Anyone Can Experience The Benefits Of Meditation
Even If You Have An Active Mind
Meditation is a practice that people want to incorporate into their lives, yet many have difficulty mastering. When we think of meditation, we envision an Indian mystic dressed in a colorful robe sitting in a lotus position on the top of a mountain. We may long to experience the states of bliss reported by these holy men, but find it challenging to achieve these deep states of contemplation ourselves.
What many of us in the west do not realize is that there are two different types of meditation that can be employed to help us achieve a state of peace and relaxation, passive meditation and active meditation.
How Meditation Works
The goal of meditation is to focus the mind on a single solitary item. This allows all of the other “stuff” in our psyche simply to slip away. In its passive form, it is the breath, the mantra and even the act of keeping the mind clear of distracting thoughts. In its active form it is, well, the activity. But let’s look into these two types of meditation further.
The first type of meditation is called passive meditation. This relaxation technique is what we often picture when we try to meditate. It incorporates techniques such as repeating a mantra, focusing on our breath or clearing the mind of thought.
These passive meditation techniques leave many of us feeling as if we cannot meditate at all or that the skill is beyond us. We close our eyes and within minutes, if not seconds, our mind starts to wander from work, to our children, to what we are going to make for dinner. Instead of experiencing the relaxation and stress reduction that meditation can offer, we end up trapped in the never ending busywork of our minds.
The second type, one that is not often discussed, is active meditation. Before delving into this relaxation technique, it is important to understand what meditation is all about.
Believe it or not, you have probably already experienced active meditation in your life and did not even know it. Think about a time when you found yourself upset, distracted or feeling ungrounded. Perhaps for whatever reason, you went to the gym and had an intense workout that day. Your session ends and as you leave the fitness center you discover that you feel calm, clear and remarkably invigorated.
Yes, exercising can be a form of active meditation. The same holds true for dancing, jogging, doing yoga or martial arts. What really matters is the focused intensity, the sincere intention we employ as we pursue these activities.
Not a fitness fanatic? Do not worry. There are plenty of active techniques that can be utilized to calm the mind and sooth the soul.
Ritual And Energy Healing As Active Meditation
Ritual, in all its forms, if done with intention and singularity of purpose can provide enormous meditative value. In the Catholic faith, for example, the act of saying the Rosary can transport us into this contemplative place. Each Hail Mary uttered can be likened to the repetition of a mantra. Namu Myōhō Renge Kyō… Hail Mary full of grace… – both can have the same effect on our mental, emotional and spiritual health.
Rituals can take on many forms. Even the act of clearing your home or apartment, scrubbing the tub, doing dishes or vacuuming the floors can transform our spirits. Go outside and rake some leaves, work in your garden or even go for a walk. Each of these, when done with intention, can take us to a meditative place.
One of my personal favorites is to perform energy healing, such as Reiki, on myself or someone else. The level of focused intent I apply when working on a client or myself always produces remarkable results. It allows my psyche to release all of its discordant thoughts and emotions, the stress of the day, anything it is holding on to.
We all are under a lot of pressure these days. Meditation is a wonderful way to give to yourself. The young and old alike can perform this stress relieving relaxation technique. Individuals in the peak of health or ones who need to restore vitality in their lives can do it. Isn’t it wonderful to know that you do not have to climb to the top of a mountain to experience the benefits of this relaxation technique?
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