There are many reasons for meditation: relaxation, clarity of mind, and spiritual connection, among others. No matter what the reasons may be, the main focus of meditation is on meditative awareness—mindfulness of what is happening at the present moment, such as breathing, bodily sensations, and mental thoughts. Without this acute meditative awareness or mindfulness, there is no relaxation of the body and the mind, or the spiritual connection to a Higher Being.
Meditation is finding the quiet or stillness between sounds and thoughts and experiences. It is this underlying quietness—so quiet that you can almost hear it—that forms a link between you and your sensations and thoughts. Meditation is all about re-focusing the mind on what is important and what is irrelevant or insignificant. In other words, through awareness, meditation prioritizes and changes perspectives regarding what is happening in life. Essentially, you begin to become aware of your adaptation to cope with the mundane world, such as dealing with attitudes and behaviors, as well as pain and stress. Through clarity of mind, you also begin to know yourself better, such as the reasons for your anger; you may even have spiritual enlightenment, such as perception of the purpose of your existence. In brief, meditation is a mental training of meditative awareness or mindfulness of breathing, physical sensations, and mental thoughts, and the perception of timelessness, focusing only on the present moment or what is “real” at that present moment.
Meditation has its practical application in everyday living for life. Meditation heals both the body and the mind if you can bring all attributes and benefits of meditation to your day-to-day world.
By training your meditative awareness only to remain present in whatever activity you undertake in real life, you will find yourself right in the center of that activity you are engaging in. In this way, you will be doing your very best, and meanwhile getting the greatest satisfaction from doing so.
To illustrate, say, you are doing a mundane everyday chore, such as washing the dishes or taking out the trash; you may not like what you are doing, but you are doing it anyway just because you have to. If you have had training in meditation, you will know how to keep uninvited thoughts to a minimum while you are doing the dishes or taking out the trash, and thus enabling you to be in the center of what you are experiencing and to do it without distraction. A mind trained in meditation leads to a state of stillness that can be maintained no matter what you do, or what is happening around you. This is the power of meditation.
The principles of meditation can be applied to any non-meditating part of your everyday life, such as walking.
As you begin walking, let go of thoughts of the outside world.
Focus on your breathing: listen to the relaxed sound of your breathing in and breathing out.
Make your walk slow and purposeful.
As you walk, observe each step that you make. Notice all the physical sensations of your feet, as well as the way your arms swing back and forth, brushing against your body.
If uninvited thoughts come, re-focus your awareness on your breathing and physical sensations.
In this way, you can turn any everyday activity into meditative nature in order to enhance your awareness and clarity of mind, which can be life transforming. Not only your senses come to life, but also you see how things change from moment to moment, so you have a better understanding of what is important and what is “real” in your life. Seeing things in perspective will help you let go of things you found most difficult to let go in the past.
Practice meditative awareness in your everyday activities in order to enhance your self-healing power of the body and the mind.
Copyright © 2018 by Stephen Lau