Meditation is the focus of attention to the exclusion of all other mindful distractions.
It is a tool that can be used to help raise our awareness of thought, or perhaps more importantly, how little control we have over our thoughts, at least until we have had a bit of practice.
Whilst there are many different types of meditation, you don’t have to sit cross legged and make weird chanting noises to benefit from a meditative experience! It can just as easily be experienced whilst going for a run or mopping the floor as it can sitting quietly.
Why meditate in the first place?
The benefits of meditation are no longer confined to the enlightened Guru’s among us! Science is now able to evidence significant benefits attributed to regular meditation.
These include, but are not limited to :-
Reducing stress, Controlling Anxiety, Promotion of emotional health, Enhancing self awareness,
lengthening of attention span, improvement in sleep and even helping to control pain.
Try this activity:
Grab a pen and go sit somewhere quiet, away from too many distractions.
Hold the pen in your hand and whilst looking at the pen, repeat in your mind the word “pen” and keep repeating it!
Notice how many times your mind begins to wonder away from the pen. It may start with the colour of the pen, maybe even the texture, make or size but before long your mind will soon be on the move to more entertaining things like what you are doing later today, who you are going to see and what imaginary conversations will take place before it begins to undermine your practice still further by telling you how boring and pointless the whole exercise is!
It is at this point that you have a choice…….. Do you let your mind control you and quit or do you quietly return it to your chosen focus of attention……..which, although in this instance is the pen, could just as easily be your breath, a candle or even a sound.