Meditation On The Net.
Meditation is a way of attaining centering of the emotional and spiritual lives. This affects our physical life in many beneficial ways, and all in all leaves us feeling good. Often we meet a small group and meditate together, with a leader guiding us through symbolic scenery and sometimes, we simply sit in silence, with some faint relaxing music. It is pleasant and beneficial on many levels.
New Ways of Meditating
For some, this arrangement does not work well, for whatever reason. Are they doomed to doing without? No way. All you need is a computer, and a little time to yourself. You may think you simply do not have the time, but bear in mind that if you take care of yourself, you will be far more equipped to tackle life, and whatever it brings. If you are an experienced meditator, then meditating music, a quiet spot and a comfortable place to sit/squat/lie down is all you need. A candle is helpful .
For the beginner, there are videos that explain the concept and that give the explanations on what happens to the body when we meditate. Each video has a summary to tell you what the focus of that particular meditation is eg: relaxation, sleep, gain self confidence, drum up energy. . .
So Much Choice of Videos, Free.
There is such a wealth of choice on You Tube that you are bound to find some that really appeal to you. I will offer some suggestions as a starting point, but no doubt, you will soon make a list of your own.
There are meditations of varying length, and this may be your first point of choice. You don’t want to start on a 60 minute guided meditation if you have only 20 minutes to spare. Best find a shorter one. The time in minutes is clearly displayed on the summary image, and again at the bottom of the Video. You will also need to identify what the objective of each one is, as written in the summary. Some are meant to relax you to a point where you will easily fall asleep and these are meant for evening time, not the morning. Converseley, there are those that are intended to give you the motivation to go on to cope with a full day, and these are inappropriate for the evening time.
Then comes your own taste in voice and music. I have often found that I may not take to a voice straight away, but it becomes quite comfortable for me as I become more familiar with it in the repeats. Again, some music may appeal more than others.
Children at Play
How to Get Yourself Prepared.
Whatever time of day you choose to do this, you will need to find a spot where you are undisturbed for the time you have allocated for it. Turn the phone off, shoo the kids out of the room and train them to hold on to their questions and demands until you emerge, calm and confident, and ready to deal with the world.
Some like to lie down and this is fine, so long as you do not fall asleep. That is not your objective at this point. Others will sit or squat on a cushion, and as long as you are comfortable and not likely to be squirming around, then that is fine too. I sit at my computer desk. I have a comfortable chair and this is in a quiet part of the house, so it suits me well. Some prefer to have bare feet. This is a symbolic gesture, as most of us sit on carpet or tile and have no connection to the earth within the home. It is for you to make that choice. Clothes need to be loose and comfortable.
I have no kids around to disturb me, but my doorbell and the phone. . .OMG!
So I make sure that I turn off both for the duration. Then I light a candle. I find that the smell of the candle, along with the flickering light helps me to focus.
I have my favorite meditation videos, of course, but from time to time I try a new one, and quite often this is added to my list which seems to be ever-growing. I have also made up a list of favorite meditation music.
You can make a list by copying the links on a Word Document table, or you can put them in your bookmarks/favorites in a folder called Meditation, or even use a board on Pinterest, so that you can point at the image and click, or you may have your own different way of having your favorites at hand.
Remember to turn off the volume until you can click the SKIP AD button to retain your serenity.
How I Meditate on You Tube.
I use Chrome and am on Win7. I always open two tabs [windows] on my system. On one I put a Meditation Music Video, and on the other the Meditation Video I have chosen for the day. As soon as I have started each of these videos I ensure that the sound on the video window [it is usually located on the bottom of the picture with a sliding volume scale from left to right or vice versa] is muted. It then shows me a cross on the volume icon. I shall explain.
Many a time I had settled myself ready for the dulcet tones I expect of such a video, only to have my head jolted with some advertisement that jangles my nerves as if it was a truncheon brought down on my head. I know all about the “Skip Ad in 5 seconds” etc. . . but those few seconds are enough to rob me of whatever serenity I had to start with. I find those ads – very often quite loud – disturbing so I always turn off the sound previous to the start and I also do the same before I put them in my favorite bookmarks. When I can see the “Skip Ad” button, I click this and then I can turn up the volume to listen to the sounds of the meditation.
So, after the ad, I turn on the Meditation Music Video, halfway up the volume scale. If it is a new one, I like to watch for a little while with open eyes. The graphics in these videos are most beautiful and can transport me to a far away peaceful place, even before I start my meditation. If you intend to keep your eyes open, I suggest you use full screen to get the full benefit of it, [Just click on the little screen Icon on the bottom right hand corner].
I like to listen to the music while I am preparing to settle down for the meditation – turning off interruptions, getting the candle lit, perhaps finish my morning hot drink, etc. . . . It prepares me for what follows.
