In our busy world and busier lives, taking time to meditate can be an investment to help extend your life
I was once told a story about a rich man who went to visit a guru and asked, “Can you tell me in one sentence how to know the Divine?”
The guru responded, “I can tell you in one word.”
“What is the word?”
“Silence,” said the guru.
The man asks, “How do I be Silent?”
“Meditation,” answered the guru.
“Well, how do I meditate?” asked the man.
“By being Silent.”
Our busy and nonstop society has become plugged in. The world of technology has taken us away from experiencing life to its fullest. The demands of life are all about fast, all about having it now. That pace is creating major stressors on our bodies, minds, and spirits. We can lose ourselves in all this chaos. It’s time to become centered and unplugged.
Meditation can have a profound impact on a person’s being. I am reminded of a meditation retreat I was on many years ago. The gentleman spoke about his wife who was sitting next to him. She had many health concerns, some related to her heart. Obviously, there was a fear of death, but the wife had come to learn meditation. She had learned to be silent and to detach from unnecessary things. She learned to be objective rather than reactive. During this journey, she discovered an inner peace. I believe she came to know herself, and through this process, her body automatically started to heal itself. Today she is completely fine.
This is just one story, and there are thousands like it.
What is meditation, you may ask? For me, meditation is a process where I turn within and go into the world behind your eyes. It is a process of moving from the five sensory world into the sixth sense, multi-sensory world. It is about getting to know yourself and dropping all the things that are not supporting you. This is called detachment. The best way I can describe detachment is to imagine you are an onion. You are made up of layers and layers. As we turn within and let go of the things that we do not need to hold onto, these layers peel away until, eventually, we come to the core or essence of our being. That is what I like to call the Silence, the Clear, the Place of Pure Potentiality. This is the place beyond words and thought. It is divine and can only be experienced.
When meditating, try and have a place where you will be undisturbed for thirty minutes to an hour. Be consistent in the time of day you choose to meditate. Doing it at the same time every day will create a habit and keep yourself disciplined. I find meditating in nature is helpful.
For people new to meditation, let’s do an exercise involving a meditative visualization to help get you into a deeper and more relaxed state.
Imagine you are on top of a mountain overlooking the horizon. You are surrounded by rocks, and you are overlooking thousands of green trees. The sky is blue, and the wind is warm. Feel the wind caressing your skin as it blows onto you. Watch how the leaves on the trees are moving. The sun is warm to the skin. Take in three deep breaths and observe how the beauty around you makes you feel. Be as descriptive and vivid as you can in this experience. An eagle flies above your head as if to greet you. As you turn around, you notice some steps that lead down to a gentle waterfall. You decide to walk down the steps. There are ten steps. With each step you take, feel yourself getting lighter. With each step, you let go of all the chatter and other things you may be holding onto. You find yourself becoming calm and at ease. You see a ray of light from the sun next to the waterfall. Walk into that light. It is warm and calming. You feel yourself at peace. Allow yourself a few minutes to stay in this light while you bathe in the silence. This is your personal place that you can come to at any time when you need to relax, let go, or energize. After you are done, retrace your way up the steps. As you walk up the stairs, become aware of your body and physical sensations. When you find yourself back overlooking the mountains, take a few deep breaths, and feel free to open your eyes. Observe how you feel now. I’m sure it is significantly different.
There are many paths into that place of Silence, but sometimes we just need time to experience which process suits us best. We can use One Pointed Focus, the breath, a mantra, movement, to name some. Experiment, have fun doing it, and remember Silence is a key to Life.
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