Meditation has been touted as the holy grail of personal development and relaxation practice. Some of the benefits include more focus, increased energy, less stress and all round improvement in wellbeing. Some of the science behind it is also outstanding with it improving your immune system, raising your pain threshold and even growing the grey matter in your brain.
But it is not only the health benefits that come with regular practice to be excited about, many people report a profound connection to something more significant eg spirit, god or similar and those who make it a part of their routine report feeling more connected, compassionate and empathetic to those around them and to themselves.
So with this wealth of potential benefits you may ask yourself is it possible to gain this profound connection without the physical act of sitting down to meditate?
Meditation has a broad range of techniques, but the general consensus around it, is to focus your attention on a singular thing, quite often it is the breath. But it can also be a mantra, colours, imagery, counting or a broad range of other things. In a nutshell meditation is the practice of being present of a thing and not jumping around, from thought to thought without being present of what you are experiencing.
When starting out with meditation you would normally find yourself distracted by thoughts and find yourself multitasking and have to return to yourself back to the singular task at hand. The more and more you practice this returning to your singular task the deeper you are able to go in your meditation session without getting distracted.
So the question this asks is- is it the meditation practice that is bringing all these benefits or the lack of distraction?
This is debateable, but it is my thought process that there are 2 types of meditation- “meditation practice” which I have described so far in this article and “meditation” which is also known as mindfulness, being present or being in the now among other things. This presence you are trying to achieve during meditation practice, is what you are aiming to achieve in your day to day life.
For example- when you are eating your breakfast are you eating your breakfast in a singular fashion without being distracted or are you eating your breakfast while looking on facebook? Or are you eating breakfast, while cooking for the rest of the family, while on facebook and watching morning TV?
Another example is are you playing with your children or are you playing with your children while planning your work day and talking on the phone?
The more distracted you are the less present you are and the less present you are the more your mind becomes jumbled. This is the real point of meditation, the fact that it allows you that moment to be present, but the ultimate goal is to take the skills you acquired in your practice into your life.
Meditation is a great starting point for the training of your mind, but it is ultimately the use of the skills acquired during your meditation sessions that will improve your quality of life. So if the idea of meditation is not your idea of good fun, all is not lost.
If you use your creativity you can find a never ending list of other activities that offer the same benefits as meditation, literally everything can become a meditation if you focus on just that thing. Washing the dishes, walking the dog, reading a book can all become part of your practice.
If that all sounds a little hippyfied then you could always try playing a musical instrument, writing, coloring or any hobby that gives the monkey mind a chance to focus on just one thing. The end goal is to train your mind to work on single tasks generally across the board of your life, but I would stick with just one specific thing to start with.
I would just like to clarify that I am a supporter of meditation as a practice, it is something I have seen profoundly impact my own life in the past 7 years and also the lives of many of my subscribers and followers. So if you do get the chance to sit and zen out once a day it is great, however if it is something you just cannot get into it is not the only option!
I hope you have enjoyed this article, if so please feel free to share far and wide! Much love, Luke.
Luke Miller is the creator of Potential For Change and author of this article. He believes that spirituality is the foundation for good health and likes to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of his free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here
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