Sunday, December 27, 2009

Mindful Meditation

Mindful meditation clears and relaxes one’s mind for better coping skills.

Mindfulness – is about clearing the mind by becoming aware of what is happening right now, every little detail of what one is experiencing in this very exact moment, without worrying or thinking about the past or future. Do this, then meditate.

Meditation can be divided into two categories, moving and still meditation. Both of these are very common practices with people. Moving meditation is when people do something out of habit on an unconscious level, like repetitious exercising. Prayer or just sitting quietly without thinking can be a form of still meditation. Everyone does these behaviors but the key to doing meditation so that it changes how a person feels and thinks about the world is through mindfulness. This is simply being aware of what a person is doing, and why, every minute. A person must be aware of his or her actions in order to evaluate if this is hurting or benefiting one’s life. Without thinking and being aware, a person is making reactionary decisions and running on autopilot probably based on the false self’s desires.

Moving meditation – the best types are the quieting forms of Tai Chi, Qui Gong or Yoga. A simple form is: Stand up and take all of these slow, deep breathes while only thinking about the breathing. Breathe deeply three times from the abdomen region, three times from the stomach area and three times from the chest with the hands lightly on each body section. Repeat for 3-8 min.

Still meditation – there are many forms but a very simple one is: By starting with the toes and moving bit by bit up to the scalp while telling each muscle group to tighten up and then relax and let all of the tension flow out while breathing deeply and slowly from the abdomen as one counts down slowly from 10 to 1.

To find a method that is right for a person, learn and try out moving, still or a combination. Practice a still form twice a day for 5-20 minutes, moving form once a day for 40-60 minutes or some variation of this for a total of 30-60 minutes a day. There is a wide selection of meditation styles available in DVDs, CDs, books, classes or the Internet.

Proper meditation relaxes and rests the mind for better insight and clarity, so people can be attentive and think carefully on what is best for them to do. Minds need a rest to function well just like our bodies do. While bodies get rest during sleep, minds are very busy working out lots of problems, gathering information and conveying messages. This is why people’s minds will just automatically take a vacation at times during the day. Mindful meditation provides a good rest for beneficial decision-making and also reduces worrying and anxiety. Most people worry about things that turn out better then expected. Even if the worst happens, worrying does not make a difference and actually contributes to more stress! Using a form of mindful meditation on a regular basis can make life easier and much less stressful because a relaxed mind functions better.

Less stress and clearer thinking creates a new beginning with a lifestyle that contributes to tranquility and inner peace.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Inner Peace This Holiday Season

Obtaining inner peace doesn't mean life is perfect. It means that you have the confidence, serenity and clarity to enjoy life and the ability to make beneficial decisions. This holiday my extended family is in a conflict and will not be getting together, so I will be spending Christmas with friends. Yes, I gave out advice when asked, but inner peace was not their goal. To stay calm for the holidays, accept loved ones as they are and realize that it's impossible to change people, only influence them. However, we can change ourselves, and when we obtain inner peace, everyone that we meet will feel better in our company. To keep calm, make inner relaxing a priority because this loving care is the best gift we can give ourselves and others.

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I can not change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. Amen