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Make no mistake, the stressors of everyday life are overwhelming for everyone. Because we need to relieve these stressors to be everything we can be, it is important to turn to resources to help us achieve what we cannot do alone. Conventional medicine is not the answer; rather, the ability to go within for peace of mind is the preferred method on the road to mindfulness and inner healing. Meditation is the “quiet answer.”
Don’t be confused by the jargon of meditation from the ’60s. Meditation is merely going within, but this is a practice that none of us can accomplish without direction and help. Today’s world moves too fast and we are products of a society which ignores the practice of “quiet time” to go within.
With meditation, the things that we view do not change; it is our mind that changes -and, when our mind changes, we can see fullness and connectedness, as well as individuality and separateness, in all things we view. Healing comes from within and is often a product of attitudinal and emotional transformation, accompanied by major reduction in physical symptoms and improvement in our physical condition.
Meditation is, quite simply, conscious relaxation. We start by paying attention to our breathing. Counting our breaths from one to ten, while clearing our mind of all other “clutter,” enables each of us to manage the daily concerns that crowd our lives. Everyone deserves this kind of personal attention! Through meditation, we are empowered to be capable of having the life we love. The world is simply a better place when we practice meditation. Through meditation, we come to “live on purpose.”
Meditation techniques involve a transformation process through which we recognize negative thoughts and change them to peaceful and positive thoughts. By using this self-healing process, we can avoid chronic stress that often leads to disease of the body.
We must remember to be very patient when we meditate, as the mind does not always want to focus. A sense of expectation can create pressure and interfere with the enjoyment of the experience of meditation. Practiced regularly, meditation provides a wonderful sense of the self and embraces the positive attitude that makes all things possible in our lives.
My personal favorite meditation program was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine emeritus at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center. This amazing approach rescues us from the damage of stress. In “Full+Catastrophe+Living,” Dr. Kabat-Zinn has created a practical guide to mindfulness meditation and healing. He explains the power of paying attention and increasing awareness.
The title is adopted from “Zorba the Greek” in which Anthony Quinn’s title character proclaims he has experienced “the full catastrophe” of the ups and downs of family life. In “Full Catastrophe Living,” Dr. Kabat-Zinn reminds us of Zorba’s philosophy that all things are extraordinary, even miraculous.
This program was developed to help people cope with chronic pain, both post-surgical and traumatic, for which there is no medicinal relief. In his stress clinic, Dr. Kabat-Zinn’s clients often have sudden and dramatic experiences during meditation that lead them to new ways of seeing the stressors – and pain sources – in their lives. Out of this shift of perspective comes an ability to acutely deal with our issues with greater balance and inner security.
Tapes included provide guidance for a body scan that allows us to separate from our physical selves and relate to the more spiritual essence which we all share. Laying still and concentrating on relaxing our entire body – and staying awake in the process – allows us to see both ourselves and our problems from a perspective of wholeness. This practice allows us to change our perspective from feeling out of control to a sense of acceptance and inner peace and control.
Another favorite is “8 Minute Meditation: Quiet Your Mind, Change Your Life” by Victor Davich. Offering a simple no-nonsense approach to help reduce stress and experience increased focus, this program teaches the basic principles of meditation on a simplified basis for the beginner.
Davich has practiced meditation for more than 25 years and has studied with some of the finest teachers, bringing the full spectrum of his knowledge in this work for those of us who may have been swayed by the many myths surrounding meditation.
For those who wish to manifest changes in our lives, I recommend “Meditations for Manifesting: Morning and Evening Meditations to Literally Create Your Heart’s DesirE” by Wayne Dyer. This audio CD, complete with background music, propels the meditation without overwhelming the primary focus of the breathing and necessary affirmations for bringing about positive results in our lives.
Wayne Dyer is a true “renaissance man,” creating a medium for all of us to change our lives through the power of meditation and focus. You must be prepared to suspend all your disbeliefs and be assured that whatever you are manifesting will come into your life. Be careful, though! Use this with caution and prepare to be amazed. The Universe responds and gives us what we tell it to. Once your intention is clear, things that you meditation upon will come into your life instantly. Change the way you think and you change your life!