By Jennifer Urezzio, Contributor – Spiritual Affairs
Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures ~ John F. Kennedy
The concept of meditation has been integrated into the mass consciousness. Now, science is proving the benefits of meditation that the mystics have been talking about for ages. Some of those benefits are:
• increased blood flow and slower heart rate
• increased brain function and focus
• improved memory
• decrease in stress hormones
• lower blood pressure
• reversal of aging process (this one alone is a reason to take up meditation)
• increased productivity
You (and I was like this) tried meditation once and fell into one of these categories:
• my mind just doesn’t stop going
• my “to-do” list has too many things on it already
• I feel silly sitting there and it’s uncomfortable
This sacred practice is the time for you to be with you and your higher power. It is the time (and it doesn’t have to be 20 minutes) for you to just be without any pretense or façade. It creates the opportunity for you to connect with that deep inner peace inside of you and trust me, it’s there!
Take it from someone who knows, meditation doesn’t have to be something on your “to-do” list. It doesn’t have to be a “should” that if you don’t set the time aside and do it, you feel guilty. It can be fun, relaxing and fit into your everyday life.
You can start off small in your practice of meditation and find something that fits into your life. As you practice you will find that you have more space and time to set aside to spend with you.
I’m an action junkie, so meditation was not a natural state for me. I find that when I allow myself to be, my whole world becomes easier. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:
The Two Minute OM
OM is believed to be the spoken sound of the Universe. When you practice the sound, it works the left and right sides of the brain. You can download a two-minute meditation on itunes and then just OM along.
The Mantra Meditation
Some people find it disturbing to focus on their breath. With a mantra meditation, you repeat a statement that you resonate in your head focusing on each word. I suggest starting with a three-minute timeframe. A suggested mantra is: I AM complete and whole.
Walking in the Now Meditation
This can be done on the treadmill or walking around your neighborhood. During a 10-minute walk, practice being present. You can do this by noticing how your feet feel as they touch the ground, notice your breathing, and notice the sounds in nature. If your mind starts to wander into the past or future, simply and gently bring it back to the movement of your feet.
Creating the space and opportunity for a little bit of quiet time with yourself can change your whole world.