Meditation & Prayer: Learning to just be!

Serenity Prayer

– Reinhold Niebuhr (1892-1971)

God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change; 
courage to change the things I can; 
and wisdom to know the difference. Living one day at a time; 
enjoying one moment at a time; 
accepting hardships as the pathway to peace; 
taking, as He did, this sinful world
as it is, not as I would have it; 
trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His Will; 
that I may be reasonably happy in this life
and supremely happy with Him
forever in the next. 
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Prayer is meditation. One of the oldest forms. It can also be an affirmation skill to reconstruct the subconscious. Meditation does not have to be prayer or tied to any type of philosophy or religious idea.

It is simply a stilling of the mind and deep breathing exercise where you learned to focus attention inward rather than on the outer world. The focus is stillness. The goal to quiet the mind of all thought hammering at you or intruding when you just need to relax.

It is not, not thinking or having no thought, but learning how to release and center your self so thoughts, angst, problems and the living of life does not overwhelm you to the point you can’t cope or find the joy of life in living it.

It is a de-stressing discipline/technique that takes daily practice to perfect and that actually has long term health benefits if you can master yourself.

It is about personal growth and mastery to some degree for those who seek and enjoy personal development as individuals seeking awareness of self and understanding beyond the obvious or immediate.

Why meditate?

Well, I think that answer will vary according to the individual that chooses to do or try meditation. There is a list of benefits you can find in many places. Healthline Newsletter for one.

  • It calms.
  • It reduces stress and helps control anxiety.
  • It helps with focus and attention.
  • It aids in self-awareness.
  • May reduce age-related memory loss.
  • Improves sleep.
  • May help reduce blood pressure.
  • Can be used to control pain.
  • Helps control and direct our thoughts. We are the constructs of our imaginations and hearts.
  • Helps our minds reshape the story we tell our subconscious which promotes healthy change.
  • Can be the first step in forming or changing a habit that will improve our lives.
  • It can be the first step in learning self-discipline and practicing it.

The thing is, you cannot say meditation does not work if you don’t give it a good honest try. Start with eight to ten minutes a day for a month. It is not a practice that always yields immediate results for all. Some people need up to 3 months to give it that honest try. Errr… like me.

Pick a quiet place where you will be undisturbed for a short time. Pick a time of day that works best for you. Be Still. Breath in, breath out several times. Allow yourself to relax. Clear your mind gently don’t fight the drifting-allow it, BUT… Find a focal point as your mind drifts and gently come back to the focal point. Your mind will wander. It is normal. The suggested best length of time to invest to the meditation is 8 to 10 minutes, but even 3-5 will work.

Now, whether you are giving your meditation effort 8, 10, or more minutes, here some things that people do to aid them during meditation:

  • Create that special place in your mind where only you go to get away. A place near the ocean, the mountains, a forest, or just a special room, whatever fits you. Add details the sounds, smells, feelings, all the senses, colors… Allow your imagination to carry you there.
  • You are feeling stressed to get started: Focus on a problem that flits at you like a gnat. Breathe, relax and just let it go allowing the universe to return the solution to you or take away its importance. (If you never tried EPT tapping EPT tapping Youtube video. You could try that and add it into your mediation routine.)
  • Some people like to light a candle and stare at a point around the flame or a fireplace or fountain of running water and so on.
  • You should focus on your breath, taking one deep long breath in through the nose and then release slowly out through the mouth and repeat. Feel inhalation in your diaphragm.
  • Sit in a comfortable position and do Oms. Sound therapy in meditation can be very healing. (Best when using headphones) ** I suggest making the sound yourself at first without the background sound effects or headphones. Allowing yourself to physically feel it down in the bass octave generated in your own body at the back of the throat in your lower neck, and then after doing it for a few minutes assess how you feel. Try both ways or do both together.
  • Some find a desk where they can sit in a comfortable position in a chair with both feet balanced firmly on the ground, cross arms on a desk and lean forward placing forehead on your arms stretch out so arms support forehead, as if you are going to take a nap, and allowing the mind to drift listening to the sounds around you. This exercise could be done outside, say at a picnic table, or even in your car. Listen to the wind, birds, and other sounds. Be in the moment here and now, don’t dwell on past or future. There is just right now.
  • Some add aromatherapy to their sit using candles or oils or room freshener or misting systems.

The point is you need to try different ways to find the way that suits you best. You can use one way or combination of ways. The point is to give it a shot doing daily meditation for at least a month and see how you feel after that before making a judgment on it.

I admit I go through phases with it at times depending on the chaos in my life. We all have chaos and always will to some degree. I seldom miss it nowadays, no matter what is happening, but it is the dedication to the practice and remembering how much better I felt when I did it that got me to that point. The latter mostly. You only 8 to 10 minutes in a 24 hour day, but if you like it you will find you want more opportunities or a longer sit.

There is no magic. Just a way of tapping into and finding your own peace because everyone defines that in different ways. It resets something inside of you once you get it.

Different types of music that some find helpful in mediation or just relaxing.

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