What is Meditation?

Meditation is the buzz word, the next ‘big thing ‘, the answer to most of the world’s ills,  or so it is promised and in fact, IT IS!  For ultimately, Meditation is about whole brain thinking and functioning, leading to better and more conscious living, and hence a better world for all. The ancient sages unlocked the secrets of brain function long before modern medical science used sophisticated machines to look into the functioning of a live, thinking brain. They evolved the science of meditation via their own observation and scrupulous research. They left us a huge legacy of knowledge and wisdom which is incredibly valuable and applicable in our current times.

Corey Story Meditation Photo“Spiritual practice is never really personal, though it seems that way.  The work is on oneself, but the effect goes into your neighbourhood, your community and eventually the whole world.  The lone meditator who makes a Spiritual breakthrough – perhaps in a shabby unfashionable home, perhaps in a cave in the Himalayas – does more to change the world than presidents or kings. 

The meditator is cause; the president or king will only ratify the change that has already occured.  Generally the effect doesn’t happen right away and there are few who can see the connection.  But eventually it happens.  Many of the trends that seem mainstream today were once unthinkable; they became mainstream because a few hardy souls made the Spiritual breakthrough.  So don’t discount your spiritual work”
Joseph Polansky

I have been meditating in various ways using various techniques for over 15 years.  I look back and see that the first 7 years were about me ‘trying’ to meditate, I’d sit on the cushion and think ‘now meditate’… ‘concentrate’…. and my mind would instantly wander off.  The length of time I was sitting for in the beginning was also ridiculous; an hour at a time, sometimes more.  The best meditation can at times be a few seconds of complete withdrawal and focus on the breath.  Like power naps taken at the side of the road to stop drivers from falling asleep at the wheel.  Power meditations can be taken to awaken humans back into their bodies, into themselves.  Mindfulness is a meditation – a simple exercise of watching the breath, or the thoughts that arise without becoming entangled in them.

Over time as I became more conscious of my body and mind through hatha yoga practices including postures, yoga nidra-yogic sleep & relaxation and other sensory withdrawal activities including hypnosis, meditation has become a pleasure to do rather than a pain or chore.  This was the biggest breakthrough I came too whereby I discovered meditation wasn’t about ‘trying’… it was about ‘allowing’… Allowing whatever floated up into consciousness, into the mind to enter, to welcome it in, like an old friend coming for a cup of tea, allowing it to rest as long as it needed too and then allowing it to leave, to let it go without fighting or forcing.

Within my hatha yoga classes I draw students into moments or minutes of meditation sometimes when they are sitting, or standing and other times when they are laying.  Meditation can take on many guises & be done in many ways; even being totally present while washing the dishes is a form of meditation.  Meditation in action!  It allows you to completely be in the body, in the moment which is what all the new age books & advice points us towards… Being in the ‘NOW’.

To further my knowledge and qualifications, in 2014 I completed a Diploma of Teaching Meditation at Gita International.  I hope to share with you the greater depth of knowledge that I have attained from this incredible journey!

Recommended reading:

The Brain that changes itself, Norman Doidge

* some excerpts have been taken from Gita International Website & brochures.