How to Meditate to Stay Healthy
Have you ever wondered how it is that centenarians manage to live to a ripe old age while enjoying a great quality of life? Eminent psychiatrist, Dr. George Vaillant, tells us in his book, “Aging Well”, what it is they do. They maintain a positive attitude and cultivate a sense of peace and well-being through regular meditation practice.
Although it has only in recent years become known in the West as a healing technique, people in the East have been practicing meditation therapy for ages. You will soon see how easy it is to apply meditation to your own daily routine.
Why Do People Meditate?
When people meditate, they use the experience to “connect” with the healing power of the earth. The stress-relieving benefits of regular meditation can help to promote inner peace and wellness.
Meditation is a mental practice in which one directs the mind to one area, often the breath. It draws its energy from the human connection to Nature and creates a sense of oneness with it. This unity has been shown to stimulate positive psychological and physiological effects.
Because the various meditation techniques are easy to learn, you can easily incorporate them into your lifestyle. Regular meditation practice can bring balance to your mind and body.
Benefits of Meditation
Breathing meditation benefits include:
- Improved self-esteem;
- Enhanced creativity;
- Physical health and healing;
- Slowing or reversal of aging;
- Reversing of heart disease;
- Reduced stress;
- Stimulation of the immune system;
- Deep inner peace.
How to Meditate
There is really no single correct way to meditate. You can try one of the following meditation exercises to get started. Remember, there is no incorrect path here. Try one of these or simply sit in a quiet place for twenty minutes every day. You’ll be glad you did.
Grounding Meditation Exercise
- Sit comfortably on a cushion with your legs crossed (Indian-style), with your hands relaxed on your lap. Close your eyes; imagine a beam of light extending from the base of your spine into the earth, connecting you to its center.
- Allow this beam of light to expand until it is wide enough to envelop your body. This is your personal space.
This exercise places you totally in your body and reminds you that you are connected to the earth. Remember, the more grounded you are, the more aware you will be. Sense the presence of your higher self: listen to its voice.
Now that you are grounded, it’s important that you cleanse your personal space. We often collect other people’s (negative) energies without being aware of it. This can happen through our interaction with others and during basic activities of daily living.
- To remove all foreign energies from your space, imagine yourself holding a brush and sweeping away the junk.
- Let the trash fall to the ground and get washed away. Allow the light from the previous exercise to envelop your body and spread its healing energy to form a protective shield around you.
Cleaning out the area surrounding your body will define your space and personal boundary and keep you grounded. You can then choose who and what you will allow into your space, keeping illness and disease out.
Meditation Breathing Exercise
- Follow your breathing as you slowly inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count with each exhale until you reach 10 then begin again at one.
- Imagine this power source renewing your body’s cells with fresh oxygen and positive healing energy. Visualize yourself breathing out all the old cells, stress, anxiety and illness.
- Let your thoughts drift through your mind like wispy clouds. Let them in and allow them to gently pass through. If your mind should bring up a negative thought, gently let it go and refocus on your breathing.
- Listen only for the positive, declared voice, the voice of your body.
Energy-Retrieving Meditation Exercise
Since foreign energy can find its way into your space, you can also assume that you leave energy in other places. After having performed the previously-mentioned exercises, you should call your energy back and re-energize.
- Imagine that you have an “energy magnet” you can use to attract your energy back to you. Visualize your energy flowing back to you, filling your body with light, empowerment and health.
- Allow a few minutes for this energy-retrieving process.
Keep a Meditation Journal
In your journal:
- Record any trouble or problem you may be experiencing: physical, emotional or otherwise. Let the problems go and give them over to your meditation.
- Do you notice solutions coming to you during the course of the day? Meditating regularly, do you notice that your body is becoming calmer and your mind clearer?
Make time to nurture your spirit every day. Your mind and body will be so much better for it.