People say, you should meditate, it’s good for you. But what is it about meditation that is good for you and how should you do it?The how to do it is easy. The short answer is any way you want. Ideally what you are trying to do is leave the thinking mind behind.
The thinking mind is your logical mind, that area where you build lists or make decisions or worry about the rent and the mortgage, all the surface level attributes that keep you functioning in this world. Study into brainwave patterns attributes the thinking mind to the Beta brainwave pattern whereas meditation is associated with being in the Alpha or Theta brainwave. Meditation is what pulls you out of the thinking mind and allows you to live in the being mind. Some call it attuning to the universe, connecting to the universal mind or as Carl Jung put it moving into the collective unconscious. When you are meditating the brain moves into an alpha brainwave pattern or when you are daydreaming the theta brainwave which registers as slower frequencies to the beta brainwave. So the result is that you slow down, you connect to all that is around you and your feelings come forward to be felt and possibly discover some answers to questions that you may have been seeking. There are a lot of websites and web pages dedicated to the full science behind meditation but hopefully this gives you a general idea of how meditation works.
Forms of Meditation
There are two forms of meditation that I am aware of, although within those two are a multitude of types of meditation.
The first form is the passive form, which usually involves the emptying of the mind or utilizing a mantra to help clear the mind. Buddhist meditation and Transendental Meditation are examples of these.
The passive form of meditation can be quite difficult for the Western mind as it requires the emptying of it. Traditionally, the basic programming of the Western mind is that thinking and doing are the most important areas. In studying how to empty the mind, it mostly goes against what we know. I often hear from people that they tried to meditate but they couldn’t sit still and thoughts kept invading their mind, they got upset and say that meditation is not for them. As with anything, it takes practice.
The key is not to give up, if that is the style that you wish to do. Start with 30seconds and then build from there. Also, be gentle with yourself because if you berate yourself for not being able to do it then that defeats the purpose of meditation. Sometimes when you become better at it you may end up with visions or daydreams which can be misinterpreted as the mind throwing thoughts at you however it may actually be the information that you had been searching for, so pay attention and allow the mind to flow.
The other form of meditation is active. This is where you engage with your own knowingness. It can be done in the form of questioning the “Who am I” approach or guided meditation – leading you on a series of quests so to speak or seeking specific answers by delving into the emotions and unravelling past traumas to gain clearer perspectives and allowing our own knowingness and intuitions to become stronger. Basically it is a way of sorting through. Active meditation can be easier in some ways to the passive form because the Western ideology is to do all the time.
How to meditate
So we are back to the How of meditation. Traditionally, people will sit or find a quiet space with little distractions to meditate. The key is comfort. Create a space that is comfortable for you. Are you more comfortable sitting, standing, walking in the park, or running? What ever it is be comfortable. Find your favourite space and then allow yourself to meditate. So much of meditation is the allowance, that ability to surrender to yourself and love yourself. Then ask yourself what is your purpose to meditating? Is it to relax or to find an answer to something that you have been working on? That may lead you to either choosing a passive form of meditation or an active form. Remember to enjoy what you are doing for yourself as you are reconnecting to who you are.
And of course remember to breath.
Jessica Rust is a registered massage therapist working at RPM Physiotherapy. She also teaches a meditation course: Level 1 – the Prophet through the Training In Power Academy. You can reach her directly:
firstname.lastname@example.org or call 416.572.0479
Scientific America: What is the function of the various brainwaves? Website: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is- the-function- of-t- 1997-12- 22/
*Note: there is an excellent image that references the brainwave patterns from Beta through to Delta
Lifehacker: What happens to your Brain when you meditate? (and how it benefits you) Website: http://lifehacker.com/what-happens- to-the- brain-when- you-meditate- and-how- it-1202533314
Live and Dare: Types of Meditation: An Overview of 23 Meditation Techniques Website: http://liveanddare.com/types-of- meditation/
Training In Power Website: https://www.traininginpower.com/blog/