Meditation is not always a discipline which needs to be practiced solely in a seated, upright posture. From experience, the mind can be silent in the noisiest shopping mall or the loudest party. This does not mean we just miraculously stop thinking. It is almost impossible to completely curb our thoughts, even for a regular practitioner of meditation.
So, ʻwhat is meditationʼ? Meditation is the ability to simply acknowledge our thoughts and let them go without getting engaged or attached to them. Once you cultivate this practice and strengthen your mind muscle, eventually you will have longer gaps and spaces within your thinking. Those are the moments of blissful peace we experience.
From my own ritualistic practice of this discipline, I could go as far as saying, every single meditation session feels different to the next, therefore, I could not define a conventional way to meditate. We may look, sit, stand and walk the same in a practice, however, what is happening in your inner world is never identical.
So ʻwhy meditateʼ? Many people approach me and share they are far too busy to dedicate a time during the day which they can commit to being still. Besides, "my head is to busy to stop thinking" is what I regularly hear. These are the people who need it the most. Meditation gives you freedom in your mind and a real sense of clarity. If you have a calm mind, the decisions and choices you make are clearer.
Have you ever turned up a stereo to its maximum volume and been deafened by the distorted sounds? How can one hear a quality note amongst the sound of chaos? I know, my mind and thoughts become so fragmented when I donʼt devote the time to be still. We work out in the gym to look physically in shape to look our best so surely if the mind has the same amount of attention as our body, we would have masterly over our lives? Not only, does my practice help me to connect to who I am, to others and my surroundings, it also sets me up for the day and anchors me so I truly enjoy and cherish living in the moment.
Meditation on the go
Whilst your standing at a check-out of the supermarket or waiting on the street for a friend, take your legs slightly apart and feel where your heels are touching the ground. This will make you drop down into your body and gets you out of the analytical head.
Be present and aware of how your body is feeling whilst observing your breath. Visualize growing roots like a tree from the soles of your feet and plug them deep down into the earth and draw the earths energy back into your body. This simple, yet powerful technique will not only ground you by bringing your awareness back into your own center.
It will also connect your mind and body. We seem to neglect the body when we live in our head. When we internalise stress, it manifests into the physical body and can create emotional blockages or tension. To avoid this, we need to create harmony between mind and body by allowing ourselves to feel by staying anchored. This technique when practiced on a regular basis will miraculously transform your life and give you a great sense of discipline.
If it has worked for me, a former bonafide party girl who lived life in the fast lane and was addicted to craziness and destruction, I can honestly own my words from my experience of positive transformation.
Good luck with your meditation practice :))
Ladan Soltani, author of ''Fabulous Fitness at 40''