Weekly Writing Challenge: The Sound of Silence
by Erica on February 17, 2014
MEDITATION: SILENCING THE MIND
I love and embrace the silence. I can, and often have, spent an entire day with nothing but the twittering of birds. I don’t care for the sound of a TV. Some day’s I enjoy music while I work and some day’s I prefer silence.
I developed a love of meditation, years ago, and I still practice meditation today.
Learning to silence my own inner noise was the hardest part of meditation for me. I would be lost in the relaxing silence of meditation, when a thought would cross my mind, such as, telling myself to remember an appointment for the next day, and then my mind would wander off to thinking of all the things I needed to get done the next day. I would catch myself all tensed up with my thoughts going every which way. The meditation would have to be started over again.
All the books I had read told me this was normal; to not get upset, just recognize the unwanted thought(s) and release it/them. It took me many months of practice to be able to focus my mind during meditation, and even today I still have an inner thought or two that slips in.
Of course, you can practice silence without meditation. Silence is completely enjoyable, free, natural, simple and it works wonders.
Meditation is more focused; using a mantra, candle, or merely the breath as a form of focus. Personally, I found focusing on the breath a delight during meditation and it also helped me to breathe more fully. Later, I found that I could release stress by focusing on my breath.
What are the benefits of meditation? It aids in creativity, gives us more energy, helps us connect with our inner spirit, helps the mind to rest, and slows our heart rate. In addition, practicing the silence of meditation brings healing into our lives so we can begin to live more peacefully.
I especially love the silence upon first awakening in the morning and at night, right before sleep. It is during those times that I practice my silent meditations.
As for technique, I’m a firm believer in whatever works for you. Personally, I do a sitting meditation in the mornings and perform my evening meditation while lying in bed. Some experts scoff at the idea of falling asleep during meditation; I say what a wonderful way to naturally relax and allow yourself to fall into a good night’s sleep.
If it is a day that I feel like doing yoga, I will end with a meditation sitting in the lotus position, or as close as my old arthritic joints will allow.
Picture Courtesy of http://www.healthidia.com via Yahoo Images
Meditation can be as completely enjoyable, free, natural, and as simple as silence. Plus, meditation works wonders too. Simply make a commitment to yourself to meditate as often as possible. You do not have to practice twice a day; twice a week is a good goal to aim for when just starting. Start at your crown, or toes, and simply work your way, up or down, relaxing muscles as you go, until you are completely relaxed. Try to focus on each muscle group as you relax. Focus on your breath; breathe in relaxation, breathe out tension. Again, you may find yourself drifting off on inner thoughts. Simply bring your awareness back to relaxing different muscle groups.
Play around with it until you find what works for you. There are many books, and many websites, that can help you along; though these are certainly not a necessity.