As a 17-year-old learning Transcendental Meditation, I found sitting still and being in silence to be a challenge. Maybe it was because of my fascination with the concept of meditation and being of a curious mind; I wanted to learn all I could.
Meditation as a Charging Device
What sold me on meditating at that time was that my Dad was doing it with me, and 20 minutes of meditation could refresh me in so many ways.
I practiced meditation in college, and it was a tool to make it between classes and overcome the lack of sleep. I’m sure I got a lot more out of it as well, but that was what drew me. It was also a place of peace for me since I was living away from home – it helped ground me. I practiced it alone or with other students who knew the techniques of Transcendental Meditation.
Fast forward to today. I have a more mature view of meditation and its value in my life. Through many experiences, phases of life, and changes of perspective, I find meditation and mindfulness to be essential in my life, not just a tool for extra energy and grounding.
Meditation From My Perspective Today
For me, the basis of meditation is intent and breathing. Such as sitting in traffic, walking in nature with camera in hand or a group praying or meditating, confirming my intention, and focusing on my breath brings a sense of wellbeing and peace in every situation.
Meditation can be practiced formally or informally, alone or in a crowd. Alone is an exciting concept when in deep meditation. It is as if the feeling of aloneness disappears when your field of energy expands.
Symbiotic relationships abound with people, pets, plants, and the atmosphere. Individual expanding awareness is a natural byproduct of meditation. We certainly dive inward, but our energy field also expands outwardly.
For instance, I can sit with my hyperactive Papillion puppy, who is busy investigating and trying to get me to play. Still, once I have settled into a breathing pattern and start experiencing stillness, she becomes calm and quiet.
As a photographer, I have stepped outside on a beautiful fall day overwhelmed with where to start. However, once I find a scene I want to capture, I begin with an intent to glean the best representation of what nature has to offer and slow my breathing. After a few moments or sometimes more, I know when it is time to take the picture, and I’m always satisfied with the result.
This effect of being around someone who is meditating is contagious. I feel it when I come into a meditation center or even when I’m in the house, and my husband is meditating. It is one of the foundations of our marriage of 40 years, although we have practiced different techniques over time. The basis of intent and breathing is the same.
Meditation for Health
As I get older, another critical benefit of meditation for me is to give me energy and detoxify. The detoxification is partly due to the physiological aspect of deep conscious breathing that clears the lungs of toxins. It brings beautiful oxygen into the body and the lungs, bloodstream, and washes the cells in energy.
Meanwhile, mentally, we give a positive focus to our minds and push away the problems we might have or that we are inundated with by the constant barrage of media – both social and news. What better way for us to be in the moment.
Make a difference
To make a difference in the world, we have to improve our own selves on a physical, mental and spiritual basis. There are many resources out there to help you find a meditation or mindfulness method to practice. Your meditation may even be running or yoga or knitting. We are already breathing – so learning to focus on and control your breath is not a big step. The keys are to create a positive mindset and take 15, 20, or 60 minutes on your self-care and nurturing. It is well worth the effort.
To explore more about meditation and mindfulness you may want to check out some of our other posts such as: