Meditation predates history. The earliest documented records that mention meditation come from India, around 1500 BCE. Historians believe that meditation was practiced before this time, probably as early as 3000 BCE. Meditation is not religious, and is practised by many people, of varying backgrounds. It is something that is growing rapidly in popularity, as more become aware of the huge benefits meditation can bring.
There any many variations of meditation. The easiest way to describe meditation is that meditation is about focusing the mind, and trying to eliminate outside influences to achieve a feeling of peace and calm within. Giving the mind a focus helps to quieten it down, meaning you are able to gain more clarity, and listen to the thoughts.
When many think of meditation, they see an image of a beautiful person sitting cross-legged under a waterfall. Although a lovely peaceful portrayal, this isn’t what meditation is about. Meditation can be done just sitting on a chair, or even lying down, and it is a practise for anyone.
Unlike what you may have heard, meditation is not about clearing the mind. If you’ve ever tried, you’ll know it’s pretty impossible, the mind will always chatter. If you take a moment now to close your eyes and imagine an empty stage or blank cinema screen, you’ll realise it won’t happen. The most ridiculous things will pop in, like Mr. Blobby from the 90s! Like, I wonder where he is now?!
The idea of meditation is just to bring your focus back each time it does go astray. Observe the thought that comes in, and bring your focus back to whatever it is for that meditation. Imagine the thoughts like passing clouds through the mind, just let them pass through until your meditation practise is over.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation offers so many benefits to the physical body, as well at the mind, and our general well-being. These are just some of the benefits…
Reduces stress and anxiety
Boosts the immune system
Lowers blood pressure
Increases blood flow to the brain
Improves breathing and heart rate
Improves decision making
Boosts self-esteem, and self-worth
Boosts self-confidence, and self-acceptance
Enhances creativity and allows more ideas
Supports deep relaxation
Brings day-to-day feelings of peace and calm
Improves mood and energy