What do Madonna, Tina Turner, Bill Clinton, and the Dalai Lama all have in common ? Not a lot you might say, but they all share a love of meditation and speak very highly of its benefits. Madonna has been using it for years, Tina Turner credits it with saving her life, Bill Clinton says that meditation leaves him feeling transformed and full of positive energy. The Dalai Lama say that meditation should be taught to every child in the world and that if we did this the world would be free of violence in a generation. Everyone that begins to practice and explore meditation has good things to say about it, for thousands of years people have used meditation to find inner peace, it is found in every culture in some form or another. It is only recently that science has begun to reveal to us just how effective meditation is a combating a whole host of problems. It has been proven to reduce stress, bring relief from depression and anxiety, reduce pain, make us more efficient and focused, give us a greater sense of awareness. I could write a thousand blogs and still not list all the ways in which meditation has the power to change our lives. It has such a huge impact on both our physical and emotional wellbeing, i have seen it totally transform people. The best part is that meditation is so simple and easy to learn that it can be practiced by anyone.
So what is meditation and why is it so incredibly effective at what it does?
Meditation is the practice of stilling the mind by taking our attention off of our thoughts and placing it on to something else, usually the breath. By focusing on our breath and not our thinking we reduce our thoughts and this leaves us with a sense of peace and stillness.
Imagine a still lake, there is no disturbance in the water, the lake is peaceful and calm. Now imagine throwing stones into that lake. The stones cause a disruption on the surface of the water, the more stones that are thrown in the greater the disturbance. It is much the same with our mind, our mind in its natural state is very peaceful and calm, just like the lake. Although it might not seem like it, this is everyones basic state of mind. Our thoughts are like the stones, they cause a disturbance in the mind and we experience this disturbance as stress, anxiety and tension. The more thoughts we have the greater the disturbance. The practice of meditation reduces the amount of thoughts we have and allows our natural calm state of mind to reveal itself.
image credit : www.livescience.com