Daily meditation can improve your life
. Meditation is an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to improve quality of life.
The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions.
If we train in meditation, our mind will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Meditate early in the morning
. Amritvela or early morning meditation is a vital part of a Sikhs daily worship schedule. According to the Sikh code of conduct, Amritvela is three hours prior to dawn. Amritvela considered to be the most opportune time to achieve that instance of immortality when the soul relinquishes ego for union with the divine. To successfully observe Amritvela, it is essential to establish a routine so that early morning meditation becomes a habit. Whether or not you are a Sikh, these ten tips can help you to attain, maintain, and sustain a richly rewarding meditation practice for life.
Make better choices for yourself
. How many times have you made poor food choices, stayed in negative, draining relationships or frittered away hours of time on meaningless activities simply because you were operating on autopilot? Meditation helps you to cultivate awareness of your own patterns and behaviors.
As you begin to pay attention to yourself and your life, you start to notice the small choices you make each day ?and how those choices add up to the sum total of who you are and what you do in life. When you can take a step back and get a bird?s eye view, you're able to use this state of awareness to pause and change tack, and these small moment by moment changes can eventually transform your whole life.
Heal your relationships
. Meditation helps you to cultivate a sense of presence, and when you're present with your loved ones, or indeed anyone, magical changes in how you relate to each other take place. When you cultivate presence, you not only truly listen to others, but you give them the freedom to be who they are without our limiting prejudices and judgments getting in the way. In the present moment, we allow each of our relationships to be begin fresh, free from past grievances or future expectations, and we see the beauty of each human being unfold in a new light.
Increase your productivity at work
. When the mind is scattered, you may start to think of all of the things that need to be done ? or worse, you try to do everything that needs to be done all at once, and end up overwhelmed and exhausted. Meditation cultivates clarity, and a clear mind can focus laser-like on one task to complete it without running off in different directions like a bunch of crazy monkeys. This sense of clarity and focus actually allows you to get more done in less time without the stress and drama.
Stop the pointless worrying
. Fear, stress, anxiety and worrying are frequently based on the illusory concepts of past and future, and have very little to do with what's happening in this moment, right now. Yet so often people taint the present moment with these unreal imaginings. Meditation helps you to get real and tune in to the present moment, the only place where peace resides. Inner peace is a choice, and it's always here, now.
Accept lifes challenges with grace and ease
. Many people reject the present moment because it's not how they want it to be. As soon as the present moment doesn?t measure up to what you think it should be, the sh*t hits the fan, and you check out of the now. You can fall into patterns of victimhood, pessimism, despair or anguish. You may resist life's natural flow and get caught up in mental fantasies of "should have," "could have" and "it?s not fair."
The greatest gift that meditation can give is the awareness that despite the seeming chaos, despite life not going how you think it ought to, when you step back and experience the joy of just being, you come to the realization that all is perfect, right now.
Living With Kindness
. No one deserves your kindness and compassion more than yourself. Every time you see or feel suffering, every time you make a mistake or say something stupid and are just about to put yourself down, every time you think of someone you are having a hard time with, every time you encounter the confusion and difficulty of being human, every time you see someone else struggling, upset, or irritated, you can stop and bring loving kindness and compassion. Breathing gently, silently repeat: May I be well, may I be happy, May I be filled with loving kindness.
Lightening the Load
. In a stressed state, it is easy to lose touch with inner peace, compassion and kindness; in a relaxed state, your mind is clear and you can connect with a deeper sense of purpose and altruism. Meditation and medication are derived from the Latin word medicus, to care or to cure. A time of quiet calmness is, therefore, the most effective remedy for a busy and overworked mind. Anytime you feel stress rising, heart closing, mind going into overwhelm, just bring your focus to your breathing and quietly repeat with each in- and out-breath: Breathing in, I calm the body and mind; breathing out, I smile.
Letting Go of Me
. Stillness is always there between the thoughts, behind the story, beneath the noise. What keeps us from experiencing our natural state of being is the habitual and ego-dominated monkey mind. Meditation enables us to see clearly, to witness our thoughts and behavior and reduce self-involvement. Without such a practice of self-reflection there is no way of putting a brake on the ego?s demands. From being self-centered, we can become other-centered, concerned about the welfare of all.
