Archive for September, 2010
The habit of daily mediation is one of the best and simplest ways for reducing stress and increasing your peace of mind. Anyone can learn how to meditate, and the steps to developing this daily habit are not difficult to implement.
The first requirement for developing the daily habit of meditation is that you commit to it for at least thirty days consecutively. It usually takes around twenty to thirty days for most people to develop a habit, and those who are serious about reducing stress and increasing their peace of mind will be sure to be consistent in their efforts.
Here are the simple steps to daily meditation that focuses on reducing stress and increasing mental peace and awareness:
Step 1 :
Find a quiet spot where you can be alone and sit down in a position you find most comfortable. You do not need to know how to sit in a lotus position or be a yoga master to sit properly for meditation. The only thing that is important is that you can sit comfortably and without distraction.
After you have found a comfortable spot that is free from distractions, begin to breathe in and out very slowly. Try counting to four in your mind as you breathe in and count to four again as you breathe out.
The slow breathing will help you to develop a rhythm of breathing that greatly helps to reduce bodily stress and also to help you focus more on your state of being rather than some other distraction.
Imagine that you are releasing all of the tension in your body by relaxing your entire body from the tip of your head to your toes. Create a feeling of “letting go” through a deep relaxation of your muscles, and focus on calming your nerves as well by making sure that your fingers and toes are completely relaxed.
Your stress levels will reduce as you reach a state of complete calm and relaxation. Be as still as possible without moving any muscles. Meditation is the only exercise in which a person must consciously relax every muscle in their body.
After your entire body is calm and relaxed, begin to focus on reducing any mental anxieties that you may have by stilling your mind.
Keep all worrisome thoughts out of your mind by thinking about the things that you are grateful for. Slowly replay images of your happiest memories. If you can successfully do this, begin to think about the good things that you want to bring about in your life.
Make sure that these mental images have a strong feeling of happiness attached to them. It is the feeling behind these mental images that will be the determining factor in increasing your peace of mind.
Continue doing this for fifteen minutes or more or at least until you are completely relaxed and filled with a sense of joy, fulfillment, peace, and clarity.
Learn to do this exercise every day until you can get full control over your stress levels. Since mental anxieties and bodily stress are the result of fear, doubt, worry, and indecision, this daily meditation will slowly eradicate such feelings by creating mental peace, clarity, awareness, and fulfillment.
The more you can take advantage of daily meditation as a means to get your mind and thoughts more clear and directed towards positive outlooks, the more you will increase your peace of mind and reduce the amount of stress in your life.
To actually stop thinking entirely is quite a masterful spiritual achievement which few have experienced; however in this article we will go over several tips which will help you get out of your head and into your senses wherever you are on your path.
Why Stop Thinking?
First of all, why stop thinking? Many spiritual teachers talk of a state of no-mind where there is no thinking at all. This is supposed to be a very lucid state where your attention is solely in your senses and your own being. A greater wisdom than normal thinking arises from this. This is because thinking is often compulsive and disconnected from the real world; yet when we meditate we can connect to a deep sense of perspective and gain a ground of intelligence or “common sense” upon which to base our thinking.
Apart from gaining better clarity, when we stop thinking we are also brought closer to the sensations of the body. This allows us to feel an underlying sense of pleasure at mere existence which most miss and which actually makes pain more tolerable. When we stop thinking we reach a level of being where we are often much healthier and better adapted to life too, which reduces the suffering we go through.
How To Stop Thinking
Meditation is often recommended to stop thinking, as are zen exercises such as koans. These are very helpful. You can pick and choose the spiritual practise you want to incorporate into your daily life. If you are a beginner, however, probably the most powerful introduction into the path of spiritual refinement would be to to start up a daily meditation routine.
Recommendations about the length of time to meditate vary, though it’s usually best to think about starting with how ever many minutes a day you can do in a sustainable manner. 5 minutes, for instance, is fine. The key word here is sustainable – with a lot of self discipline many can meditate for an hour but if you can’t keep up the habit you won’t see long term results. Slow but steady is definitely better in this case, and as with weight training you will find that your ability to meditate for long periods steadily improves.
Mindfulness Meditation, the most basic meditation which goes by many names, involves observing the breath. Allow your attention to simply rest at the point where your breath enters the nostril, and observe as the breath moves in and out. Do not worry about how to stop thinking. If you realise you are thinking, be glad that you have realised, because that means that your consciousness has cleared again, and return to focusing on your breath.
If you scold yourself for thinking, stop it. The actual best way to stop thinking is to not resist it – but rather to focus on those things you would focus on if you were not thinking. In Mindfulness Meditation this is the breath. In the rest of your life this could be the sensations of the body, your feelings, your perceptions, and the real world.
The many different ways to stop thinking are too numerous to list here, so find some spiritual books and study them with an open mind. For beginners, The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle is highly recommended for learning how to stop thinking.
Learning how to stop thinking is a long quest, but a worthy one. With proper guidance and a regular spiritual practise, achievement may come faster than you expect.