Why Is Everyone Talking About Meditation? It's Really That Important- Link bw Meditation & Happiness
What is mindfulness? It's a continuing journey to higher levels of awareness.
Mindless activity can have an impact on your cognitive capabilities and problem-solving abilities over time. You'll get disengaged and burnt out. Your health and wellness may be harmed as well, with increased worry and despair as a result of a lack of conscious awareness.
So what does meditation do:
-> Detoxification: meditation that detoxes your body of all impurities
-> Reversal of 'fight or flight' stress response into
-> Increased production of telomerase enzyme (slowing the aging process)
-> Decreased activity of genes that cause inflammation
-> Stimulates parasympathetic nervous system 'relax, repair and rest'
-> Lowers blood pressure
-> Improved sleep
-> Releases stress, fatigue and toxic thoughts
-> Experience of healing emotions such as love, compassion, joy, relaxation, equanimity, and gratitude
-> Increased awareness of emotions and ability to respond consciously rather than reactively
-> Increased feeling of meaning and purpose (dharma)
-> Enhanced creativity and inspiration, also a sense of flow state
-> Reconnects with your higher self/source/feeling of something greater than ourselves
All to unfold our true potential.
Remember, you are not your thoughts. You are the thinker of your thoughts. You are experiencing thoughts. You listen to your thoughts, and sometimes they come in a steady stream, one after another. Thoughts cannot overlap, therefore you may have felt as if two or three were happening at the same time. You can't think about two things at once.
Deepak Chopra explains the 'stillness' or 'silence' really well. He calls it the brief pause between each thinking. Deepak refers to this as the "gap." This isn't a boring stillness. It's an unlimited field of possibilities since there's always the chance of another thought between one thought and the next.
We know that we are not the traffic of thoughts that occupy the mind when we catch glimpses of this expanse of quiet expanded awareness. We are not the activities that we engage in on a daily basis. Instead, we're the quiet observer of our own thoughts, words, and deeds. You can locate your true self in the gap between your ideas. The good news is that the thoughts that tell you 'you're not good enough' or 'you don't deserve this' or 'you're fat, ugly, too skinny or whatever horrible thing it could be' isn't actually you, it's your thoughts. In fact, they might not even be your thoughts. They could be your high school bully's, a parent's, society's even. When experiencing the 'gap' we are able to distance ourselves from the thoughts and practase not acting or reacting to them. Meditation or being mindful, might actually lead you to not only just lead to less anxiety or depression but a better version of yourself or to higher consciousness, awakening or enlightenment. This is because when having a thought we usually either feel comfort or discomfort during this 'silence/stillness' or 'gap'. That discomfort is usually our ego/bullies/fear or pride but that comfort, ease and love is from our higher-self/God/Universe/Love, whatever you want to call that thing that's greater than your own.
So, when meditating we are strengthening the skill to be able to feel the thoughts and decide which ones are worth listening to. We are in fact also strengthening our connection with source and the deep inner knowledge that has lead to our very creation called intuition.
So, how can you 'experience' the gap?
Mindfulness, or being in a meditative state isn't difficult to practice. It's the simple act of fully focusing on the current moment. You're bearing witness to your current experience without judgment or expectation when you practice mindful awareness. You're present and engaged, and your mind isn't straying. I think there is a misconception that mediation is supposed to take us away from life, but in my opinion, it's supposed to enrich it. Meditation has given me the ability to truly live in the moment and experience all the little miracles of the everyday.
"[Mindful awareness] can recognise and embrace seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching, as well as those activities of mind we call thinking and feeling, and it can rest in a non-conceptual direct knowing of any or all of these aspects of human experience, beyond thinking, without separation or identification," quote by Jon Kabat-Zinn, a pioneer of mindfulness in the West.
Just because it is simple doesn't mean it's easy. The reason why it is considered 'hard' is that, just like any skill, it requires practice.
Being Present Right Now & During Daily Activities
Being totally immersed in the activities of the present moment is what mindful awareness entails.
Meditation allows you to become aware of the silence within you.
If you look at your mind, you'll notice that the top layer is continuously thinking and feeling. However, underlying all of the activity, there is always a natural condition of stillness. It's the final stage of conscious awareness, where the emphasis shifts from the finite to the infinite space between thoughts. You are who you are in this quiet.
The 4 States of Expanded Consiousness
Soul consiousness: Reality is more than what we perceive with our 5 senses
Cosmic consciousness: Being is our primary state (when eating and even when sleeping).
Devine consciousness: Witnessing awareness not only in ourselves but is all living beings
Unity consciousness: Being aware that we are all essentially one experiencing awareness.
You are already whole, linked, and complete in your genuine, essential nature.
Higher levels of consciousness are already within you, whether or not you've done meditation. You've already seen a few of them. However, by practising meditation on a daily basis, you may bring those states back into your awareness, restoring your life's memory of wholeness.
-> is bringing your attention to the present moment
-> can be done during daily activities
-> experiencing the present without judgment or expectations
Mindful awareness is not
-> allowing your mind to wander (too much)
-> focusing on the past or future
There are countless studies showing the benefits of meditation. Here's an example:
If you would like help getting started with meditation and would like me to guide you through the process, please feel free to join my waiting list here.