On a normal Saturday afternoon, stand in a well-attended pedestrian zone: On weekends, America’s pedestrian zones are filled with people. Hectic buzzing everywhere. There is pure stress in times where we are supposed to relax and recharge our energies. This doesn’t have to be this way, however. It can be very different if you allow the change to happen from within.
How about not being influenced by all the hustle and bustle around you? How about smiling contentedly while everyone around you is in a hurry? And what if it only takes a little practice, 10 minutes a day? Would you then give meditation a chance?
Table of Content
✓ Meditation – What is it?
✓ Meditation – Who invented it?
✓ What will meditation do for you?
✓ Other Benefits of Meditation
✓ A small task: mindfulness
Hardly any technique is underestimated as much as meditation. Rarely any technique has such diverse and positive effects on the mind and body, though, and no other mastery can change life in this way.
Also, there are so many prejudices against meditation, no other similar technique receives that much opposition, either.
Admittedly, I too had my prejudices regarding meditation until about 3 years ago.
This was before I gave it a chance, tried it and was astonished how much better I felt through a few very simple exercises.
Meditation – What is it?
Meditation is mindfulness and concentration exercises through which the mind is supposed to calm down and gather. It can, however, also be used to expand consciousness. The desired states of consciousness are described, depending on tradition, differently and often with terms or phrases such as silence, emptiness, oneness with the body and mind, being here and now or being free of thoughts.
Meditation – Who invented it?
The question of who first began meditation cannot be answered in details, because the meditative practice has always been part of human culture. In every culture in the world, in every epoch of history, people have applied certain meditative practices.
▪ Religious people pray and walk by themselves, often connected with repetitive prayers such as the Lord’s Prayer or the Rosary. This is a form of meditative practice.
▪ Some people like to walk/jog in the forest to listen to nature or to spend some casual time in nature’s surroundings. This, too, is a meditative practice.
▪ The young baker who lovingly kneads the sourdough for 20 minutes to make it fluffy meditates.
▪ The Japanese tea ceremony is basically a meditative celebration.
▪ The martial art Taijiquan is a meditation; so is Tai Chi.
▪ The pianist, who plays Bach’s “Well-Tempered Piano” every morning after getting up, meditates.
▪ The Buddhist monk … I guess I don’t have to elaborate it.
▪ Many people utilize meditative practices without thinking too much about them. The difference is whether you do so consciously, or not.
You see, meditation is part of human culture. It has nothing to do with spiritual hocus pocus or esotericism.
As part of the morning routine to tune you into the next day, meditation is perfect, and many people are already subconsciously doing it correctly.
Note: Please distinguish between meditation for relaxation and trance/ecstasy, which correspond to a rite.
What will Meditation Do for You?
Don’t worry, you as a human being, as an individual, remain the same. But your stress perception and your everyday attitude, your state of mind, your “joie de vivre,” will change very much for the better.
Here is a Small Diagram
You’re sitting on a highway where a lot of cars pass by. There are small, fast cars, others are big, noisy trucks that block everything. There are, however, also colorful, funny hippie campers from which Scott McKenzie’s “San Francisco” resounds.
These cars are your thoughts. They all drive past you and compete for your attention. Normally you run after them and let yourself be distracted by them. You don’t come to rest, you’re stressed.
The Whole Scenario Shifts through Meditation
The cars drive by, honk, are loud and gay, but you just sit there, smile and watch them pass by. You don’t let yourself be distracted or influenced by them, and in no way do you run after them. How relaxing, right?
That makes the biggest difference on a Saturday afternoon. While everything around you is rushing and loud, you acknowledge all the buzz, but you don’t let it impress or influence you. The stress bounces off you like a rubber ball from a concrete wall.
Other Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is a Valuable Tool to Lead a Healthier, Happier and more Relaxed Life.
Because two important effects of meditating are that it releases massive happiness hormones, and at the same time immensely reduces stress hormones such as cortisol and adrenaline. Both of which contribute to anxiety and panic attacks. Meditation acts as a preventative aide, and this with, both, immediate and lasting effect.
Your entire mood/life attitude will change, and you will be more relaxed. Not more relaxed in the sense of “1969 hippie style with camping van and flowers in the hair”, but really more stress-resistant and … enhanced inner growth.
In Terms of Health, Meditation has a few Key Benefits
✓ It increases the mass of the white matter (nerve fibers, aka Axons), thus, your brain grows.
✓ Blood pressure drops
✓ Cholesterol levels drop
✓ Increased mindfulness, even when eating, facilitates figure control, weight loss and rapid weight loss
✓ You can use it to increase your concentration
✓ Healthy sleep becomes easier to implement
What else will change in your life?
✓ Stress levels fall sustainably
✓ Perception with all five senses increases
✓ Relationships with loved ones become more fulfilling
✓ Memory is getting better
✓ You will be happier in life
✓ You become more optimistic
✓ You become more empathetic, compassionate
✓ You gain more confident
✓ You will be more grateful
✓ You become more emotionally controlled
Isn’t that everything you want? Are those not the skills and character traits you are yearning to have?
What Else will Improve at the Same Time?
✓ Mental absence and daydreaming
✓ Social anxiety (fear of people or crowds)
✓ Anxiety and Panic Disorders
To sum up all the pros and cons: You will be happier, more balanced and more affable.
Isn’t it worth sacrificing a few minutes a day to achieve such a wonderful outcome? What if I tell you that you can reach exactly these goals with just 10 minutes a day? Sounds too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Let me help you out and point you in the right direction.
