“With every breath, the old moment is lost a new moment arrives, we exhale and we let go of the old moment it is lost to us in doing so we let go of the person we used to be. We inhale and breathe in the moment that is becoming, in doing so we welcome the person we are becoming. We repeat the process this is meditation, this is renewal, this is life” – Lama Surya Das
I wanted to open this post with the above quote. I wanted to find a quote that summed up meditation but there are so many! People have varied thoughts on what meditation is and how we experience it. The one thing in common is that it is good for you, your body and mind. The above quote resinated with me, since losing my sight I have become more aware of the new moments and saying goodbye to the past moments. Renewal is a for front in my mind. I wanted to take a little look into it’s origins and what it means to me. I wanted to share my outcomes with you. There is no pressure to start meditating or believe the same as me. All I ask is that you have a read and be open to the possibility.
A small history of meditation
Earliest records of meditation go back as far as 1500BCE before common era. It was thought to be an integral part of the Vedic way of life or the early Hindu schools in India. Early forms of meditation practice were developed by such notable figures as Philo of Alexandrea the dessert fathers of the middle east and St Augustine. The English word meditation stems from the latin word ‘Meditatum’ which means to ponder. Although experts can’t pin point when it began, they do believe it was before the birth of modern civilisation. So it is an old tradition or form of therapy.
Different types of meditation
Many forms of meditation can be found throughout the world and can be found in ancient religious traditions. It is a formal component of a spiritual path, which you would most likely recoginse by Buddhism. The Buddha taught in south east Asia 2600 years ago. He founded an experiential path that inspired people to sit in mindful experience and breathe their way to lasting peace. The Buddha taught many who became teachers and took the teachings to the world. Zen meditation a form of siting meditation was born through Buddha’s teachings. The more modern spiritual forms of meditation are Theravada, Zen and Tibetan Buddhism with many more.
There are many influential figures in the sphere of mindfulness and meditation such as, Dr John Kabat-Zinn. He founded the centre for mindfulness at the university of Massachusetts medical school in 1979. There are also Influential teachers such as Deepak Chopra, Sarah Auster, PemaChodro, Thich Nhat Hanh and many more. There are many ways to meditate if it is in your house in a quiet room, on the commute into work or in a dedicated space. There is no right place to meditate only the right way. Meditation is about focusing the mind and body connection. With this in mind breath is the most important part of meditation. The breath will help you relax and focus. It will always bring you back to the present moment which is the essence of meditation. There are some forms of exercises that incorporate meditation into them, yoga being one. I also listened to a podcast where the host talked about her swimming session being a meditative experience. It was the time she had away from her busy life, to focus and let go.
How it can help
Meditation has many health benefits, some being;
- Stress relief
- Support with anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Support with depression and other mental health conditions
- Boost immunity
- Improve skin health
- Support in letting go of emotional blockages
- Support with the digestive system
Along with many others to name.
My meditation journey to date has been a simple one. I have listened to a few guided meditations off the internet and quite sporadical. I recently found out this is called a crisis meditator. When things get too much you turn to meditation to help clear that thing in the moment and once it has passed you return to life as normal. There is nothing wrong with doing this if it helps but as I am learning the help is short lived. I want to commit more to a regular practice as I believe this will help long term with stresses, my awareness and health conditions, one being Charles Bonnie Syndrome. I have recently attended an online course (because everything is online these days, upsetting) on how to provide a spa meditation treatment in my practice. It was an amazing course by an amazing woman who has an Ayurvedic center in Nottingham called Tri-Dosha. The course was a great insight and has encouraged my thirst for knowledge and spiritual growth. I hope to be able to provide a little piece of healing that meditation has given me to my potential clients. It is an amazing and understated practice that we all should benefit from.
If you are open to a little possibility and want to try something new in 2021, please check out my instagram or Facebook. I will be sharing in the coming months my treatment plans and hopefully providing a meditation class too. In the mean time you can try it yourself, find a guided meditation on the internet, or simply find a quiet space sit comfortably with your spine straight or lie down and breathe. Simple right! Just focus on the breath taking deep breaths in allowing the belly to rise and fall on the out breath. Bring your thoughts to the breath and if your mind wonders don’t worry acknowledge it and just return to your breath. Do this for five-ten minutes and see if you notice a difference.
As always thank you for reading and I wish you warmth, love and light.