Practical meditation

Many people see meditation as vague and inappropriate in the Western world. As if you had to have been to Tibet to be able to meditate and realize what you can do with it. Only when you start working with it do you realize how you can apply it in a practical way and what the added value is within our busy Western mentality.

Origins of meditation

Meaning

According to the dictionary, meditation is: to reflect, ponder, reflect and be absorbed in contemplative thoughts. Which means as much as sounding boards with yourself, thinking things over, taking the time to think and ultimately clearing the mind, as it were. Because meditation is beyond the intelligent mind and the logical mind, we cannot grasp or analyze it and that makes it elusive and therefore vague. If you want to understand how it works, you have to do it, according to the experts. Not that it becomes easier to put it into words, but the realization is there.

Base

The basis of meditation can be found in Hinduism and Buddhism. In faith it is a very important way to achieve the goal. Meditating takes you to a different level of consciousness, so to speak. It can be seen as a deepening and broadening of your consciousness. The Buddhist way of meditation in particular focuses on concentration and Tibetan Buddhism mainly involves habituation in meditation. Habituation when it comes to the positive focus of the mind and avoiding the negative focus of the mind.

Practical

As Westerners, we find it difficult to make time to meditate (because we are too busy with everything we want to do in life), but people sometimes do it without realizing it. Just think about it. moment of concentration in the car when you are stuck in a traffic jam. You get lost in thoughts and contemplations and some people are, as it were, startled awake by the horn of the person in the car behind them, when the procession has started moving again and you have not yet. Call it daydreaming, but it is involuntarily entering a layer deeper into your consciousness.

Source: Own Buddha statue – Annastaal

Where?
But if you want to give it a careful try, you can also do this without the lotus position on a cushion and humming mantras. Start with where and how you can best concentrate. Think of any situation that works for you, such as:

  • Nature sometimes wants to work, walking in a quiet forest (without encountering dozens of fellow nature lovers), walking along a temperate coastline or walking among the rustling of the grasses in a dune pan or on the heath.
  • The bedroom if that is this oasis of peace for you.
  • If your own garden inspires you, this one can also serve you well.
  • Even behind your computer, if this is a familiar place.

For a relatively large number of people, an inspiring environment helps them to concentrate, but there are also many people who benefit from any quiet environment. However, the gentle sounds of nature are often a good place to start for beginners.

How?

Whatever place you have chosen, make sure you can concentrate (and that is difficult enough for many) and try to let go of the high thoughts. These are the everyday things that are on-top-of-mind. Clearing your head slowly is the trick, but it’s easier said than done. Any distraction can disrupt your concentration.
However, if you ensure that you can suppress your high thoughts, for example, by other matters to think about. Choices in life and/or beautiful thoughts, that is also possible. You also slowly let go of those thoughts one by one. It is only important that you do not force anything and that you are not immediately disillusioned if it is not a success the first time.
In that case, try it in a simpler way. Find a place that is familiar, for example behind your computer. Slide the keyboard out in front of you and place your elbows on the table. Now place your hands outstretched, with palms touching each other, in front of your head and touch your third eye, or the place between your eyebrows, with the sides of your index fingers. Close your eyes and tune out all ambient sounds (if there are any). Focus on a specific point in your thoughts and try to concentrate that way. Even if it’s only for a minute or so. Build this up slowly. Besides the meditation and concentration moment, it is also good for the sharpness of your mind. Not letting your mind be (over)active for a moment provides a kind of peace.

Finally

Besides the place behind your computer, there are of course many other places that you can use to achieve a moment of meditation and ultimately deepen your understanding. Don’t make it more complex than necessary and choose a pleasant, quiet environment and create your own moment.

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