Learn How to Meditate effectively
Learn how to meditate, the goal is to focus and quieten the mind, allowing you to reach a high level of awareness, inner peace and inner calm.
Some find the term, "monkey mind", upsetting, derogatory, and insulting. This is a shame, as the point is lost, the ego is involved, and a natural human defense goes up. After all, we are supposed to be the "king of the primates," are we not ?
The first time I heard the expression, "monkey mind," in regard to meditation, I thought of Swayambhunath Stupa, in Kathmandu, Nepal.
Sometimes, this is named, the "monkey temple," and it made me laugh inside, as monkeys need supervision in human settings. The picture of unsupervised monkeys got into my head, and I was suppressing laughter during a serious conversation.
Monkeys can be nuisances, when allowed to roam without some guidance, and it is the same with the untrained mind that runs from topic to topic, without getting much accomplished. So please do not waste time being offended by the term, and try to look at the comical side.
When you allow yourself to enjoy life, and try not to take anything too seriously, you can see that monkeys do not have it so bad after all.
Very often, the human mind spends too much time defending, worrying, posturing, influencing, fearing, and feeling embarrassed, to enjoy life to its fullest potential.
In fact, you are not your mind. You are responsible for your actions, but many things happen in the thought process before you do take action. For example: when you think, images and options are created. As a result of those images, you get a physical feeling somewhere around your heart.
Whether the feeling is, good or bad, you process it into action, or treat it as a fleeting thought that passes and may be forgotten. So if you have a fleeting evil thought and it passes - should you waste time feeling guilty about it?
The natural safeguard for ethical behavior is your heart or "gut feeling." This is the best indicator of wrong or right.
Mankind has the ability to influence the universe, and create different realities, but separating what is sacred, from what is evil, has been a dilemma for thousands of years. The disconnection from your inner self, nature, and God, has led to excessive confusion.
Thank God for meditation; it allows you to harness the power of the mind, settle down, and focus, on one subject at a time. If you take the time for a daily meditation practice, your decision-making process will be much more controlled and clear. The end result will be to look at the monkey with much more respect, appreciation, and a bit of humor.
Among the documented benefits of meditation are less anxiety, decreased depression, reduction in irritability and moodiness, better learning ability and memory and greater creativity. That's just for starters. Then there is slower aging (possibly due to higher DHEA levels), feelings of vitality and rejuvenation, less stress (actual lowering of cortisol and lactate levels), rest (lower metabolic and heart rate), lower blood pressure, and higher blood oxygen levels
How to Meditate
Here's a simple technique that will give you results in minutes. Sit comfortably, close your eyes, and tense up your whole body. Sigh deeply, then breathe deeply through your nose and release the tension from every muscle. Just feel each part relaxing, watching for parts that may hold onto tension, like a tight jaw.
If you still have tension somewhere, tense up that part again, then let it relax. It may also help to repeat silently "relax" as the tension drains. This will train your body and mind to recognize relaxation. Later you may be able to relax more easily just by repeating "relax" a few times.
Breathe through your nose. This is important because it brings in more oxygen by involving your diaphragm more. You can test this. Breath with your mouth and you will notice that your breathing is shallower. Then breath through your nose and you will notice that your abdomen extends more. Air is being drawn deeper into your lungs.
Allow your breathing to fall into a comfortable pattern, and pay attention to it. Pay attention to your breath as it passes in and out of your nose. Your mind may wander endlessly, but all you have to do is continually bring attention back to your breath.
If your mind is still too busy, try naming the distractions as a way of setting them aside. For example, say in your mind, "itchy leg," "worried about work," or "anger," and then immediately return attention to your breathing. Use any way you can to identify and set aside distractions.
That's it. Continue for five or ten minutes, or for 100 breaths. Afterwards, open your eyes and sit there for a few seconds. You will feel relaxed, and your mind will feel refreshed. And you will be better prepared for any mental challenges. That's how to meditate.