Fun With Meditation

meditationMeditation – what exactly is it and how can it help me? Well, believe it or not I am NOT going to try to answer those questions here, as I am just not qualified to do that. There are much smarter people than I on this topic. I’m just going to write about my experience so far as it’s been pretty interesting I think. If nothing else, it’s been educational. So here we go…

What exactly is “meditation”? Well, if you listen to Wikipedia, here is their take: “Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.” That’s quite a mouthful, eh?

“Trains the mind”, eh? Sounds like those Luminosity commercials a bit, which I’m always pretty skeptical on. I am not convinced that the mind needs that type of exercise necessarily, but I am pretty convinced that the mind needs the ability to focus, relax, and be more calm. Just about everyone out there that I know has many stressors – both internal and external. Many are the typical job, family, and money variety. We all have them to some degree. I have come to learn that a mind that can clearly focus can more comfortably address many of these challenges. If your mind is racing in all different directions, it’s pretty hard to address any one thing.

So my definition, be it right or wrong, on Meditation is: “The ability to train the mind to relax in order to focus more clearly and address the challenges of life in a more orderly and conscious fashion.” Hmmmm…I’m sure I’ll revise that 100 more times in the coming weeks, but that works for now.

Basically, with meditation, I’m trying to first get my mind to relax a bit, and then focus and become more “aware” of how I am feeling and what I am feeling. Awareness is key I think with meditation. One of the struggles I have is that my mind is typically racing 100mph. (For those that know me well, that will come as no surprise.) So to relax my mind and focus on something as simple as breathing is very difficult for me.

How do I do that? 1) Practice 2) Coaching

Oh Jeez – there goes Joe with that “coaching” term again. 🙂

But yes, some coaching or instruction on meditation is huge benefit. I have started to attend a weekly class that is taught by a friend of mine (check out his site here). Like anything else, learning from the experts is really helpful. I could probably read some books, watch some videos, and figure it out. And if that’s your approach, no problem. I just prefer the classroom format – I can ask questions if needed.

I would also argue that there is some benefit to meditating in a group setting. Of course, meditating at home by yourself is key to being successful. But I do enjoy sitting in a room with a bunch of very friendly people, all trying to do the same thing, and spiritually helping each other out. No, we aren’t chanting, holding hands, or burning anything. But there is a feeling of mutual benefit in the room, which helps, in my opinion.

Anyway, there are MANY ways to get started with this stuff if you are interested. Just email me and I’ll connect you with my buddy who can offer some advice. I’m the newbie here so I won’t be your coach.

Think a bit about it. We could all use some mental clarity in our lives. If nothing else, some relaxation once a week can be a good thing as well.

More on my journey towards the mastery of meditation at a later date. Just wanted to share my story so far.

Be well…and focus!

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