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The art of meditation

With the hectic pace of day-to-day life, it’s natural to turn to meditation to clear your mind and uplift your spirit.

Woman meditating

The power of meditation is immense. It’s a process that will allow for mental clarity and an openness of thought and, as such, opens the door for a connection with one’s true self. This helps create a balance of one’s physical, emotional and mental energies. While some people may consider meditation to be a challenge, in the end most will find it a rewarding and beautiful experience.

The benefits of meditation

Some of the benefits of meditation include:

  • Increased creativity
  • Better focus and concentration
  • Improved personal relationships
  • An increase in positive thinking and a reduction of negative thoughts
  • Stress management
  • Increased productivity at work
  • Happiness
  • Increased compassion
  • Reduced anxiety
  • A healthier body, less prone to disease and the effects of aging
  • Peace of mind
  • Increased willpower
  • Improved self-confidence

Simple steps to meditation

While there are many different techniques to meditating, they can be generally grouped into two categories: concentrative and non-concentrative. The concentrative technique requires one’s focus to be placed on something specific, such as an object, sound or idea. This allows the mind to become aware and regain clarity. Non-concentrative meditation requires a detachment from thinking while still allowing for an awareness of such things as feelings, images and sounds. This helps the mind to become calm and non-reactive. You can choose either method of meditation, or a combination of both.

Here are some tips on basic meditation:

  • Choose a location. If possible, create a designated place in which to meditate. This space should be kept clean and uncluttered, with a soothing colour palette. Try for a quiet place away from life’s many distractions.
  • Sit in a comfortable position with your spine straight. There isn’t a need to sit in a complex yoga- inspired position; just make sure you can sit comfortably for an extended period of time. You want to be able to fully relax.
  • Close your eyes and start clearing your mind. You need to detach yourself from all of your thoughts — this part may require some practise. It may be helpful to think of yourself as a observer of your thoughts, letting them pass through without engaging them.
  • Keep relaxed. It may take a bit of time before you start noticing the quiet between thoughts, but with practice it will become easier and more effective.
  • Start slowly. Try five or ten minutes and then work your way up to a longer session.

More on meditation

Use your mind to heal your body
Natural ways to combat stress
Stress relief mindfulness meditation exercise: videos

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