Thursday, August 29, 2013

Meditation and Stress

When life gets chaotic stress levels go up. Spiritual practice helps get us through the roller-coaster times of our lives.

Meditation has many benefits. Significant stress relief is among them.

Meditation helps with stress by giving us a bigger perspective. When we get good at it,  it gives us a break from the pressures of life. It can help us to to see what’s really going on. It can help us let go of our need to control things.

Much of the stress we experience is self-created. We pressure ourselves to be a certain way, or to perform at a certain level. Even when ideas are unreachable ideals, we strive for them anyway.

Pushing to make ourselves better is good. The issue is trying to mould ourselves into something we aren’t. Meditation can help us accept ourselves as we really are. We can see areas that need improvement. We can see the limitations of our biology  and experience.

Being at ease with your current state is one of the most powerful things you are ever likely to experience.

Take meditation practice slowly. Otherwise you may create even more stress. Start with five or ten minutes, then,  increase the time when you are feeling reasonably comfortable. Meditation is “practice”. You will always be able to improve. You can never do it perfectly. You can never do incorrectly either.

The technique I use is taught by Enlighten Next, and its founder Andrew Cohen. It is extremely simple, and extremely easy, but, only if you let it be.

The instructions are to: sit still; pay attention; and relax.

You can have your eyes open, or closed.

Sit upright in a position that you can be comfortable in for as long as you will be meditating. Stay as still as possible.

Be as alert as possible. Observe the thoughts, feelings, sensations, sights and sounds around you.

Stay relaxed. There is nothing to do. There is nowhere to get. Whatever you experience while you meditate is the point of that meditation.

Allow everything to be as it is. Don’t try to change anything. Don’t try to do anything. 

How was this meditation for you? Did you find it easy? I’d love to hear why, or why not.

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