Meditation is …

Contemplating. Pondering. Musing. Reflecting.

Reality is often loud. One way to calm the incessant buzzing of the everyday is to sit still for just a moment … to breathe and allow your heart rate to relax. In a nutshell, meditation is a practice that takes a person inward and encourages a mode of consciousness that leads to content and understanding. Meditation has been used across lifestyles, beliefs and professions to combat blood pressure and move closer towards tranquility. No matter the walk of life, everyone needs a little self TLC. So, let’s get to it …

What Science Says

The health benefits of meditation are unreal. It is a vacation for your mind that it does not otherwise get. We so often deprive ourselves of letting go, which is a disaster for the psyche.

Dr. Emma Seppala claims that she began meditating right after September 11. Seppala said she “was living in Manhattan, an already chaotic place, at an extremely chaotic time. I realized I had no control over my external environment. But the one place I did have a say over was my mind, through meditation.” Control. We all crave it, and we all know the external is no place that we can find it. That is why meditation grants our bodies a “get out of stress free card,” while sitting still. It is hard to ignore the increase in positive emotion and decrease of fretfulness that comes from meditation.

Community Focused on Quiet

Skeptics say meditation can make people isolate themselves. In reality, this is a practice that brings people together. This is more than apparent in a local community called “Just Sit Jax.” This group meets weekly to meditate and talk through different Buddhist ideologies. There are no biases with this group. The organizer of the group, Jonathan, will share tea and meditation tips. He said, “It is easier to develop a practice when surrounded by others who can help you sit more consistently.” So, stop by Unity Church of Jacksonville in Riverside to find quiet, community and a bunch of folks who love to show loving kindness.

Zen 1

So, we get it, meditation is good for us. But what next?

Meditation is simple in theory. However, many have found that sitting still and quieting the mind can be quite the task. It means asking ourselves to act in the antithesis of the outside world. Here are some strategies that simplify and maximize meditation.

  • Be comfortable. Sit in whatever position you would like. Do you like to sit with both legs crossed, full lotus style? Do it! Wish you could just have your legs stretched out in front of you? Do it! Do you like hanging out in the new armchair you just bought from West Elm? Heck, that sounds great! What is important is that you are not focused on the aches or discomfort in sitting outside of your comfort zone. So, grab a comfy pillow for your tush and get to sitting.
  • Start off with asking yourself questions. A quiet mind comes from an understood soul. A great way to transition into contemplative and mood restoring meditation is to begin with different introspective thoughts. A popular one that is used by many Theravada and Tibetan Buddhists generates benevolence and good will toward the person meditating. Sit still, and just forgive yourself. This will open doors in your practice that would otherwise be not accessed.
  • Get your mind right every morning. Create a routine. If you begin the day with just five minutes of positive thinking, your actions will follow. We don’t need science to tell us that.

Do not let silly misconceptions about meditating keep you from this craft. The health benefits, emotionally and mentally, should prompt you to meditate right this minute. It works if you work it!