A Small Task – Mindfulness
After these impressive points, there is only one thing left to do: Take action!
So, before I familiarize you with some simple but effective meditation techniques, I have a small task for you: mindfulness. 10 minutes a day. For the next 7 days. Nothing more.
By then, you have already acquired the basic understanding of meditation, got a small taste of meditation, naturally through practicing mindfulness, thus, you can look forward to some exciting techniques, which I will then introduce to you.
How Does Mindfulness Work?
You take 10 minutes a day. You go to a place of your choice (sofa, park bench, the corner nook of your coffee shop, etc.) and sit or stand there still for the following 10 minutes. And then, you concentrate with all 5 senses on all impressions that penetrate you at this moment:
✓ What do you smell around you? Are there different smells?
✓ What do you hear? Who do you hear? People, animals, the wind?
✓ What do you feel? Feel your breath, feel your feet on the floor, the clothes on your skin.
✓ What do you taste? Is your mouth dry, wet?
✓ What do you see? What’s going on around you? Pay attention to every detail.
Addendum: Observe your thoughts. Displace annoying, unnecessary thoughts and focus on the here and now.
Take your time and watch what happens, how your state of mind changes, how stress and fatigue drop off. Try it at least three times over the next week.
Meditation is just like this, in between your daily schedule, but it is also very well suited as part of a morning routine.
A morning routine is a clocked routine—a schedule—for the first 60-90 minutes of the day. During this time you lay the foundation for a successful day, get motivated, do something for body and mind, and are perfectly prepared afterward.
A morning routine can consist of a few actions such as a cold shower and a few stretching exercises, but can also be longer. Click below and you will learn what possibilities are open to you and how to establish a healthy morning routine that brings you closer to your goals.
A Morning Routine Like Rocky Balboa To Achieve Your Dreams
If you simply cannot observe anything positive about you after you practiced these three exercises fully concentrated and unbiased, then you may dismiss meditation as an esoteric mumbo jumbo.
If you notice, however, what it does, how your state of mind indeed changes and how much you feel better, then enjoy these 10 minutes and make it a daily ritual.
Conclusion – Meditation Changes Life for the Better
Meditation is a term that summarizes mindfulness and consciousness exercises. It has always been part of human culture – in all cultures on earth.
Meditation is usually dismissed as esoteric nonsense, but in reality, it can fundamentally improve your life. You become more relaxed, more balanced, more mature, more stress-resistant and in many ways healthier.
Test these mindfulness exercises and see how they affect you. Give meditation a chance! You won’t regret it! All it takes is 10 minutes of your time.
What Kind of World do we want to Live in? A Short Story from Portugal to Think About.
Fifteen adults in one of the most beautiful places in the world: the coast of Ericeira, a small town in Portugal, which is also one of the best surf spots in Europe.
The sun is setting, the infinite sea is in front of us. To the right lies the bay of Ericeira, to the left a breathtaking rocky backdrop graces us with its presence. The waves slowly approach the shore, and the sun reflects a golden stripe within the water and breaks – similar to a halo – through the clouds.
The feeling is indescribable, and the horizon seems limitless.
Time seems to stand still, the head is suddenly free of thoughts. Everything is right here, in precise alignment and simply perfect. Nothing has to be achieved, nothing has to be done.
I seem to be the only one, however, who has this view. The people surrounding me are all much more experienced in life than I am, and yet no one seems to be taking in this unique moment on this beautiful coastline. I’m getting thoughtful …
Instead of enjoying the moment, photos are taken. Everyone takes a glance to their left and to their right, taking this moment in time for granted. Then, the beer begins to flow, and things such as sandwiches and taking selfies become more important. A couple would rather have a cheesy photo of themselves than enjoy this unique instant together.
I put my philosopher cap on and ask myself, “Are Instagram and Facebook likes now more valuable than love and affection, more than the absolute presence and life at the present time being?”
Just a few more photos have to be snapped, and then? Back on the bus and off home! I feel like I’m lost in a flock of sheep.
I stay seated and enjoy the moment before the guide of the group pats me on the shoulder a little later and says: “I don’t want to disturb you, but everyone is already on the bus. So, come back slowly.”
I get speechless, thoughtful, stunned…
Everything is here! Right in front of our nose!
But instead of being in the moment, Instagram and Facebook continue to be preferred.
Do we want to keep chasing? Do we really gain absolute happiness from more and more likes, virtual hearts and followers?
There is no end to social media. Do we want to continue to live in such a society?
When I find myself back on the bus and can overhear the conversations of my fellow travelers, it becomes clear that they prefer to talk about the next movie, compare photos and post them immediately, instead of talking about the impressions I have just experienced.
I then have many questions:
What kind of world do we want to live in?
When will we rediscover nature again and make our own experiences, build our own memories instead of leaving virtual reality on social media taking over?
Where will our society end up?
Do we have to destroy each other until we realize that everything is in front of us if only we look closely?
I just felt like sharing this little story with you, and I’m curious about your sentiments regarding it. I, furthermore, hope that I could get you more familiarized with the meditation definition, as well. It’s nothing only gurus, Buddhists or esoteric weirdos practice. It’s the simplest form to align your body and soul; the best path to self-discovery and healing.
As always, please, leave your comment below with questions, your own stories, requests for a topic you would like to learn and read more about here, or shared advice. We are always looking forward to hearing from you.
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Meanwhile, I’m sending you much love, harmony, happiness and an abundance of all good things. Please, never forget that you are beautiful, precious an uniques regardless of what others might say. Thus, keep on shining.