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Meditate...? But How...?


People all around the world have practiced meditation for centuries. Today meditation is quickly becoming one of the most popular pastimes of the modern world inhabitants. Modern lifestyles can often lead us to feel stressed and unable to get the required sleep, especially with the current Covid-19 situation that we all face. Meditation is one of the most effective ways to find inner peace, relax, and cope with our stresses.....

Managing Stress: Eating a balanced diet and taking regular exercise can take care of the physical need, but allowing your mind some space to relax is often over looked. You will often here people say that they feel more relaxed after a holiday - that is because they have had time to switch off from their daily routines and think about other things - they have given their brain a rest. Meditation is a way of giving your brain a mini break that can be taken daily. A More Productive You: One great benefit of meditation is that it helps you vastly improve your concentration levels, which in turn will help make you far more productive. Clearing your mind of distractions and focusing on the act of mediating itself, clears your mind and leaves you able to focus on what’s right in front of you. Meditation teaches us to not fret over the small stuff, and helps us to really put things into perspective, leaving us positive, happy, tranquil, and peaceful within our self. So why not try one of the most popular pastimes of the modern world and find your inner peace. How do you learn to meditate? In mindfulness meditation, we’re learning how to pay attention to the breath as it goes in and out, and notice when the mind wanders from this task. This practice of returning to the breath builds the muscles of attention and mindfulness. When we pay attention to our breath, we are learning how to return to, and remain in, the present moment -to anchor ourselves in the here and now on purpose -without judgement. The idea behind mindfulness seems simple although the practice takes patience. While meditation isn’t a cure-all, it can certainly provide some much-needed space in your life. Sometimes, that’s all we need to make better choices for ourselves, our families, and our communities. And the most important tools you can bring with you to your meditation practice are a little patience, some kindness for yourself, and a comfortable place to sit. A Basic Meditation for Beginners: The first thing to clarify: What we’re doing here is aiming for mindfulness, not some process that magically wipes your mind clear of the countless and endless thoughts that erupt and ping constantly in our brains. We’re just practicing bringing our attention to our breath, and then back to the breath when we notice our attention has wandered. So: 1. Get comfortable and prepare to sit still for a few minutes. After you stop reading this, you’re going to simply focus on your own natural inhaling and exhaling of breath. 2. Focus on your breath. Where do you feel your breath most? In your belly? In your nose?

Try to keep your attention on your inhale and exhale. 3. Follow your breath for two minutes.

Take a deep inhale, expanding your belly,

and then exhale slowly, elongating the out-breath as your belly contracts. 4. Welcome back!! What happened? How long was it before your mind wandered away from your breath? Did you notice how busy your mind was even without consciously directing it to think about anything in particular? Did you notice yourself getting caught up in thoughts before you came back to reading this? We often have little narratives running in our minds that we didn’t choose to put there, like: “Why DOES my boss want to meet with me tomorrow?” “I should have gone to the gym yesterday.” “I’ve got to pay some bills” or the classic,,, “I don’t have time to sit still, I’ve got too much stuff to do.” If you experienced these sorts of distractions (and we all do), you’ve made an important discovery: simply put, that’s the opposite of mindfulness. I t’s when we live in our heads, on automatic pilot, letting our thoughts go here and there, exploring, say, the future or the past, and essentially, not being present in the moment. But that’s where most of us live most of the time—and pretty uncomfortably, if we’re being honest, right? But it doesn’t have to be that way. We “practice” mindfulness so we can learn how to recognise when our minds are doing their normal everyday acrobatics, and maybe take a pause from that for just a little while so we can choose what we’d like to focus on. In a nutshell, meditation helps us have a much healthier relationship with ourselves (and, by extension, with others). Why Learn To Meditate? When we meditate, we inject far-reaching and long-lasting benefits into our lives. And bonus: you don’t need any extra gear or an expensive membership. Here are five reasons to meditate: 1: Understand your pain 2: Lower your stress 3: Connect better 4: Improve focus 5: Reduce brain chatter How to Meditate: Meditation is simpler (and harder) than most people think. Read these steps, make sure you’re somewhere where you can relax into this process,

set a timer, and give it a shot:

1) Take a seat Find a place to sit that feels calm and quiet to you. 2) Set a time limit If you’re just beginning, it can help to choose a short time, such as 3 or 5 minutes. 3) Notice your body You can sit in a chair with your feet on the floor, you can sit loosely cross-legged, or you could lie down—all are fine. Just make sure you are stable and in a position you can stay in for a while. 4) Feel your breath Follow the sensation of your breath as it goes in and as it goes out. You could say to yourself, "Breathe in, I know I'm breathing in; Breathe out, I know I'm breathing out". 5) Notice when your mind has wandered Inevitably, your attention will leave the breath and wander to other places. When you get around to noticing that your mind has wandered—in a few seconds, a minute, five minutes—simply return your attention to the breath. 6) Be kind to your wandering mind Don’t judge yourself or obsess over the content of the thoughts you find yourself lost in. Just come back to your breathe. 7) Close with kindness When you’re ready, gently lift your gaze (if your eyes are closed, open them). Take a moment and notice any sounds in the environment. Notice how your body feels right now. Notice your thoughts and emotions. That’s it! That’s the practice! You go away, you come back, and you try to do it as kindly as possible..... Namaste

Sent with light and blessings

Sharon x

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