Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience, these nourishing, focused states of mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energized states of mind. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life.
I introduced myself to meditation once my mom passed away. The crazy thing is that I didn't know "meditating" was the actual name for it and I was unaware that - that's what I was doing. After my mom passed I didn't know how to cope with that loss. I didn't know how to feel, how to act etc. Where I was living at the time, I would sit out on the porch and just listen; not thinking about anything but simply listening and breathing. I would only do it for maybe 5-10 minutes because I would get distracted from either my cell phone or my thoughts.
As I grew older and read more into this new way of life. I came across books and articles about the power of stillness ( stillness is another word for space) and how it has helped so many when losing someone dear to them. I feel it was calling for me to partake in meditation, which was weird because again, I never knew I was meditating or How To Meditate. However; I am someone that loves solitude, and I have noticed when I sit on a step or in a field of grass alone and in silence. Something happens to me a sense of calmness and free takes over me. Not thinking about tomorrow, or worried about yesterday. I love it!
Before I meditate I like to play an audio of running water in the background. (Am I the only person who loves the sound of running water?) It is so soft and relaxing to me. Exhaling out of my mouth and inhaling into my nose. Focusing on the rise of my chest, and the expansion of my ribs. I feel the life inside and it feels pretty amazing.
There's a passage from my favorite book called "A New Earth", and it references awareness and meditation and I would just like to share it.
Can You hear the mountain Stream?
A Zen Master was walking in silence with one of his disciples along a mountain trail. When they came to an ancient cedar tree, they sat down under it for a simple meal of some rice and vegetables. After the meal the disciple, a young monk who had not yet found the key to the mystery of Zen, broke the silence by asking the Master, " Master, how do I enter Zen?"
He was, of course, inquiring how to enter the state of consciousness which is Zen. The Master remained silent. Almost five minutes passed while the disciple anxiously waited for an answer. He was about to ask another question when the Master suddenly spoke. "Do you heart the sound of the mountain stream?" The disciple had not been aware of any mountain stream. He had been too busy thinking about the meaning of Zen. Now, as he began to listen for the sound, his noisy mind subsided. At first he heard nothing. Then, his thinking gave way to heightened alertness, and suddenly he did hear the hardly perceptible murmur of small stream in the distance.
"Yes, I can hear it now," he said. The Master raised his finger and, with a look in his eyes that some way was both fierce and gentle, said "Enter Zen from there." The disciple was stunned. It was his first satori-a flash of enlightenment. he knew what Zen was without knowing what it was that he knew! They continued on their journey in silence. The disciple was amazed at the aliveness of the world around him. He experienced everything as if for the first time. Gradually, however he started thinking again. The alert stillness became covered up again y mental noise, and before long he had another question. " Master," he said, " I have been thinking. What would you have said if I hadn't been able to hear the mountain stream" The master stopped, looked at him, rasied his finger and said, " Enter Zen from there."
Give meditation a shot and change your own life.