When I am settled and ready for my meditation, I turn down the volume of the music and start my meditation video in the same manner as the music video i.e. turn off the volume until I can skip the ad, then turn it up to listen.
I sit at my computer desk under a window that opens onto the small backyard. Often there are many bird sounds there, but these do not intrude on my concentration. I do not sit on the floor as my old joints would creak too loudly! I put my hands on my lap, gently cupped to allow my thumb and forefinger to barely touch.
Most meditation narrators will lead you into some breathing to start with. A few deep breaths, four in, and three out.
Some do the meditation wide-eyed, some with eyes closed. You do what feels good to you.
You may feel serene and elated at the end of it, or maybe not. If this is new to you, then it may take a few sessions to really get into it. Persevere. Winners keep on keeping on.
What is Meditation, really?
Meditation is defined as focusing onto one thing only. It could be the breath, or the flame, or a sound, to the exclusion of all else. Becoming in touch with “the moment”, silencing the discordant noise in your head, leaving it all behind.
The place you choose will become your “haven”, a sanctuary of peace. After a little while you will find that even while getting ready to start, your tension recedes, and you ‘fall into’ the serene breathing exercises with great ease. Your mind has learned to associate those surroundings- candle sight and smell, cushion and maybe soft music- with the state of meditation that always follows.
Regular meditations will help you to be aware of where you are at, give your mind the opportunity to see things clearly, to choose what you want to give mind-space to and what you discard as not worthy of your mental energy.
Gale Encyclopedia of Nursing and Allied Health quotes Michael J.Baime this way, "Meditation cultivates an emotional stability that allows the meditator to experience intense emotions fully while simultaneously maintaining perspective on them”
It has been widely reported that meditation has been invaluable for people with physical or mental issues and also for those who have none of these but want to acquire the ability to make the most of each day.
Meditations have been practiced by many religions for aeons of time. The West has learned to “borrow’ these beneficial practices. These sessions can be utilised to get in touch with one’s deep spiritual values, to focus on religious issues if one so wishes. But this is not a requisite.
Many have found that regular meditation is a means to attaining better quality of life
Meditation assists in. . .
• Stress Relief
• Spiritual Growth
• Stop Smoking
• Enhancing Creativity
• Expanding Consciousness
• Coping better with pain.
Who Would Recommend Meditating?
Dr Benson MD is the Director Emeritus of the Benson-Henry Institute (BHI) at Massachusetts General Hospital, and Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Benson is the author or co-author of more than 190 scientific publications and 12 books.
Dr. Benson is a pioneer in mind/body medicine, one of the first Western physicians to include spirituality and healing into medicine. He has defined the relaxation response and he lead teaches and leads research into its efficacy in counteracting the harmful effects of stress,
Dr. Benson demonstrates how to elicit the Relaxation Response
Silent or Guided Meditation?
Some people find it easy to settle into a quiet place, close their eyes and simply let go of the stresses one by one until their mind feels rested and at ease. That is a very valuable skill, and once achieved one can do that just about anywhere, at any time . It is highly beneficial.
Some, like me, have not attained those heights, but with a little bit of help from a good You Tube video I can feel renewed after a very short time. I like to follow a guided meditation. These lead you in mind imaging to a peaceful place where you can imagine yourself rested and relaxed. After a while you get to know the scenery you have painted in your head, and you follow the usual steps without hearing the voice much anymore. It is like being in a fantastic place of rest.
Thank the Author of the Videos
One other important point. Many of these beautiful videos are free for us to use. Please remember to tick the LIKE button [if it is appropriate for you] , SHARE and/or leave a comment on You Tube when you finish. It is a mark of appreciation.
Guided Meditation. My two all time favorites
Astin, John A., et al. "Meditation" in Clinician's Complete Reference toComplementary and Alternative Medicine, edited by Donald Novey. St. Louis,MO: Mosby, 2000.
Baime, Michael J. "Meditation and Mindfulness" in Essentials of Complementaryand Alternative Medicine, edited Wayne B. Jonas and Jeffrey S. Levin. NewYork: Lippencott, Williams and Wilkins, 1999.
Insight Meditation Society. 1230 Pleasant, St. Barre, MA 01005. (978) 355-4378.FAX: (978) 355-6398. http://www.dharma.org.
Mind-Body Medical Institute. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. OneDeaconess Road, Boston, MA 02215. (617) 632-9525.http://www.mindbody.harvard.edu
Att: By Bryan Helfrich, Alias52 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Att: Children at play- Debra H- via Flickr.
Att: By Robert Bejil (Flickr: For Web (1)) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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© 2015 Marie L Boler