Meditation & Mindfulness #1: Steps to Begin(Remember)

I cannot recommend Meditation/Mindfulness enough.

I have already stated this in the “About” section and I will say it yet again – I cannot recommend it anymore, for EVERYONE and for ALL facets of life.

The interesting part is that we have all meditated or been mindful at some point in our lives. We just need to uncover/discover/remember our innate abilities, natural gifts and peace within. If you look at the definition of “discover” for instance, this means to “bring to light” or “come across”, so in essence, that which is already there.

Very loosely, mindfulness is “paying attention” in the present moment, of which the practice of meditation will strengthen. I am sure we have all focussed our attention/awareness on something  before, have we not..?

We need to now “cultivate”, practice or more accurately –  “remember” as mentioned before, our intrinsic nature of consciousness and awareness, of which I believe we as a people throughout time, generally speaking have lost or “forgotten.”

I remember someone saying to me, “I can’t meditate as I can’t just think of nothing, let alone sit still for that long.” To which I wanted to say…actually I wanted shout (ha ha), “Believe me when I say, if I can “do” it, then anybody can!” I think I ended up saying something calmly along the lines of, “It’s not about stopping your thinking but more about observing your thoughts.”

Our brains are constantly thinking –  that is what they are meant to do. But we don’t have to get caught up in every single thought. We think we do because thoughts are truly powerful. We need to remember, that WE are the “observers”.

The practice of meditation and mindfulness will allow us to watch these thoughts and emotions come and go, like clouds in the sky, allowing us to stay seated in “awareness”. We are not our thoughts. We know this, as so many thoughts have come and gone in our lives that don’t mean anything to this day, have they not..?

But some thoughts and emotions(depending on how we process situations in life)we “cling” to and they stay with us for an indefinite time, until we “process” them and let them go.

The practice of meditation and mindfulness will help us in staying “present”, so we do not get caught up in every thought and emotion that happens to us, which can often “bog” us down in time. We can therefore maintain fresh eyes and deal effectively with each passing moment, without be “tainted” all the time by past and futures events which do not exist. Yes, we need to plan for the future and we do learn from the past naturally but dwelling on these is not living and not effective. I hope that makes sense.

Meditation & mindfulness has in the past had various connotations as being “out there”; “hippie”; “alternative” or whatever else it has been labelled. Nowadays, it is way more acceptable, not to mention growing in popularity or I would rather like to say, in recognition – we are all growing in consciousness.

Not to mention, how modern “medicine” and “science” are truly seeing the benefits and applications of practising. On this note, the practising of meditation on a regular basis will actually “rewire” your neurological pathways in a positive way.

We are the Observers

You can test this right now – Say “hello” in your mind. You have now just “witnessed”(subject), the object(“hello” – thought). You can do this for anything such as “something you need to do”, or kicking your toe, or even go so far as “fear”, which is also another object we are aware of. These subjects are not you, you are the “witness”.

When the penny drops and you actually are “aware” of this, it is truly amazing. I remember sitting and practising a meditation of “watching your thoughts”. This is truly amazing, especially when your brain has been very active after a long day or for other reasons. You can sit and watch totally unrelated thoughts come and go.

Meditation and Mindfulness will strengthen this. As mentioned, we can now stay more “centred” in the “seat of awareness” of which presence and peace are our true natures and accessible always. This allows us to witness life and its happennings come and go, without getting caught up in its melodrama and enjoy it more.

There is so much information on meditation and mindfulness nowadays and accessible through so many platforms via social media and the internet, which is truly awesome. Not to mention many “guru’s” and “experts” around the world which we have access too.

But, at the end of the day and without sounding cliche, these are all “pointers” to the true meditator and “observer”, which…is YOU.

So…back to why I felt myself almost shouting at this person who said he “can’t meditate”. The reason, is because for as long as I can remember, I have been quite “high” energy.  My wife would maybe even have said “very” high energy. High energy from both a physically and mental point of view – both connected, so no confusion there really. So for those who think they can’t sit still, then believe me when I say, if I can meditate, then so can you.

I have always been sporty/physical, always having to “do” something. In fact, still to this day, if I do not exercise for a day I can feel the energy building up – not as much but still so.

My mind on the other hand(as I mentioned in the “About” section), I realised I had lived a large portion of life in an anxious state. I could never sit still for a long time, from doing school homework, to anything else after school really – never being able to focus for long periods of time at all. Again, mind and body are connected and they have a bearing on each other – the mind directing the body mostly.

We are all “hardwired” differently for various reasons, from childbirth to upbringing, diet etc, giving us all our unique attributes and characteristics. Nonetheless, no matter who you are or where you come from, or how “balanced” you think you are, I believe we all should and need to “practice” meditation and being mindful.

I have also heard people say, “I don’t have the time.” To which I think the best answer to that is:

“You should sit in meditation for twenty minutes every day — unless you’re too busy. Then you should sit for an hour.” -Zen proverb

I think this makes absolute sense. The irony is that when you start meditating and being mindful, you actually start finding more “space” and life seems to “slow down” somewhat, giving you a better perspective to attend more efficiently and truthful to each situation and passing moment.

Through practising meditation, you become more “centred”, as mentioned a few times before. We therefore don’t need to act from a total emotional point of view and so able to see a little more clearly and not through frantic or anxious eyes.  This will enable you to apply yourself appropriately to what really is important and with the “ideal” course of action.

Until I started meditation, I  did not realise how it is so much “more” than what we realise and yet at the same time it can almost seem the most “useless ” or I should rather say, “indescribable” “action”(not that you really can call it an action)I know of. Those who meditate, know exactly what I am talking about.

Meditation can almost seem at times to touch on the answers to everything in life and the universe but yet it can seem like the most pointless thing too…truly profound.

I won’t go down this path in this post but I suppose my point being is that we are always generally operating or living our lives with the intent of “gaining” something, as we feel we “lack” and so by practising meditation and mindfulness will allow us to start seeing what we really do “have” in our lives already. This is just part of it.

“Meditation is really just quieting yourself enough so you can get in touch with your own inner wisdom. ~ Louise Hay

Meditation and mindfulness will provide answers beyond what you ever expected and as previously stated, touch on all facets of life but I believe the main focus for most of us, is finding peace.

When you have peace, what problems are there?

On a spiritual note, I do believe practising meditation and mindfulness can lead to God but I will write a separate post on this.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7

Note: Please see part two of this post to come, which includes a simple and brief action plan. Enjoy.

 

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