I was safe from distractions. After awhile of planting the habit it became my precious time. Over the years my practice has increased and now I practice most days – learning more about it from teachers and fellow meditators and realising there is so much more to learn.
There are still times when I come to meditate where I cannot settle. I have realized to be kind to myself. You cannot force your physical body to sit if it is not prepared, so it is far better to accept it rather than forcing yourself to sit uncomfortably, all you are doing is wasting your time and getting no benefits but a cross mind. It is always beneficial to take time to make sure you are sitting comfortably with a straight spine whether that be crossed legged or on a chair. When I first began meditating, I bought CD’s (at the time there were no apps) and books but it was only when I went to the retreat in Wales did I realise that with a few helpful hints it was so easy to sit and be still. In meditation class we take you through all the steps to make your body both physically and emotionally ready for meditation – deepens your experience and increases the benefits.
Please find dates for meditation classes at Minskip village hall on Classes and Contacts.
Click the link below to experience a short meditation. Enjoy! Jennix