John GilmoreBy John Gilmore

For thousands of years meditation has been known to benefit human beings in many ways. Meditation and deep breathing can still the mind, relax the body, help one focus the mind when making important decisions, and open one for an encounter with the Divine, whatever one might consider the Divine. Lately, scientific study has provided us with the evidence to support these very ancient understandings about meditation. Research has shown that meditation and deep breathing actually do relieve stress, lower blood pressure, and causes a physical reaction to take place in the pre-frontal lobe of the brain so that one becomes more responsible and proactive in their responses to stimuli, instead of reactive. In other words, one learns to choose his or her reactions wisely, instead of just acting out.

In our world today, which is full of stress, and where many of our models for appropriate behavior on television act out first, instead of acting responsibly, and constantly bend the rules to the point of breaking, there is a greater need for meditation. Much of the internal meditation has been done away with in various western traditions, and replaced with external forms of prayer that don’t really get down deep into what is happening to the inner self. This is slowly changing as the public learns about the methods of the monastic movements who dedicated their lives to contemplation and meditation.

As a result of these changes there are thousands of books, videos, and CDs telling us all how to meditation and what we should expect when we meditate. This is something that really isn’t new. The speed at which they are created and distributed, however, is new. It is very important because of this, to take all of them with a grain of salt, understanding that different people react differently to various meditation techniques, and that your path on the road to enlightenment and growth is just that, your path.

My suggestion is that you find the type of meditation that suits you best. It can be counting, or watching your breath, observing the thoughts as they arise and letting them go, imagining the circulation of energy until you can feel it actually moving in and out of your body, and many other techniques. The one thing that ties all of them together is creating awareness. It is necessary to become aware of what is going on inside and all around you. When one becomes aware from moment to moment, living in the moment fully, and making the necessary choices in one’s life for that very moment, one has arrived. One becomes a master of his or her own fate and the creator of his or her life.

If you are interesting in meditating, I would suggest that you find a method that suits you. The next thing is to meditate. It is to do it. Meditation is a practice. One can learn all that one can about meditation, but there is no benefit until one does it over and over again and attains the results for which he or she is looking. These results can vary from stress reduction to peace of mind, or from focusing the mind intently to reaching a full state of merger with the Divine. The correct technique is to just do it. It is to just be there. When one is there fully, and completely present on ones seat or meditation cushion for the time they are meditating, that is enough. It is all about awareness. As awareness increases one can use whatever method one likes and it will all end up being the same. The major goal is to attain the awareness and the capability to live in the present.

Om Prakash (John Gilmore) is a writer, spiritual life coach, and licensed bodyworker in the state of PA. For more articles like this please visit this Ezine or our website at http://www.nextstepcoaching.4t.com where you will find links to articles, book reviews, and our radio station link to programming focusing on practical spirituality.

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