It was an amazing discovery for me over two decades ago, when, in a mediation course, I suddenly woke up! With a sense of awe and great clarity I found myself observing my own thoughts. For a brief moment I was free! Free from the grip of emotions and endless thinking. What a liberating moment. I felt like a new person and it was that sweet taste of freedom that has put me on the path of meditation.
Meditation has now become a big part of my life. I meditate wherever I am and even if it is only for five or 10 minutes.
There are several ways to go about meditation. For some, it is a relaxation practice and for others it is a connection with the true self -- our deepest core, and thus a true spiritual experience.
For me it is the latter...
I love to discover the inner world that I often find far more interesting and exiting then the so-called reality we live in utilizing our five senses.
Here is what meditation can do for you: Yes, it will most definitely relax you. It will decrease your heart rate, and it is beneficial for a balanced blood pressure. But more importantly, it will clear your mind, refresh your thinking, boost your creativity and it even aids growth of new brain cells!
For me it became my new morning coffee -- my wake-up call for mind and soul. And it is even more: If you are lucky and courageous and stick with it, it can shatter your concepts and old beliefs. Over time, you will become more aware and open. You see more clearly how your actions influence your own state and the state of others.
That's the moment when mindfulness comes in. Mindfulness is the ability to live in the now; it is key to life and personal growth. One way of mindfulness is to watch your thoughts and feelings. If you catch them before acting on them you can stop and pause and actually create your reality from a positive point of view.
When we are mindful, we are no longer dependent on what others think of us, because we have recognized who we really are. That gives us the freedom from which we act instead of clinging to people, things, and ideas.
If you dare to get in touch with yourself on a more meaningful level, here is a short introduction to the practice of meditation. As a beginner you may want to start your practice by focusing on your breath. This will help your mind to turn inside.
- Set aside at least five minutes each day. Be kind to yourself. As a beginner you may find it difficult to sit still for a couple of minutes -- and experienced mindfully, five minutes can be longer than you think! Don't get angry with yourself if you have to shift around a bit or if your mind needs a bit longer to relax. So start with five minutes and slowly work your way up.
- Find a time and place where you are undisturbed.
- Sit in a comfortable position -- on a chair or on the floor (maybe cross-legged).
- Your spine should be upright but relaxed.
- Take a few deep breaths -- slowly and with ease.
- Close your eyes and watch the fall and rise of your breath -- how the breath flows in and out of your nose. When thoughts arise (and they will arise) just watch them, as they would be clouds in the sky. Do not engage in them but concentrate on how your breath moves in and out of your body.
- Coming out of meditation should be easeful -- become aware of your breathing once again, move your fingers and toes and slowly open your eyes.
It is true, that our emotions, thoughts and worries are covering the magnificence of our soul. When we wake up to this divine inner being truly all is well -- beyond well.
And who knows -- one day you might even sing it... the song of the soul.
PS: Please do not think that you are acting selfish when spending "so much time" on yourself. As my Russian friend Bronisval Vinogrodsky, who is a Taoist, activist, artist and healer says: "We should all meditate in order to stabilize the world."