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Meditation month

Did you know that May is Meditation month? So it’s a good time to get in touch with your body, mind and soul with some quality meditating.

But what is meditation? Well, it’s where you use a technique, such as mindfulness, or focusing on a particular object, thought, or activity. This achieves a clear mind and an emotionally calm and stable state. For example, Ted Hughes (British Poet and Writer) used fishing to meditate. He said, “Fishing provides that connection with the whole living world. It gives you the opportunity of being totally immersed, turning back into yourself in a good way. A form of meditation, some form of communion with levels of yourself that are deeper than the ordinary self”.

There are also other ways to meditate. I publish a free monthly guided meditation where I encourage you to use visualisation to go on a journey with me.

Meditation brings you to a state of tranquillity and so the benefits of it are numerous – from stress management, self-awareness, boosting creativity and imagination, to increasing self-confidence. According to a University of California, Los Angeles study, consistent meditation can help improve neural processing. This can help you with decision making and judgment.

Meditation also calms the respiratory system and so lowers the heart rate, oxygen consumption and breathing frequency. It also reduces the release of stress hormones, Lactic acid and the sympathetic nervous system activity which is associated with the fight-or-flight response. It will, as a result, reduces blood pressure.

Although popular today, meditation has been around for centuries. The earliest known mention of it was the Chinese philosopher Laozi around the 4th century. It was common in the eastern hemisphere for many centuries but it wasn’t until the early 18th century that is reached Europe. It was then that some of the eastern techniques were translated into various European languages. Despite this it was largely seen as something for the elites and intellectuals. It wasn’t until the mid-20th century that meditation became more widely adopted, especially in the US and Europe.  It is now estimated that around 200 to 500 million people in the world practice meditation regularly.

Each month I provide a new guided mediation on various subjects. I usually do them on the first Wednesday of the month and post it on my You Tube channel a day or so later. They are free and easy to access. If you would like more information, then contact me.

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Monthly Meditation

I have been asked to give a monthly meditation for the North East of England Connecting Consciousness group over Zoom. Each month I will do a meditation with a useful and interesting theme, such as healing or relaxation.

The Connecting Consciousness Group is a grass roots organisation for people who recognise that the development on this planet is not always to the benefit of all mankind. Specifically, they recognise that current structures are not necessarily responsive to people or the planet, and they seek to solve global challenges through physical and spiritual development, education and governance.

The Connecting Consciousness group seeks to encourage and support people on their learning journey to become awakened to the world around them, to develop their understanding of who they are and their true position within the world, and thus to help humanity and all life move forward in a positive way.

I will be putting each mediation on my You Tube channel. Each is about forty to fifty minutes long because as Francis de Sales (1567 – 1622. Bishop of Geneva and saint of the Catholic Church) said, “Half an hour’s meditation each day is essential, except when you are busy. Then a full hour is needed”.

I hope you all find them useful. Below are two of the first three meditation. One is about healing and victimisation, while the second one is about relaxation and the release of negative energy. Each one is free, but please remember to like and subscribe.

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Meditation, for the Nation

21 May 2021 is World Meditation day. So, what is meditation? Well, of all people, Dick Van Dyke put is very well. He said, “When you’re a kid, you lay in the grass and watch the clouds going over, and you don’t have a thought in your mind. It’s purely meditation, and we lose that.”

Meditation plays a role in many religions throughout the world, especially Buddhism, but it’s not an exclusively religious practice. Many people have realised the benefits of meditation and incorporated it into their daily lives who are neither spiritual nor religious.

Today’s world puts many demands on us, such as work and family, and can leave us very little time for ourselves. Meditation is a way to have a very beneficial moment’s peace to quicken or clear the mind and relax. It has been proven to have positive mental and physical effects when practiced regularly. Specifically, some of these benefits include reducing anxiety and stress.

Anxiety remains one of the leading causes of mental health conditions and can manifest itself as physical as well as emotional problems. In severe cases doctors may prescribe medication, but the best approach is prevention. Meditation is one of the most common ways to treat the symptoms of anxiety, helping individuals to slow their heart rate, control harmful thoughts and prevent future anxiety.

Stress is a normal bodily response and is closely allied to the fight or flight response to danger. For short periods it does no harm, but if you are regularly stressed and your body it regularly preparing to run or fight, this can cause problems in the body. Meditation is a good way to take time out from the world and to focus inwardly on yourself. For example, breathing exercises can reduce blood pressure, calming the mind and give the body time to recover from periods of prolonged stress.

Also, practicing meditation and mindfulness encourages you to think about the present, to live in the moment and not worry about future possibilities. With this focus and other distractions dismissed, it can help you to stay focused and to improve your overall concentration and productivity.

One of the great things about meditation is that anyone can do it, almost anywhere. How you meditate varies widely from person to person. Some prefer physical activity accompanying it such as yoga, while others prefer to stay still. Whether you’re seated, standing, lying in bed or sitting in the bath, simply close your eyes, focus on taking deep breaths in and out and allow your mind to empty of thoughts. If thoughts pop up, simply acknowledge them and dismiss them. Continue to breathe deeply and use it to deepen your sense of calm. When you are ready, then open your eyes and continue with your day. If you are short of time, then set an alarm to alert you it’s time to finish.

So, celebrate World Meditation Day by setting some time aside for yourself to clear your mind and relax. Find a place where you won’t be disturbed, feel at ease and relaxed. This could be in the bath, in bed, or somewhere in nature like a garden. Then simply put yourself in a comfortable position, close your eyes, breathing steadily, and let all thoughts clear from your mind.

If you’ve never tried to meditate before then it can be difficult to clear your mind and avoid wandering thoughts. You may benefit from trying a guided meditation tutorial in which an experienced individual will gently talk you through the process. I have a guided meditation on my You Tube channel which you are welcome to use. 

 

Whichever way you choose to celebrate World Meditation Day, just remember that meditation is most beneficial when practised regularly, so why not set yourself a reminder to meditate once or twice a day. Try it for a week and see how you feel. You won’t be disappointed.