Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com
Meditation has always meandered the line between physical and spiritual. While detachment can be a nice idea, it usually only lasts until the rent is due. While enlightenment is a beautiful thought, it can get lost in the 24/7 shuffle that is modern life.
It's a balancing act that puts you in an odd predicament. So what do you do?
As funny as it sounds, the first step is to realize that it has always been this way. There has always been a struggle between the need for food and housing, and the desire for spiritual enlightenment. In fact, 2,500 years ago, those seeking enlightenment still had to worry about food and water and a place to sleep—only then, the lack of food and clean water was a much more immediate concern than it is for most today.
The difference lies not in the approach, but in the world around us; a world that has changed drastically in the 2,500 years in which meditation has evolved. No longer are our concerns limited to the sight line of a village, but they've expanded to the global village we now live in.
It's why meditation, like all things, has evolved to become modern.
Just as people are growing and evolving, so too is the science behind the magic. In fact, so too is the magic itself.
Today meditation has gained the respect of the scientific community that it has long deserved, and on a much different scale than ever before.
Today anybody of any persuasion can learn how to meditate. Anybody can reach out and adapt meditation to fit their needs. Even if they're not doing it perfectly, they can gain from the practice.
That means that everyone can raise the greater human consciousness on a global scale. You can, too, if you're just willing to do four simple things...
1. Take a breath.
Do not worry if you're doing it right or not, just take a long, slow, deep breath. Allow yourself to feel the calm flowing into you, expanding you, surrounding you.
Your parasympathetic nervous system will take this as a sign to relax. Your mind will see it as an opportunity to quiet your brain. Simply allow yourself to slow down for five minutes and breathe. That is the start to any meditation practice.
2. Give yourself permission to stop.
That's right, before you can stop you have to give yourself permission to stop. Simple, but not easy. Just keep at it, whenever a distraction comes up, acknowledge it and let it go. This way you can become aware of the world around you. Give thanks and appreciate what you hear, smell, taste and feel, before you continue on with your day.
3. Let it go.
I say this all the time and to everyone. Whatever you are loading onto your back, whatever you are dragging from room to room, whatever you are carrying with you, just set it down and let it go. Emotions, fears, comments others have said, LET IT GO. That is just your 40,000 year-old brain doing what it does. It's time for you to take over and LET IT GO.
4. Fill it with love.
Whatever you let go, don't leave the space that is left behind empty. Remember to fill it up with something or your brain will fill it up all on its own. Love is always a good place to start. It may sound pedantic, but every time you start to put someone down, every little comment you make to yourself, every spiteful thought that comes to mind is a seed you plant. Stop yourself from those thoughts and plant a little seed of love. They add up quickly and grow even quicker.
Four simple steps to creating your own path to your own enlightenment; one that will happen right here, right now. Not in the next lifetime. Not by shooting energy from the top of your head.
It will happen in a car, in a bus, at the beach, on the street. It will happen in your everyday life. I know. It has happened in mine; and that is Modern Meditation.