Do you want to run wildly from the thought of meditating? Training the mind or inducing a mode of consciousness to realize some benefit can seem scary, or too whimsical, or like hippie claptrap to a lot of people.
Meditation is of great benefit for the body. It releases anxiety, reduces stress and depression, and relieves emotional problems of daily life. If things in life feel like they're going downward, meditation opens the heart and makes us more aware of beauty. When awareness is achieved, wisdom grows, and the wisdom that is created through meditation is very powerful.
So how do you achieve this sense of wisdom without sitting cross legged inside a teepee with sage incense burning in the corner?
Get out a pen or pencil and a piece of paper and draw. Do you see circles begin to appear in your doodling? You may well be creating a Mandala edmitation. The word mandala comes from the ancient Sanskrit language and loosely means “circle” or “center.” It’s a simple geometric shape that has no beginning or end. Within its circular shape, the mandala has the power to promote relaxation, balance the body’s energies, enhance creativity, and support healing.
2. Stare at a newly growing shoot.
Gardening is an act of faith in the future. Losing a few minutes taking in the beauty of new growth can clear our mind and help us understand the strength of growth despite adversity, like the shoot sprouting through a patch of pavement. Like the Mandala meditation, so much new growth has the spiral or circle unfurling within.
3. Lie in bed.
Hit the sack, turn everything electronic off and leave your bedside light on. Simply stare at the ceiling for 5-10 minutes. The sense of relaxation achieved by laying on a soft surface and the blank slate of your ceiling allow the mind to wander into a meditation of its own. You may drift into a semi-conscious sleep or create a mind of calm before you turn the light off.
4. See with new eyes.
Wander your part of the world. Your own city or town or even just your street. See everything anew as if you were a tourist. Notice every detail as if you had never noticed it before. Don't think. Just notice.
The art of measuring, stirring and whisking or following a complicated recipe can lead you into a meditative state simply by requiring 100% of your attention for a single task. For those who have "minds like drunk monkey's bitten by bees," this can be a truly profound type of meditation.
6. Gaze at the stars.
There's nothing more wondrous to help us to realize that life is infinite, that the power of the universe is enormous and that where we stand, limiting behavior and beliefs are small and trivial. Life has bigger plans. Get lost in the night sky. Breathe.
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