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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Taking Pause

I wrote an article a while ago about "Purposeful Meditation" and why it is important. This morning, as I sit here reflecting quietly on the many blessings that have been recently bestowed upon me, I couldn't resist revisiting the subject. Meditative activities are so important to weave into our lives that I wanted to provide an even easier way to incorporate it.

Meditation doesn't take long hours of classes or workshops to learn how to do. It is a practice which means the more you do it the better you will become and the more benefits you can reap from it. To meditate, all you have to know how to do is to breathe, relax and think. Meditation is continuous and profound concentration on a single subject. It is to give something your complete, undivided attention. You don't need a quiet room or a special place to perform meditation. You don't need to be a student of Eastern Philosphy. You don't need to have an half hour of time devoted to it. You simply need to breathe, relax and think.

With breathe, relax and think as your criteria in mind, what activities do you enjoy that will allow you to incorporate these three elements? Almost anything! That is the great thing about meditation. There is no specified time or place. This means you can do it at work. You can do it at home. You can do it in the gym. It doesn't matter. Any time, any place and in any way you choose, you can breathe, relax and think.

Breathing is important because it is your life force. It is the way oxygen enters your body to be used by your blood cells for energy. When your blood cells don't have enough oxygen, they move sluggishly. If your cells are sluggish, they are slow to bring food to the many different areas of your body. If your body doesn't have enough nutrition, it can't work properly. The end result is that you feel fatigued, stressed, sick and often can't think straight. How many times have you felt that you can't concentrate until you get some food into your stomach? You have to breathe.

Relaxing involves allowing your body to calm itself down. It puts your mind, body and spirit at rest. Relaxing removes stress and allows your muscles to repair themselves. In this day and age, with so much hustle and bustle, we hardly ever give ourselves the permission to rest. Even after a grueling exercise regimen, experts suggest that you take off one day for every three to five to allow yourelf time to recuperate. We stretch and tear our muscles during activity. This is why so many people are suffering from Restless Leg Syndrome (RLS). We never take the time to just sit and relax. So relax and let your mind, body and spirit heal itself.

Thinking invites clarity and focus. We can solve problems, make decisions and hear what our bodies are telling us. We can concentrate on specific issues that may be plaguing us in the form of worries. That dedicated time yields resolutions because you are relaxed. Your mind is quieted from all other noise and distraction. Your complete attention is devoted to the problem at hand. You can be more creative and inspired to determine a solution.

Meditation does not have to be difficult. It does not have to be an intensive task. You can do it in as little as five minutes. Its purpose is to bring clarity, improve health and achieve balance. To this end, you should find it much easier to incorporate meditation into your life. Simply breathe, relax and think.

Happy Living!

1 comment:

Darlene said...

Quiet time for reflection and motivation is the most powerful supplement to my inner sense of well-being and self-worth. Mediation enhances my ability to role-model self-control, quality decision-making and most of all suspension of snap judgment when dealing with my students. All of the sensory and psychological noise that goes with teaching in a high school allows little time to take a breath let alone take on a "continuous and profound concentration on a single subject". John Assaraf,n his latest book, "Having It ALL" speaks of the value of "self-worth" before all the pieces of how to live a full and success life are put together
I can only value myself if I find time to really know who I am. This is a journey that takes a daily dose of "continuous and profound concentration" to listen to my inner soul and nurture it. I can then move into the outer world of noise and interruption with balance and tolerance and call upon my memory of my quiet time past or to come to calm my anxious moments.