I am not very good at it either.
I have never been able to still the chattering monkeys in my mind.
Chatter. Chatter. Chatter.
Off and on throughout my life, I have experienced meditation of one form or another, once I stopped viewing it as religious practice. Even then, I never made it a habit.
Visualizing a scene in my mind's eye of any place beautiful and serene, silences the mind. But I can only keep this peacefulness for a few minutes at best.
Staring at Soluntra King's circle within circles, a mandala of symmetrical shapes and vibrant colours, is not only beautiful but manageable.
I have done various forms of progressive muscle relaxation on their own or as part of a winding down meditation at the end of a yoga class. Although, not in itself a form of meditation, this tensing and relaxing of the muscles, in combination with visualization and focus, can form a meditative practice.
Meditation I have learned can be simple or complex.
Simple as focusing on one word: "One." "Om." "Peace."
Simple as focusing on a positive affirmation or phrase repeated over and over again.
Simple as gazing upon a candle flame or an image.
Simple as being aware of your breath going in a-n-d out.
I have just recently found how complex meditation can be. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) has an 8 week programme during which you are taught various forms of meditation, all which take 30 minutes for each session. The first meditation I learned was the Body Scan - where you scan each part of your body from the toes to the top of the head. The purpose is to be in the present. Accept without judging. I have tried this technique daily for two weeks now and I tell you, it has not become easier to do with time. The mind simply wanders. Here. There. Everywhere.
What I have learned in my third week is that the point of meditation is not to have a blank slate. It is also not to get rid of all thoughts and sounds in your environment. If what Andy Puddicombe shares, in his entertaining video, is in fact the case: that our minds are actually lost in thought 47% of the time, then, in all this complexity, simply put, the point of meditation is just a way of being. Being in the here and in the now, thoughts and all. Therefore as Jon Kabat-Zinn comments, meditation can be any state in which we " come to our senses." Deepak Chopra explains the aim of meditation, which is a "state of restful alertness," as finding the "space between our thoughts...[which is] pure consciousness, pure silence, and pure peace." With this notion, I feel that I can now get better at meditation and achieve "zen."
Besides all the good that meditation does for the Mind in calming it and staying in the moment, meditation has also been known to be good for the Body, in reducing heart attacks and strokes as well as relieving pain, and also good for the Brain, where David R. Hamilton Ph.D., states that "our gray matter is ever-changing...when we concentrate, as we do when we meditate."
For healing, I now meditate daily anywhere from a brief 5 minutes to a lengthy 30 minutes.
A panacea for me, especially for anxiety.
Published By: Valdone's Leaf