Meditation is not reserved only for people living in an ashram or a cave, or for people whose sole interest is spirituality.
Meditation is most useful for the most practical person, and also for the most visionary one.
You can practice meditation, even if you are living a most busy and active life. You can work many hours a day, manage a business or take care of your family, and yet, find the time for meditation.
With a strong desire and some planning, you can find the time to practice meditation daily.
What Does Meditation Do?
- On the physical level, meditation relaxes the body, replenishes it with vitality, and restores its energy, health and balance.
- On the emotional and mental level, it reduces anxiety, worry and anger, and brings peace of mind, tolerance, patience, and good will toward the surrounding world.
- On the spiritual level, meditation awakens awareness of the real inner Self, the inner consciousness, which is beyond the mind.
- Meditation also improves the memory and the concentration, and allows for clearer thinking.
Even just 10 minutes a day can be most useful. It will give relaxation, energy and better focus.
Meditation Is a Simple Process
Meditation is a simple process. There is nothing complicated about it.
Meditation has nothing to do with impracticality, absentmindedness and avoiding responsibility, as some might believe. You do not have to live a secluded life, own nothing, and stay away from any activity in order to meditate. You can live an ordinary life, with a job and family, and yet, at the same time, meditate every day.
You can wear a robe or other special clothes, grow your hair, light candles and incense, and sit on the floor to meditate, but this is not a must.
You can spend your day working in an office, shop or factory, clean the house and take care of your children, and yet, find the time to practice meditation.
You can wear whatever you wish when you meditate, or sit on a chair instead of cross-legged on the floor. What you wear and where you meditate are not important, except that it needs to be a quiet place. It is your attitude that counts most.
Proper and effective meditation requires some inner strength. There have to be the desire, willpower, drive and perseverance. All these qualities are in fact, the same basic qualities needed for success in the material world.
Even if you have a job, run a business or pursue a career, you will benefit from this practice. It will not turn you into an indifferent and impractical person with no ambition. On the contrary, it will give you a broader perspective of life and an open mind, increase common sense and develop intuition and clear thinking.
The concept that meditation is not for practical people is utterly wrong. It is suitable down-to-earth people, for visionaries, and for people seeking to be more spiritual.
Since its purpose is to relax the body, emotions and mind, it should be simple, without anything complicated, so that the mind can get focused and relaxed.
Watching Thoughts Meditation
I would now like to suggest a simple meditation technique that involves watching your thoughts calmly, as if they do not belong to you.
This is a simple, effective and practical technique that will strengthen your concentration and calm your mind.
Of course, to get results, you will need to practice it daily, for at least ten minutes each time.
The purpose of this meditation is to watch your thoughts with detachment and lack of interest. This might not be easy, but it will help you relax the restlessness of your mind.
Proceed as follows:
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Find a place where you can be alone and undisturbed. It can be a room at your house, a quiet office room, or in a garden, where there is no likelihood of being disturbed.
Sit down on a chair with your back straight, in a comfortable position and without slouching.
Pay attention to your body. You will probably discover that it is tense.
Focus on each part of your body, from toes to head, relaxing each part. Feel how each muscle is relaxing and easing its tension.
Do this relaxation for for a minute or two, or more, if you feel the need to relax more.
Take a few deep breaths. Breathe slowly, filling your lungs without tensing them, and breathe out slowly. This will further relax your body and mind.
Start watching your thoughts, as if you are looking at an uninteresting movie.
Thoughts are like birds hovering around a crumb of bread. This crumb of bread is your attention, and your thoughts are seeking your attention. They feed on it.
Your thoughts will raise associated thoughts, feelings and images. Your job is to stay detached and disregard all these thoughts. Just watch them with no interest at all.
It is natural for a lot of thoughts rise during meditation, trying to make you forget to meditate. If you give in to these thoughts, you will make no progress. If you keep bringing your mind to the meditation, despite the distractions of the mind, your thoughts will eventually give in and stop.
It is a very simple meditation, but not so easy to practice, since the mind is used to constant, nonstop thinking.
It would help, if you accept the idea that you are not your thoughts. They are like passing visitors, who come to visit your mind.
It is you, the real you, watching these thoughts. You are beyond the mind. To control something, there must be a higher power. To control your mind, there must be something higher than the mind, and this something is you.
Just look at your thoughts, and watch them, as if you are watching some far away, uninteresting scene. If they force you to follow them, ask them who is the boss, you or they?
6. Stay relaxed and don’t get tense. Do not fight your thoughts or get angry and frustrated if you cannot stay away from them. It is a natural habit to let every thought enter freely into the mind. It takes time and effort to change this habit. The secret of success is detachment.
Go on practicing this meditation, even if you fail and forget to watch your thoughts dispassionately. Your resolve, patience and perseverance will eventually win, and you will experience a state of expanded consciousness, happiness and inner peace.