It is often stated that meditation is an important part of spiritual and personal development. However, some people believe it is a waste of time. Ironically, sitting quietly trying to limit your thoughts to one thing can seem like a lot of effort! And the benefits of doing so aren’t always immediately obvious. It can be tempting to sit quietly in a meditation pose while waiting for something to happen. But this defeats the object of meditation.
It is only when we can learn to slow down the constant stream of thoughts that we can really hear what is going on. Many people lead busy lives and have full days. The mind is full of information, and is continually processing information. It can sometimes seem impossible to control.
While it is usually the case that Meditation takes practice, it is worth the effort. There are proven health benefits such as lowered blood pressure and less effects of stress, presumably because stress is reduced.
As well as the health benefits, meditation allows us to listen to ourselves. It affords us the time to stop the constant flow of thoughts, and just focus on how we are feeling in that precise moment. It is in this state of reflection that spirit communication can be received.
So what is the best way to meditate? The first consideration is where to do it. Outside in a quiet place is good, because you can experience nature through your senses – hearing, seeing, smelling, and sensing all the different aspects of nature. But it is not always practical. Having a dedicated area for meditation can also be good, because you can surround yourself with all the beautiful and meaningful symbols that you feel are relevant to you. But again, this is not always practical.
A place where you will not be disturbed, which is warm, safe and feels comfortable is all you really need. This can be indoors or out-doors, a room or a corner of a room. And then you can settle yourself comfortably, making sure you are warm enough, and just close your eyes and notice the sounds around you. If there are no sounds then you can become aware of the sound of silence. Beginning with a hearing exercise is often the simplest way to start, because it is easier to become distracted if your eyes are open and you are attempting a visual exercise. Meditation can include all the senses, or focusing on one.
Some meditations are spoken and guided and will take your thoughts to a place which is rich in description of sensory perception. This is designed to awaken your inner awareness, and at various points other relevant thoughts and sensations are likely to come into your mind to enrich the experience.
Meditation is essential for communication with spirit and personal spiritual growth because these can only take place in a quiet, calm mind. There are many meditation classes as well as books on meditation, so it is worth studying the subject to find the right way for you to meditate.