Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Work-in Wednesday: Meditation

I have decided to work-in this week.

Working-in is very similar to working out, except the focus is inward.  You take the time to give the body a rest from intense exercise and do things that help calm and relax the mind, body and spirit.

Mediation is a great way to do this.

The thought of meditation is an intimidating notion for many people.  It conjures up images of complicated chants and impossible body positions.

However, meditation is really quite simple:  It is the creation of a relaxed state of mind/body awareness.  Achieving this state is going to be different for everyone.  Some will prefer to sit alone quietly, while other may want to chant in a group.

Here are three different exercises you can try to help you quiet your mind.

Candle Gazing
Staring at a single flame helps to settle the mind and provides a good focus for meditation.
  1. Sit in a comfortable position with the candle in front of you.  Breath deeply and focus your awareness on the flame.
  2. Close your eyes, but continue to picture the candle in your mind as you feel it's light warm your spirit.  
  3. When you are ready to end the meditation, turn the mind to focus on your breathing and slowly open your eyes.

The chanting of a mantra (sounds, words or phrases chanted as a song or prayer) can be very soothing and uplifting at the same time.  The vibrations created by repeating the mantra are thought to bring a deep sense of well being.
  1. Sit in a comfortable position and close your eyes.  Take a few moments to focus on your breathing.
  2. Say your chosen mantra to yourself a few times.  When you are ready, say it out loud.  Pay attention to the sound that the words make.  Continue repeating the mantra for up to five minutes
  3. When you feel ready, stop chanting and focus your attention on your breath once more.  Open your eyes and reflect on how this exercise made you feel.

Positive affirmations can be very effective to counteract much of our negative thinking and self-talk.  Make your affirmations clear and specific such as, "I am not afraid to face my fears."
  1. Sit in a comfortable position and take a moment to clear your mind of any clutter or stress.
  2. Visualize yourself in a place that make you feel most happy and peaceful.  Repeat your affirmation to yourself as many times as you like.  You will begin to feel more positive and restful.
  3. Take a few more deep breaths and when you are ready, open your eyes.

How do you feel about meditating?  If you do meditate, how and how often?
Stay Healthy,

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