To answer this question:”What is the aim of meditation?” would depend on why you started, what inspired you? We all take up the practice of meditation for our own personal reasons and I think the reasons are as varied as people are varied.
An inner place
I started way back in 1972 because I was looking for a deeper meaning to my life, even at the young age of 22. After I discovered meditation, I felt as though I had found this deeper meaning. My twice daily hour long practice opened up an, as yet, undiscovered personal inner world. An inner place that I grew to love and cherish. It was a place I could escape to when the pressures of motherhood or work were just too much.
But actually, escape from the world, was not the main motivation for such a big commitment. At that time the motivation was hugely influenced by my “teacher”, or at least the person that I perceived as my teacher at the time. But that’s another story for another blog… Then eventually over the years my daily two-hour practice became something I stopped doing for a variety of reasons.
A different reason
And now I have come full circle, as many of us do, in our last three decades of life. I have at last come back to my daily practice. But I have an entirely different reason from the reason I had when I began all those decades ago. Well perhaps not an entirely different reason, but it feels different to me.
The simple explanation is that when I began I was motivated to find an inner peace as a way of living a more meaningful, peaceful life. But now the reason for my daily practice is so that I can experience a peaceful death, when the time comes, as it must.
If, when the time does come, some time in the future, and I have the opportunity to be consciously dying, my hope is that I will leave this life peacefully and without fear. This is my own personal aim for my daily practice of meditation. And at the same time it feels as satisfying as it always did.
But of course each of us will have our own deeply personal reasons for practicing the wonderful, ancient art of meditation and it doesn’t matter what those reasons are as meditation is freely available to anyone who wishes to learn it. There are countless books and films and endless Youtube videos to help beginners and seasoned practitioners alike.
Here are my top hints and tips to help you better your experience of meditation and hopefully encourage you to practice every other day, if not every day.
- Create a place in your home that is quiet and private, a place where you won’t be disturbed.
- Decide on your reason for sitting down to meditate. Every meaningful action requires a purpose.
- Try to meditate first thing in the morning. Your mind will be less stressed and even a little quieter.
- Always begin with your breath. Don’t necessarily change it just observe how your breath breathes you. You will immediately feel more relaxed.
- Make a decision that your practice is an important part of your day. Give it as much importance as work and exercise.
The Rest Of Your Life
- When your mind wants you to jump up and do something you’ve “forgotten to do” just gently tell it that you will do it when you have finished your practice.
- Make sure you are perfectly comfortable so you can forget about your physical body and focus on what is happening within. Sitting or lying down, it doesn’t matter, comfort is the main thing.
- It is said that it takes 30 days to create a habit, so commit to doing your meditation for 30 days then you will be well on your way to including it in your life for the rest of your life.
- Use the guided meditations for free on Youtube or download them from this site, until you feel like going it alone.
- You might enjoy meditating with a friend or with your partner, try it and see if it works well for you both. But don’t become competitive, decide on the length of time before you start and use a timer.
Meditation has mental & physical benefits
Over the years many studies have been conducted about the beneficial effects of meditation. I am certain that as more scientific knowledge is gathered, meditation will become more widely used. Especially anyone who enjoys taking charge of their own wellbeing. And my hope is that all health practioners will prescribe meditation as a way of increasing overall health, where it is appropriate.
Listed below are some of both the mental and physical benefits of the regular practice of meditation. Knowing all this it is always surprising that there are not more people who practice this ancient art!
It takes time and commitment, a dose of self-love and a sense of adventure to want to include a daily practice into your life. It is said that it takes 30 days to create a habit, however when it comes to meditation I believe it takes a while longer. It is so easy to feel that there is not enough time in the day. I have found that topping and tailing each day with meditation simply takes a decision.
Guided meditations are tangible
Here at Meditation Moments we have made it so much easier to start because we provide “guided meditations” so there is always something very tangible to focus on: be it the voice or the music.
Using these audios is an excellent way to begin the practice of focusing internally. When I began meditating back in 1972 I was not so fortunate. I had to sit in silence for hours with only my breath and thoughts for company!
There are many organisations out there that provide guided visualisations and this is one that I appreciate Hay House.
- Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
- Improves the following:
- creativity and intelligence
- Reduces irritability and moodiness
- More feelings of vitality and rejuvenation
- Increases the following:
- Learning ability, moral
reasoning and memory
- emotional control
- Can help lower blood pressure
- Prevented, slowed or controlled pain
of chronic diseases
- Boosts immune system
- Lowers cholesterol levels
- Improves airflow, especially in those
- Younger biological age