On the way to self discovery, there are many people who rely on Meditation as a means of relaxation and clarity of the mind. Often, it is in this state of relaxation that we examine ourselves, our lives and the world around us. There are many different ways to Meditate, but the common denominator for all of these ways is relaxation and reflection. No matter what method you choose, you need a quiet place, with no distractions.
A long History
Meditation has been used for centuries, as a way for people to analyze their deepest thoughts and emotions. Sometimes our hectic life makes it all too easy to forget to “check-in” with ourselves and find out how we really feel about things. We make snap judgments and decisions about our life without questioning sometimes and later find out how wrong we were. “Know Thyself,” is a statement that needs no explanation. But how do we come to truly know ourselves? One method is by Meditation.
Many different types of meditation exist, both Eastern and Western and each relies on solitude for its platform. In western culture we have the Bible. It tells us in several hundred places, to meditate long and pray continually for answers. The Disciple Paul tells us we need to meditate on “deeper things” so that we can sound them into our hearts.
In Eastern Cultures, meditation can take place in silence or by word. Buddhists repeat the chant “N’am Yoho Renge Kyo” over and over, as a way to block out unnecessary thoughts and distinguish these from our natural mind. In this state, according to Buddha, we find the true answers we seek.
Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian teacher in the 60’s, thought that using one word was sufficient. That word was “OHM.” It’s pronounced like Omen, leaving out the “en.” Saying this word over and over again would “Transcend” a person from ordinary life to a more perfect, perceptive state.
Meditation, in whatever form, is a useful tool by which to think over our problems, our life, ourselves and our decisions. If we take time out to find out what “our” answers are, we’re less likely to make snap decisions. Meditate means “To Ponder”. Pondering is a form of deep introspection that serves to help us understand our true desires and our true natures. It is also a relaxing mode of operative thinking and most people say they feel refreshed after Meditation.
How to Meditate
Without advocating one method over another, we can still examine the basic format that meditation requires. First, you need to be in quiet place without distraction. None of us can truly examine ourselves while our minds are elsewhere. Second, when you are sufficiently relaxed, begin a series of questions relating to your everyday life. What do you like to do, for example? Wait for the answer and continue on. If you’ve ever played a game where someone said a word and you said the first word that came into your mind, you were doing “Word Association.” Word association is often a direct link to what we really think and want on the deepest of levels. Continue on with your query: What are your favorite meals, perhaps, or movies. As you finish up with the simple questions and you’re still feeling relaxed, you may want to start asking more important questions such as: What have I always wanted to do and have never done or what’s more important to you, your family or your career? What role does money play in my life? (etc.) If there are special decisions you need to make, ask questions related to making that decision. The answers may not come right away but, over time, through meditating about things concerning your decision, you’ll come to know how you really feel about them.
Do it Regularly for the Best Results
Don’t expect miracles right away and never make a decision after meditating upon it only once, rather, after each session, write down the answers that came to you during that session. Do it right away, so that you don’t forget them. Then, save them for the next time you meditate. Reading over what you have written will guide you to even more pertinent information that you’ll need to have to make the correct decision.
How often you meditate is strictly up to you. Many people meditate once, even twice a day. It depends upon how much time you have available and how serious the decision you’re going to make is. Always allow 5-6 sessions, once a day, before you decide anything. Over time, different aspects of your personality may say quite different things. When you see everything you’ve written during the week, some similar themes may be easily recognizable and you’ll have your answer. If you’re still unclear and you have the time, try another week of meditation.
Coming to know yourself well can only improve your relational skills, improve your memory, calm your emotions and help you to make sound decisions. You will find that, over time, it will yield a lot of improvement in how you think and feel. Yes Meditation is a wonderful self-improvement tool.
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