Dissolving Anger and Fear
. We do not accept or release our negative feelings so easily; we are more likely to repress or disown them. But when denied they cause shame, depression, anger, and anxiety. Meditation invites you to openly meet these places, and to see how selfishness, aversion and ignorance create endless dramas and fears. Beneath these is a quiet stillness where you can get to know yourself; this is a wondrous and beautiful experience. Whether you practice for just ten minutes a day or longer does not matter. You are releasing your limitations, while opening to self-acceptance and awareness.
. Forgiveness is the greatest gift you can give yourself and others. As you sit in meditation and watch your thoughts and feelings moving through you, so you can observe that who you are now is not who you were just a moment ago, let alone a day, a week, or a month ago. Who you, or someone else, was when pain was caused is not who you are now. When you experience your essential interconnectedness you see how the ignorance of this creates separation and suffering, so that forgiveness for such ignorance arises spontaneously.
. Simply through the intent to cause less pain you can bring greater dignity to your world, so that harm is replaced with harmlessness and disrespect with respect. Harm is usually caused unintentionally, whether by ignoring someone?s feelings, putting yourself down, reaffirming your hopelessness, disliking your appearance, or seeing yourself as incompetent or unworthy. How much resentment, guilt, or shame are you holding on to, thus perpetuating harmfulness? Meditation enables you transform this through recognizing your essential goodness and the preciousness of all life.
. Take a moment to appreciate the chair you are sitting on. Consider how the chair was made: the wood, cotton, wool, or other fibers, the trees and plants that were used, the earth that grew the trees, the sun and rain, the animals that maybe gave their lives, the people who prepared the materials, the factory where the chair was made, the designer and carpenter and seamstress, the shop that sold it?all this just so you could be sitting here, now. Then extend that deep appreciation to everything and everyone in your life.
. Awareness is the key to awakening. Through awareness you can see your monkey mind and all its mischief. Almost everything we do is to achieve something: if we do this, then we will get that; if we do that, then this will happen. But in meditation you do it just to do it. There is no ulterior purpose other than to be here, in the present moment, without trying to get anywhere or achieve anything. You are just aware of whatever is happening, whether pleasant or unpleasant. No judgment, no right or wrong. Simply being aware. Enjoy!
Heals and Harmonizes
. In meditation, healing can happen. When the mind is calm, alert and totally contented, it is like a laser beam- it is very powerful and healing can happen.
Gives You a Glimpse of Infinity
. Every cell in our body has the ability to hold infinity. However, different concepts in our mind impede us from perceiving the infinite consciousness that is a part of us. When consciousness is cultured with meditation, we take a dip in the ocean of bliss and experience deep rest.
Makes You a Master of Time
. While your happy times fly, dont sad times seem to drag on? Only in meditation do we transcend time. Meditation adds hours to our day. We are able to do things faster than we normally do. We are also able to find some time for leisure.
Gives You an Unshakable Smile
. Meditation brings you to a state of being where nothing can rob the smile of your heart. Meditation releases all the toxins and negative emotions stored and each cell becomes so alive and our smile is unshakable no matter what.
Develops a Pleasant Personality
. Think about what kind of people you like to be with - happy and joyful or sad and depressed? Happy, right? Similarly when we are happy, our personality reflects that and people look up to us for good company. This is where meditation helps.
Spreads Happiness and Peace
. Our mind has the ability to affect our surroundings. Only a peaceful and a happy person can spread happiness around. Meditation creates a ripple of happiness and peace within you, which then spreads like waves all around.
. A snake sheds its skin and moves on with the new skin; if cats and dogs have water on them, they shake it off. However, we tend to carry our emotional garbage for years. Meditation helps to shake that off, feel rejuvenated and helps us move on.
Refreshes the Mind
. Most people wait for months to go on a vacation; meditation gives you an opportunity to go on a vacation within yourself in moments. Meditation makes you fresh and relaxed because this is the time when you close the doors of your daily chatter and spend a few minutes with yourself.
