What : To meditate is to be aware. It is a practice which involves quietening the mind and experiencing the stillness inside of your self. Traditionally it is done by sitting or lying down in a comfortable and peaceful place while focusing your attention on the breath. However the meditative state can also be experienced in action, surfing down the face of a wave, planting in the garden or ripping out a monster guitar solo etc. etc.
Why: ‘Know thyself and to thine own self be true’. Meditation makes everything feel, taste, look, sound and smell better. It is the best drug I have ever tried; relaxing you, allowing you to enter a healing state, reducing anxiety, enhancing immune response and enabling you to re-connect with your body. But best of all it’s free!
I find it endlessly amusing that most people (myself most definitely included) will happily rush off to find the latest supplement and pay hundreds of dollars for it before putting into practice the well-documented and simple healing art of sitting and breathing. If you fit this description ,ask your self why, perhaps you could even try meditating on this question?
My experience: After going to my first yoga class when I was 19 (2004) and floating all the way home, high as a kite after a deep breathing exercise, I have followed a practice of meditation. However it took me 4 years and a month long residential meditation course in Guatemala to finally work up the discipline to do it every day. It has changed my life for the better in so many ways, giving me a new perspective on life, healing and the nature of things. It has measurabely increased my energy levels, sense of peace and clarity of mind.
How Much :Aim for a daily practise of around 15 minutes slowly building up to around 30 minutes over a period of months. Lengthen or shorten the time as you see fit. It is the frequency not the length that is most important. It is also important to note that while benefits can be experienced immeadiately the true transformation comes over a longer period of time. Don’t rush or beat yourself up about it. Joining a local group may help you along the way. Just let it flow. Have fun with it and maintain a steady resolve.
This is my preferred form of meditation. But experiment and see what works best for you. If your very low on energy sitting in a chair or lying down works just as well.