The exercise of meditation is one that can be very beneficial to people. Note my emphasis on can. Humans ultimately decide what to take with them. Hopefully this short essay shall help those who are open and interested in learning.
This summer, I have adopted an almost daily routine of meditation. I find that like many things, repetition is key. But first let us start with: Why even meditate? It is used for many things such as relaxation, clarity of thought, reaching nirvana/enlightenment, prayer, and honing the Self. Despite one’s reason for meditating, the results will be positive physically, mentally, and spiritually when performed correctly.
It can be performed incorrectly you might ask? Absolutely! This brings us to the next point: How to meditate? Physically, one’s positioning does not matter in the slightest. I would recommend a sitting position, however, standing works just fine. Lying down is probably an invitation for sleep in our sleep-deprived society. A quiet place is naturally preferred as well.
Now, when actually in meditation, closing your eyes helps with internal focus. From here, there are several avenues to take. One which I enjoy is to focus my thoughts on my goal in life and to let them flow from there. Another way is to not even focus on a goal but to simply clear you mind and relax.
Lastly, there is focus on the spirit and oneness of life. Start out by aligning mind, body, and spirit if you feel that they are not already one. Decisions are made on three different levels, the mental, the physical, and the spiritual. If a person is not at peace within, then a discord is reached and decisions are different and disharmonious. Unfortunately, people tend to neglect this aspect of ourselves and even in their discord, people will listen to the mind or body almost all of the time, ignoring the spirit.
After one has reached a state of contentment within, it is time to move outward. During the second part of the meditation, join your oneness with the oneness that is larger; the cycle of life, all living things, the universe, God, Nirvana. Whatever the name, everyone and everything are interconnected. Meditation is a very useful tool to realizing this. After this level of awareness(!) is reached, one’s actions will be not only the best for themselves, but also for the Whole as well.
For beginners, meditation can be frustrating at times. It is important to remember to not force anything. If your thoughts wander, let them wander; they do so for a reason. While focusing on a goal is helpful, do not attach your happiness to reaching that goal. Think upon meditation not as a means to and ends but instead as a process. Enjoy the process, enjoy life.