Yoga was a slippery slope to meditation. The breathing, the focus on breathing, the slowed down mind, the relaxation, the stress relief, the clarity, the endorphins rush, the visualizations, the calmness, the acceptance, the awareness, the present.
I am forever happy and grateful for the practice of meditation coming into my life. I hadn’t heard much about meditation, and apparently that is common. Davos hosted a conference on meditation just this year. Meditation has been around for thousands of years.
When it comes to slowing down my thoughts, calming myself down, reducing anxiety, and positive visualizations; I can use all the help I can get. I have struggled with depression since I was 13. Yoga I started strictly for the physical health benefits. Meditation is exercise for the mind, heart, and spirit.
Like yoga there are many ways to meditate. If you are just beginning the main things to remember are;
- Sit or lay down
- Press your index finger and thumb together on each hand
- Close your eyes
- Breath from your stomach/diaphram/solar plexes
- Concentrate your thoughts/inner dialogue on tracking the movement of the breath from inhale through exhale
That is the 101, basically everything beyond that is intermediate to advanced level. Those five steps will take you longer to master than you think. Especially in the smartphone centered, rat race world we have been born into. If you are a senior citizen, it’ll be easier, just take yourself back to before the world got into a big hurry.
Stimulus Space Response in the name of this blog. That name comes from the teachings of George Herbert Mead and Stephen Covey. Both talk about the space between stimulus and response where humans execute free will to interpret an interaction. This space is unique to humans, not animals possess this ability. Here I try to write about concepts and things that can be plugged into that space in order to make our response to any stimulus one that is integrated with the best version of our self.
Meditation to me is the tool to cultivate the space between stimulus and response. Like the jack one uses to move a car up off the ground to replace a flat tire.
I have included links throughout this article for help in getting started with meditation. I would suggest doing at least a brief yoga routine before going into a meditation session. Be patient with yourself and with the progress of learning something new, as in the rest of life. I still have unproductive meditation sessions because my mind is habitualized to be preoccupied with thoughts of scarcity, victimism, and mental movies of worst case scenarios. Meditation is not a magic pill, but it does help. I am happy and grateful for what it has done and continues to do for me, and I will be sure to write about it more in the future.
Yoga not only led me to meditation but also led me to try herbal teas. In times of crisis I often need herbal tea more than meditation as the tea has the ability to physically alter my state upon consumption. More on that to come…