Community Talks! Vol. 1, ep. 11.
A lot has been said about meditation and one common thought about it is that it is about putting your mind on ”blank”. Other beliefs about meditation are that it is a practice to gain “peace of mind” or to “control the mind”. None of these previous statements are meditation.
So, what is meditation? Meditation is a practice to cultivate core values of awareness, tranquillity, and insight. Understanding the mind and emotions better will enable us to work with our responses and actions in a way that leads to well-being and happiness – for ourselves and for those who are around us. As we come to value others' well-being and happiness, we are more likely to experience compassion and love.
Now, why do I meditate?
- I’m more aware of my thoughts and feelings in different situations and it has helped me to take a moment to think before I act.
- I recognize my negative emotions and I have learned to observe them, feel them, and let them go.
- It has helped me to be more empathetic with others and instead of judging them for their actions, I reflect on why they react or act in that way.
- Meditation has been a way for me to rest my mind, to let it be, and let go of the noise sometimes we can have of our thoughts.
- After meditation, I instantly feel more calm but energetic and ready to continue the day or just go to bed more serenely.
There are more reasons why I meditate, but I will let you go and try it! Everyone experiences meditation differently but for sure it will always bring benefits to the meditator. So here is a type of meditation I recommend anyone to start with:
Breathwork: The first thing we must do when we are born is breathing. Breathing is important to find balance and regulate our emotions. During this type of meditation, you will focus on your breathing. A simple exercise to start with it will be to:
- Take a comfortable position (sitting or lying) and close your eyes partially.
- Inhale slowly for 4 seconds.
- Hold for 4 seconds.
- Exhale slowly for 4 seconds or more.
- Repeat 3 times.
- Let your breathing take its normal rhythm and put your attention on
- Just observe and feel how the air comes in and out.
- If your mind starts wandering, just take back your attention to your breath.
Let me know how do you feel after this meditation!
Hello Mariana, another lovely post! Thank you for taking the time to explain the steps to meditation.
Often I have heard about the benefits of meditation, but the only times when I have done a little meditation is at the end of a yoga session. In my case, the immediate effect of meditation is falling asleep 😊, which I take as a good thing.
I have a friend who practises meditation. Unlike me who practises meditation ad-hoc, she has set time aside for it and made it part of her daily routine. But I was wondering, what is the recommended length of a meditation session and how often should we meditate?0
Thanks for your question! As meditation is a personal journey, I would say that the recommended length of a meditation session and its frequency depends on the meditator's experience and goals. Taking at least 5 minutes per day can be beneficial, and during the long-term, those 5 minutes could be 10 minutes, then 15 minutes and so.
However, the length isn't important as how conscious and committed you are to the practice. You may be there sitting for 15 minutes and probably be focused only 5 minutes. Therefore, it's better a short meditation with full attention than a long one with disturbances. And remember, it's all about practice and patience.
Hope you enjoy your next meditation! 🤗0
Mariana Cañavera H. Thank you for explaining why you meditate.
I really enjoy meditation to gather my thought and control my stress levels.
With the spring finally arriving in the south of Sweden, one form of meditation I really enjoy is mindful walks in nature. I leave my phone at home and just focus on my surroundings, noting small changes in nature every day. It's another way to bring presence to my everyday life.
Hope this helps someone! And enjoy your next meditation!0
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