Meditation is for Anyone

Thich Nhat Hanh on Meditation

Meditation is for anyone who wants to be balanced, relaxed, and vibrant, with a greater mental ability and sense of well being. A meditative practice does not need to be the same experience for everyone, nor does everyone need to have such a practice. It's a personal choice. I like to provide enough information so that anyone can make an informed choice.

This powerful practice has been an integral part of both my personal and professional life for a long time. I have a meditation practice; I encourage my clients to have a regular practice; I teach related personal development principles and techniques; I lead clients in guided meditative and visualization experiences. I help people to speak about this and other subjects in empowering ways. I like to make this empowering practice more accessible to beginners who might otherwise be hesitant to explore it.

My Definition

I actually have a rather broad definition. I define meditation more in terms of its essence than its form. I believe that in a true higher state of consciousness there is an awareness of "merging" the physical (or human) and the non-physical (or spiritual, or divine). Energy flows smoothly between the merged aspects so that oneness rather than separation is predominant.

Different people have different ways of describing how they relate to this practice, and may not relate at all to this "merging" I describe. Some experience a detached sensation; others experience euphoria; others lose consciousness and awaken to expanded consciousness. Some feel calm afterwards; others feel exhilarated. Some are more aware of their physical senses; others transcend their physical senses. Some fall asleep. Some awaken.

This state of consciousness, for me, is not defined by time, place, rules, or quantity. For many people who meditate for 20 minutes, it takes 18 minutes to get to that state of consciousness, with 2 seconds in that state, and 2 minutes returning to the world. And, to my point of view, 2 seconds of being in that pure state of consciousness is well worth that, or even more, time spent to get there. It is a wonderful opportunity to let go of stress and resistance.

Benefits of a Regular Practice

Butterful in Hand

There are many benefits to a regular practice. Many individuals are inspired to relax and meditate because of specific benefits or perceived benefits, such as improved health, greater calmness, less sleep, and/or peace of mind. Regular meditators are generally more attentive, aware, and calm.

Over time, the benefits of a regular practice are as varied as the original intention and specific experiences people have. It's quite common for long-time practitioners to acknowledge they benefit physically, emotionally, and mentally to this practice that's usually considered to be spiritual.

Varied reasons prompt people to a regular practice. For the benefit "general wellbeing" is enough of a reason for many. Those who are more specific about the benefits might say they sleep better, maintain lower blood pressure, feel less stressed, or have healed themselves from a specific compromised health condition.

Techniques or Forms

Given my broad definition, you can perhaps understand that I recognize the existence of multiple techniques and I advocate a variety. Some techniques are more supportive than others; some are more conducive to continuing a long term practice than others; some are easier to learn than others. A technique is a means to assist you in reaching the deeper purpose of meditating.

The most common form or technique is to sit quietly in a comfortable position for a specific period of time, usually twenty minutes. I personally think this is a good practice, especially for the beginner. Many long-timers continue to maintain their practice of sitting twenty minutes each day or several days each week. Times vary, of course, and many advocate sustaining a meditation position for long periods of time.

After people experience the true essence of a regular practice (defined uniquely for themselves), the form usually becomes less and less important. Running, gardening, showering, climbing a mountain, having a massage are activities that can be conducive to experiencing a meditative state. And notice the dynamics of breathing can be a powerful practice in itself.

Meditation is a discipline, one to do on a regular basis. To have experimented once last year does not make anyone a meditator. Benefits come with a regular practice.

And So Much More

As this web site expands, you'll see much more about specific benefits, techniques, approaches, and philosophies to enhance your practice of meditating and to balance your life with relaxation.

Guidance by Jeanie Marshall
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