What is meditation? What does meditation mean to you?
I think meditation means different things to different people. For some a simple walk in nature or going for a surf can be viewed as ‘meditation’. Broadly speaking meditation is a practise, of which there are countless techniques, with the common goal of directing our attention beyond the activity of the mind, and connecting with the deeper sense of self, who we truly are. So in that sense meditation is a practise of moving towards a state of consciousness. More simply though, I feel that true meditation is not about trying to get somewhere, but realising that we are already here. It’s more of a state of BEING.
Why is it so important? What happens when we meditate?
Well our mind and our body are intricately linked. So whatever is going on in the mind is always reflected in the body. For most of us the demands of life are relentless. We are often so caught on the treadmill of doing and consumed with what life is throwing at us, that we are unconsciously accumulating stress, both physically and emotionally. Our nervous systems are strong but delicate and if we aren’t careful this overload can cause dis-ease or emotional breakdowns in the form or anxiety or depression. This is where the power of meditation comes in. It has been scientifically proven time and time again that when we calm the mind the body calms in response. It is in this calm state that accumulated stress can dissolve and the body can HEAL most productively.
How does one become more ‘present’ in everyday life?A great place to start is with Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the art of paying attention to life on purpose. It’s a tool that helps us PAUSE & respect our need for a calmer, more measured response to life. Start with a small list and do these things with intention and presence every day. For eg. pay full attention to every step in making your morning drink of choice. Then honour the time and the present moment as you drink it. You will notice your body respond and release and maybe even feel a sense of gratitude. The more you do this the more you will start to realise that everything you need, you can access from this point. It’s a bit like magic!
Making decisions from ‘stillness’- what does this mean?
What we are learning to do when we meditate is to become familiar with the more quiet, spacious place within. Each time we can choose to let thoughts go when we notice them, we are deepening our connection with that space. Now it’s in this space, this calm quiet space, where our true intelligence lies. Our deep intuition, our deep knowing. Imagine how much clarity comes when we make a decisions from here? Decisions aren’t clouded, they become easy and instinctual rather than reactionary or from a place of fear.
What’s your advice for someone who wants to start their meditation journey? Where would someone start?
There is a saying that says “when the student is ready the teacher appears”. If you a truly ready to start your journey start looking for signs. Be open to messages from the universe and follow them! Ask a trusted friend who you know meditates about how they started their journey. Try and app like Insight Timer or even a yoga class or yoga studio can be the gateway to getting started. I promise you it will be easier than you think and nothing is more rewarding than living a life where it is actually happening.
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