The Dalai Lama once quoted ‘that if every 8 year old in the world is taught meditation, we will eliminate violence from the world within one generation.’ Wow! I currently have an 8 year old and I must admit I don’t do enough to teach him the basic skills of meditation.
What is the basic skills of meditation any way? Too often there is this perception that you have to be a buddhist monk, yogi or enlightened being to practice meditation and I myself once had this perception that I had to do a course, or to be taught to meditate in order for me to say that I meditated.
Then when I did give it a go, often I thought I was doing it wrong, or that the style wasn’t correct, and what ever I tried I found a way to make it wrong so then gave up.
Over time however, the evidence supporting the power of meditation has become undeniable. Some claim illnesses to have been healed through meditation, or chronic pain, stress released, and without a doubt the greatest benefit of meditation is the ability to find a sense of peace and calm amongst all the chatter of our day to day lives.
Our modern world is full of noise and clutter. With access to information 24/7 it is becoming increasingly more difficult to tune out and turn down the noise. Hence meditation being an even more important tool to possess in order to just remain sane.
Even if it is for just 5 minutes a day, 5 minutes to turn inward, to become present in the here and now can make such a difference to even your outlook on life. Back to the Dalai Lama’s quote, that even just to teach our young how to stop, to breathe, allow space before reacting, can help start to create a different world.
So what is meditation? Meditation can be as simple as bringing your focus to your breath. Mindfully observing your breathing, moving your body purposefully and observing your thoughts and breathing as you do so, or it could be closing your eyes and visualising, or allowing your thoughts to slow as you reach for the silence in your mind.
Too often we get caught up in the ‘I can’t do this’ to acknowledge that even 5 minutes of turning inwards (even if the thoughts persist 100 miles and hour) can bring about numerous benefits to our over all sense of happiness and well being.
For quite some years now I have had a solid meditation practice. I can share that at times I have faulted and there have been periods where my meditation has been non existent. I can honestly say it has been these times where my health has been its worse, my mental state has been challenged and my over all love of self has been compromised.
Finding my way back to a meditation practice is always a relief and with in days I undoubtably notice greater clarity of mind and an overall greater sense of peace and happiness. Of course this is not always instantaneous and a regular meditation practice only allows for further improvement.
As time goes by my meditation practice has changed and grown in many ways. With practice I have become more confident with simply just closing my eyes (or not) and taking myself inward, beyond the noise, beyond the chatter, where I can listen, and hear the gentle whisper of my soul.
Whether it simply be just listening to my breath, hearing the delicate murmur of my inner knowing, my guidance, my intuition, or at times it may be just to observe the constant chatter of my thoughts, whatever it may be, allowing myself space to turn inwards on a daily basis has become paramount to my over all mental, emotional, and physical well being.
I cannot recommend giving meditation a go more than enough. And as the Dalai Lama quoted, teaching the young to meditate may bring the end to all violence within a generation, if anything teaching meditation to the young can certainly provide them with a life long skill that eliminates stress, promotes compassion and enhances joy and happiness.