Finding Inspiration Series: Meditation
My 'Finding Inspiration' series was written out of a need that comes up in my practice, most often in Spring and Fall. I feel we all need a bit of encouragement and enlightenment now and then to help us move forward. Finding motivation through inspiration can be the spark which sets you on your way!
Meditation is a time-honored technique that can take you into infinite
dimensions of consciousness. It is a simple effort that becomes effortless as we do it more and more. One major principle to meditation is the ability to completely quiet your mind. Quieting the mind comes as a result of meditating over a long period of time, but any time you are looking within, you are meditating. Meditation helps us live a healthier, less stressful life.
The physical and psychological benefits are wonderful and many people meditate only for those reasons. The practice of meditation helps us temporarily let the physical world go so that we can begin to see ourselves as we truly are - spiritually enlightened beings.
Meditation can transform our lives. As we meditate and expand our consciousness we open ourselves up to love and light. We begin to see things from a more loving, spiritual view. We become more tolerant of others. We find more inner peace and joy...that inner peace touches everyone we come in contact with.
There are endless, boundless benefits to relaxation and meditation. Stress can often be a daily part of our lives. The fight or flight response can occur when an individual is subjected to severe stress such as a threatening situation or a resistant or hostile event. The response may be one of confrontation or one of avoidance such as running. The response involves all parts of the nervous system, as well as the endocrine system, and can be consciously or unconsciously
mediated. The autonomic part of the fight-or-flight response results in a general increase in sympathetic activity, including heart rate, blood pressure, sweating, muscular strength, and can trigger an adrenaline surge that quickens your pulse, raises blood pressure, kick-starts anxiety and prepares you for "fight or flight."
The fight-or-flight response is adaptive because it enables the individual to resist or move away from a threatening situation. can trigger an adrenaline surge that quickens your pulse, raises blood pressure, kick-starts anxiety and prepares you for "fight or flight."
As meditation is practiced regularly, we find that we are able to handle everyday problems in a calmer and more relaxed manner. Our problems and difficulties are seen from a new perspective. Our coping skills are increased and we seem to find a new inner strength. Many studies have been done which show how our lives are enhanced by meditation. Both mental and physcial benefits have proven to be effective through relaxation and meditation techniques.
Mentally such benefits as:
Increased mental clarity
Improved emotional well-being
The physical benefits include:
Decrease in respiration
Decrease in heart rate
Decrease in blood pressure
Decrease in sympathetic nervous system
Decrease in body metabolism
Try this meditation:
Progressive Relaxation is a slow transition from a tense, immobile state to a calmer more supple mind and body. This is a way of releasing tension in the muscles. There are many variations of Progressive Relaxation. Here is one of them:
Begin by laying on your back in a comfortable position.
Take a series of deep slow breaths and then focus your awareness on different parts of the body in turn, becoming aware of any muscular tension and releasing it.
One way to do this is to first tense a muscle deliberately and then relax it.
You can start with the top of the body, tensing and relaxing the muscles of the upper face, then moving on to the jaw, neck, chest, front of the arms, abdomen, thighs, lower legs, feet, and toes.
Then do the same down the back of the body. Finally, lie still with the eyes closed, concentrating on your breath. Allow the whole body to relax into the ground. Feel the floor underneath you, supporting you. Feel the earth supporting the floor. Feel yourself now deeply rooted and grounded into the earth beneath
Enjoying this deep feeling of peace and freedom from muscular tension.
Andrew Pacholyk, MS. L.Ac
Therapies for healing
mind, body, spirit
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