More and more people are discovering that learning how to meditate is an effective antidote for reducing the high levels of stress, anxiety and tiredness that our modern lifestyle produces.
The ancient practice of meditation provides immense benefits on all levels of our being ...physical, emotional and spiritual.
One of the most common misconceptions people have about
meditation is that it involves trying to stop your thoughts or attempting
to control or change the mind in some way. For this reason, many people
see it as something difficult to do.
In truth, true meditation is completely effortless. In fact,
trying to stop your thoughts is an impossible task. The mind's job is to
produce a constant stream of thoughts and we actually have zero control
over the content or the frequency of the thoughts. Experience the truth
of this for yourself by closing your eyes for a moment and watching to
see what your next thought will be. Were you able to predict it?
What we are able to control however, is where we choose to put
our attention and this is where learning how to meditate comes in.
There are many types of meditation but they all have one feature in common. Meditation works on the basis that the mind is only capable of doing one thing at a time. By giving the mind a task (e.g. focusing on the breath, a candle flame or a mantra) it is literally distracted from the usual pattern of following and identifying with the thoughts, feelings and emotions.
It may surprise you to know that the average adult has around 100,000 thoughts per day, 95% of which are the same as yesterday's!
No wonder we find so little peace. Attending to the monkey mind all day long is exhausting.
I have covered this topic in detail on the page: addictive thinking
One of the most significant benefits of learning how to meditate is that it frees up a tremendous amount of energy.
I would like to share with you a powerful exercise for bringing immediate peace into your experience.
WATCHING THE MIND
Close your eyes for a couple of minutes and watch your mind, as if
the thoughts were appearing on a movie screen in front of you. As you
become aware of each thought, give it a number. In this way, count the
thoughts as they appear. Most people experience a sense of peace as
distance is created between themselves and the thoughts.
In unconscious thinking, we are fully
identified with ourselves as being the thoughts, the feelings and the emotions.
Through watching the mind you will see that there are two entities ...the thoughts themselves and the observer of the thoughts, the one who is
counting! So which one are you?
Author and spiritual teacher Eckhart Tolle refers to the watcher as the Silent Witness. This constant and unchanging part of our being is the source of all peace and contentment within.
Learning how to meditate will allow you to deepen your connection with the silence within.
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