. Creativity wells up when you meditate. Creativity is the core of our personality; it just needs to be evoked (do we want to say tapped?). Just like we apply heat to pop the corn and it becomes popcorn, meditation taps the inherent creativity.
Gives Clarity of Mind
. Do you sometimes find yourself swinging between different decisions and feel confused? Meditation is a mind without agitation, a mind that is calm and crystal clear. Confusions settle down and the way ahead opens up naturally. The right decisions, which are a combination of intuition and intelligence, can be made with ease in such a calm state of mind.
Improves Communication Skills
. When the river is calm, the reflection is clearer. When the mind is calm, there is greater clarity in the field of expression. Our sense of observation, perception and expression improve. As a result, we are able to communicate effectively and clearly, says Bhanumathi Narasimhan, Teacher, Sahaj Samadhi Meditation.
Meditation makes you free from within, helps you drop the inhibitions and the barriers that prevent effective communication.
Make it a formal practice
. You will only get to the next level in meditation by setting aside specific time (preferably two times a day) to be still.
Start with the breath
. Breathing deep slows the heart rate, relaxes the muscles, focuses the mind and is an ideal way to begin practice.
. Stretching loosens the muscles and tendons allowing you to sit (or lie) more comfortably. Additionally, stretching starts the process of ?going inward? and brings added attention to the body.
Meditate with Purpose
. Beginners must understand that meditation is an ACTIVE process. The art of focusing your attention to a single point is hard work, and you have to be purposefully engaged!
Notice frustration creep up on you
. This is very common for beginners as we think hey, what am I doing here or why cant I just quiet my damn mind already. When this happens, really focus in on your breath and let the frustrated feelings go.
. Although many of us think of effective meditation as a Yogi sitting cross-legged beneath a Bonzi tree, beginners should be more experimental and try different types of meditation. Try sitting, lying, eyes open, eyes closed, etc.
Feel your body parts
. A great practice for beginning meditators is to take notice of the body when a meditative state starts to take hold. Once the mind quiets, put all your attention to the feet and then slowly move your way up the body (include your internal organs). This is very healthy and an indicator that you are on the right path.
Pick a specific room in your home to meditate
. Make sure it is not the same room where you do work, exercise, or sleep. Place candles and other spiritual paraphernalia in the room to help you feel at ease.
Read a book on meditation
. Preferably an instructional guide and one that describes the benefits of deep meditative states. This will get you motivated. John Kabat Zinns Wherever You Go, There You Are is terrific for beginners.
Commit for the long haul
. Meditation is a life-long practice, and you will benefit most by NOT examining the results of your daily practice. Just do the best you can every day, and then let it go!
Generate moments of awareness during the day
. Finding your breath and being present while not in formal practice is a wonderful way to evolve your meditation habits
Make sure you will not be disturbed
. One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is not insuring peaceful practice conditions. If you have it in the back of your mind that the phone might ring, your kids might wake, or your coffee pot might whistle than you will not be able to attain a state of deep relaxation.
For beginning meditators
. the slightest physical movements can transform a meditative practice from one of frustration to one of renewal. These adjustments may be barely noticeable to an observer, but they can mean everything for your practice.
Use a candle
. Meditating with eyes closed can be challenging for a beginner. Lighting a candle and using it as your point of focus allows you to strengthen your attention with a visual cue. This can be very powerful.
Do Not Stress
. This may be the most important tip for beginners, and the hardest to implement. No matter what happens during your meditation practice, do not stress about it. This includes being nervous before meditating and angry afterwards. Meditation is what it is, and just do the best you can at the time.
Do it together
. Meditating with a partner or loved one can have many wonderful benefits, and can improve your practice. However, it is necessary to make sure that you set agreed-upon ground rules before you begin!
time to practice
. it is quieter, your mind is not filled with the usual clutter, and there is less chance you will be disturbed. Make it a habit to get up half an hour earlier to meditate.
Be Grateful at the end
. Once your practice is through, spend 2-3 minutes feeling appreciative of the opportunity to practice and your minds ability to focus.
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