Recently I went for a hike up a mountain. As I was in the middle of the hike I placed my hand on a tree and I stood in silence. I tried to hear as many sounds as I could and the first sound I could hear was the slight breeze of wind flowing through the trees. I couldn't hear any cars, people talking or any of the sounds that come from living in a city, town or even a small community.
It was so incredibly peaceful. The more I listened the more sounds of nature I could hear. I heard the faint sound of a river nearby and a bug flying past my head. It felt as if I was grounded. Every sound I heard I also intently listened to and it seemed to take me out of my head and into the present moment where I felt more at peace.
Imagine if you were sitting down on a beach listening to the waves roll in. I am sure you can agree that something is calming about this scenario. Many people also love to listen to the rain. They say it helps balance them.
You see, when we get out of our heads and experience the present moment we are actually meditating. Meditation occurs when we stop thinking and become absorbed in the present moment.
The average person has thousands of thoughts every single day. Not only are a lot of these thoughts the same kind of thoughts they had the day before, but a lot of these thoughts are also dwelling on bad things in the past or fearing what could happen in the future.
I once heard a statement that went something like this, "When you need a hammer, pick up the hammer, hammer in the nail and then put it away". The same holds true for the mind.
When we need the mind to think, we should use the mind to think. When we don't need the mind, we should be relatively present or at least not spend the majority of our time dwelling on bad things that happened in the past or fearing what could happen in the future.
Of course, thinking about the past and future are necessary. Sometimes dwelling on bad things that happened in the past or even fearing things that could happen in the future are beneficial. But when we feel as though we are stuck constantly thinking about bad things in the past or fearing the future then getting out of our heads and experiencing the power of meditation could come in handy.
How to meditate?
Meditation is not as mysterious as it may sound. Many people believe that they need to study under a Guru or travel to a distant place and practice daily to even have a chance at becoming good at meditation. However, this is not true.
Chances are that you experience the healing power of meditation all the time and don't even notice it. For instance, have you ever been doing something and the smell of freshly baked bread catch your attention? If so, I bet that that smell somehow grounded you to the present moment and took you out of your head even for a second or two.
Or let's say you're driving and you unexpectedly see a friend walking. Because you weren't expecting to see them, the second you see them you are taken out of your head and are absorbed in the present moment.
Or if you're playing baseball and the ball is hit towards you. Chances are, as the ball is coming towards you, you are not going to be thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. All your attention will be on what's happening right then and there.
Once again, meditation is simply the process of temporarily getting out of our heads and concentrating on the present moment. When we are concentrating on what's going on right here and now we are not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow. If we are not thinking about yesterday or tomorrow then we are obviously not thinking about something bad that happened yesterday (or any time in the past) or fearing what could happen tomorrow (or any time in the future).
I like to teach what I call, Active Meditation. Active meditation is simply the process of experiencing meditation while doing, well, practically anything. Many people believe that you have to sit down in a quiet space, with your legs crossed, while concentrating on your breathing or heartbeat to meditate. While this is a beautiful form of meditation, there are other ways to meditate.
Remember, meditation is the process of getting out of our heads and experiencing the present moment. As long as we are absorbed in what we are doing at the time this means we are meditating.
For instance, if you are walking and are paying attention and completely absorbed listening to the sound that your feet make as they touch the snow, then you are meditating. If you are cooking and intentionally paying attention to how the food smells, you are meditating. If you are intently listening to the sound of rain as it pours down and hits the roof of your house then you are meditating.
Meditation simply occurs when we get out of our busy minds and concentrate on the present moment. Does it take time, patience and practice to get good at it? It certainly does. However, the more peaceful experiences we have while meditating the more we will feel encouraged to get better at it.
Small steps is the key. Give it a try. If you want to dive deeper and if you think this kind of thing is for you I'd encourage you to check out my, The Calm Your Mind Method Online System.
In the meantime, simply know that you do have the ability to meditate and become more efficient at it. The more you practice, the easier it will become.
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