Beginning a Meditaiton Practice

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In our western culture we value to-do lists, productivity and outcomes. Our success is based on how much we have achieved, and how jam packed our days are. Pridefully leaving a trail of tasks checked off our list in a wake behind us like “look as all this shit I’ve done today!” The most common question that gets asked is “What do you do?” implying what we do with our time is more important than who we are.  For many, including yours truly, this existence leaves us tired, stressed, and yearning for more meaning in our lives.

I know for me when I feel bored, mentally craving something else, or the urge to fill some void, I jump onto pinterest or instagram or the many awesome blogs I follow, thinking I’ll see something that gives me that fix. But like sugar and alcohol, repeated use can become addictive yet still unsatisfying. Empty information like empty calories. I know there’s something better I can do with my time to feel less chaos in my brain.

So I’ve begun turning inward, yea I know it sounds hokey but go with me on this for a sec. I find that consistent practice even if it’s 5 minutes each day before making breakfast is a great way to start the day with positive intentions. My brain is still to much of a Chatty Cathy, so I like to use guided meditations so I can focus on someone else’s voice and know what I should be thinking about. Reciting matras are really great too. In another blog post I will go into more detail about different ways to meditate and how to incorporate a meditation practice into your routine, but for now here are some reasons to start thinking about it.

Benefits of Meditation

  • reduces racing thoughts
  • reduces anxiety
  • reduces depression
  • reduces blood pressure
  • improves sleep
  • improves concentration, mental clarity and productivity
  • improves emotional balance
  • improves self-esteem, confidence and gratitude
  • improves the immune response for fighting off illness
  • improves energy
  • improves athletic performance
  • improves spiritual connection

I could go on. There are some fascinating studies on the power of meditation on the body as well as the mind and spirit. So if you are looking to enhance your productivity and focus at work, reduce negative thoughts resulting from anxiety/depression, or expand your spiritual practice, meditation is worth a try.

If there was a pill that contained all the benefits of meditation and no side effects, everybody would be on it immediately. But because it’s something that takes time and focus, it’s just not worth it to some people. Being too busy to meditate is like saying “I’m too hungry to eat.” It’s the reason you SHOULD!

One note of importance is that meditation is about letting go of outcomes, and releasing the need to be doing something. Which is not easy at first, that’s why it’s called a meditation practice. Don’t expect to be a new person in a few days. When you release the need to get something out of it, you will find that it gets easier, and you will crave the time you spend in silence.

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day- unless you are too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.”

                           -Zen Proverb 

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