Meditation is the practice of quieting the mind for relaxation, contemplation or to achieve higher states of consciousness. For some people the thought of having to sit down and clear the mind, seems boring or even a waste of time. Some people may even state that it seems a waste of time as you are not doing anything. This statement brings up another essential point of meditation, practicing that art of being rather than doing. We have adapted to a society with high demands, deadlines and packed schedules that there is hardly any time to really “be”. We are losing perspective of what is going on around us as we are too busy trying to get somewhere or constantly on the go with our “to do” list or constant distraction of emails, phones or TV.
Sitting still with our minds and thoughts is not something we are taught to do. When is the last time you sat quietly with yourself for more than a few minutes and observed your thoughts? It can be very uncomfortable for people to sit with themselves and have no distractions. We all know how important physical exercise is but we seldom think about the importance of exercising the mind. The mind can be a busy, chaotic and at times, a scary place. Thoughts can take over and stories are created that sometimes have no truth to them. The mind can tell us we are confident, successful or doing a great job at being a parent, husband, wife, co-worker etc. but it also can tell us we are not good enough, unworthy and not deserving. Unfortunately, the latter thoughts seem to dominate our thought space.
It is said that one of the goals of meditation is to be able to observe our thoughts rather than be our thoughts.
We all have old patterns that run in our mind that cause us to react, judge or be self-critical. What if we could develop the ability to be aware of these thoughts that arise and then be able to take a step and observe them without any attachment to meaning? Our minds would be much more peaceful and in turn create more peaceful lives. It may be uncomfortable to sit with ourselves but it is my belief that it is something we need to become masters at. It is important to understand our thoughts in order to take complete control of our lives.
There has been much research done on meditation and its benefits with stress related illness such as anxiety, depression, cardiovascular health, insomnia and , just to name a few. The practice of meditation involves the repetition of a word, activity, sound or prayer or pure focus on the breath. The mind will wander but focus on the breath can bring you back to your meditation. It is usually done in a quiet place, while sitting straight. You can also practice mediation while running, cleaning or hiking, to name a few as long as there is focused and continued attention on the present moment without the distraction of the mind.
Meditation is called a practice for a reason, it takes just that. But with dedication and discipline it can be a part of anyone’s day. For those who have never meditated before, I challenge you to take 2 minutes out of your day, in the morning and evening to sit quietly and observe your mind. How comfortable are you sitting still, what kind of thoughts come arise and are you able to sit back and not get caught up in those thoughts. It is important we all take the time to be familiar with and master of our minds. With this commitment our lives in turn can experience a deeper sense of peace, be more engaged in life and relationships with those around us and cultivate a sense of well-being and happiness.
Dr. Brandy takes a holistic and individualized approach to medicine, utilizing a combination of botanical medicine, nutrition, homeopathy and lifestyle and is also trained in Neuroemotional Technique (NET). An integration of these is used to treat a wide range of conditions including but not limited to Digestive concerns, Women’s Health, hormonal issues, pediatrics and a special interest in addressing Stress and its numerous effects on the body.