What is Meditation?
Our daily lives are often full with a busy mixture of thoughts and things we have to do. We can often find ourselves torn between several tasks that all need addressing at once. Meditation is when we set aside some time – as little as 10 minutes or an hour, to sit in stillness and quiet, observing and noticing just one thing at a time. This could be your body, breath, thoughts or feelings. A meditation practice like this, done regularly every day, can provide a greater sense of peace, calm and self-empowerment.
What is Mindfulness?
We spend much of our time on auto-pilot or wishing we were somewhere else! We easily become overwhelmed with anxiety, stress or negative thoughts. Being mindful is remembering to be in the present moment as it is happening; pausing from the drama and distilling a moment into being present. This is done by gently guiding our minds away from repeated, negative self-talk, back on to what is currently happening. It means we can really appreciate what is going on right here, right now!
What are the benefits of meditation & being mindful?
If we can respond to situations and choices from a deep-centred and balanced place, our decisions will reflect that. We always have a place to go, deep within ourselves, when life throws up challenges that we might not immediately know how to respond to. Even becoming aware of our auto-pilot reaction to an event can allow us that crucual moment of noticing our breath and following this by a calm response, rather than a heated reaction.
- Stress Relief and Sleeplessness
One of the most popular benefits of meditation is stress relief. So many of us find our lives spiralling out of control – busy beyond belief, so by giving ourselves time to meditate we are able to slow down and re-balance our body, mind and spirit. This reduces our blood pressure and reduces the constant mind chatter that can cause insomnia and general anxiety.
- Pain Relief
Meditation can also assist in pain relief – by focussing on the breath and dropping down into a place of peace and serenity, we can step out of the cycle of anxiety and stress that builds up with continuing chronic pain. By focussing on something like the breath, we guide our minds away from focussing on the pain and lessening our hold on tension. It may not eliminate pain, but can help us to cope with it more effectively.
Meditation and being mindful, can alleviate depression. Simple techniques give us back our power, which is something that we lose when we are depressed. We can feel as though our lives have no meaning, and our motivation becomes low. We get caught up in focussing on negative states in our lives. Meditation can be a powerful tool in helping assist us out of the trough of despair, redirecting our thoughts – gently, bit by bit, until we step up to a place where we start to see the light again. Meditation shows us that we have the power of choice – by becoming aware of our reactions, and seeing that we can respond differently.
- Awareness of your self
Through meditation you can become more aware of your self. Through this you have the chance to realise that you are able to take charge and change your thoughts and manage your feelings differently. Scientific studies are showing that we have the ability, through meditation, to change the responses of our brains.
Do I have to sit in the lotus position on the floor?
No – your posture in meditation is about feeling comfortable and allowing energy to flow throughout your body. At Place of Serenity sessions you can choose to sit on a chair or on the floor with cushions.
Is meditation linked to a religion?
No. It is about being kind to yourself, giving yourself time to be still and become familiar with your deepest, true self. This works alongside anything else you choose to do in your life. Added benefits include increased kindness, compassion, non-judging, trust, appreciation and awakening to the miracle of being alive!
What must I wear to the sessions?
Just make sure you are wearing clothes that you feel are comfortable, preferably loose around the stomach. You may wish to bring a little blanket or shawl to keep you warm.