Why do people meditate?
Why do people meditate?
Meditation is practised by millions for health, religious and or spiritual reasons, but for many, particularly in the West, meditation is regarded as a self-help tool for relieving stress, managing our thoughts, or used as a form of relaxation to bring a sense of ease and wellbeing in the body.
Proponents and studies of meditation attest to its ability to offer health benefits like lowered blood pressure, improved sleep quality, better immune health, and reduced anxiety, for example. Others cite that meditation improves their ability to focus the mind, cope with stress and that it brings a sense of calm or personal transformation.
The use of Meditation for spiritual expansion and fulfillment, without a religious basis, is becoming very common as people see meditation as a way to reach ‘enlightenment’, often sitting for many hours at a time in the attempt to quieten or empty the mind to acquire that elusive state of being.
Whilst all these reasons to meditate appear valid, as meditation does support very real and tangible health benefits, have we missed the real point of meditation, what meditation is designed to actually offer us?
Meditation is a tool for developing connection
– connection to our inner-self.
When meditation is used for developing connection we are able to develop an understanding of how we have been living and what quality or energetic state of being we have been choosing.
- Have we been anxious, stressed, busy, harsh, distracted or have we chosen to be more present, gentle and in rhythm with ourselves?
- Have we been living in a way that is in line with our body’s natural flow or have we been pushing against it?
- Is it this pushing against our natural state that in fact causes us to feel stressed, tense and out of balance with ourselves?
Reconnect with Meditation
Meditation is simply a regathering of yourself, a technique to reconnect – but what is it you are re-connecting to?
Meditation is an opportunity to really feel exactly how we have been living. When practised with its true intent it affords us a moment to stop and check-in, to re-connect with ourselves, and nothing more. It is not an antidote to how we have been living, nor is it the path to enlightenment or Nirvana. In truth, nothing more is required because when we do stop and actually re-connect to our inner-self, it becomes obvious that much of what makes up life as we know it – what drives us and what we ‘do’ is not in fact who we are – that there is within us an essence untouched by life.
“After 20 years of meditations that were meant to calm my mind or lead to enlightenment, I was left disillusioned and depressed. My mind was not calm and I was not enlightened, in fact I was worse than when I had started on my path of meditation … Then I learnt the Gentle Breath Meditation and everything changed. I have found peace of mind and it only takes 10-15 minutes a day – not a six-month retreat. What is more, I felt the benefits of the meditation immediately …” Alison Greig
Meditation is a moment that we give to ourselves that supports us to develop an awareness of how our body feels, to have a marker for where we are at. The Gentle Breath Meditation™ allows us to reflect upon and be aware of the quality we are choosing to live in and to sense what impact this has on our body and our state of being.
By breathing your own breath and making the way you live your meditation, you are actually choosing and determining the quality that enters your body rather than breathing in all that the world inflicts, imposes, or expects of you. When you make a choice to make the quality of your breath gentle and hence choose the quality of life or energy that enters via that breath, your body begins to respond and you naturally feel less anxious, less pressured or stressed, more at ease and at one with yourself, as you are breathing for YOU rather than being breathed by life.
I found the Gentle Breath Meditation after trying dozens of different meditations that never really felt like they helped to bring me back to a consistent place of stillness that I could go to when I felt like I was letting the world change how I felt about myself. This is the beauty of this meditation, as I find that it's like coming home to myself every time I practice it, and the depth that one can go to seems infinite. So simple, yet profound, in that in 5 minutes I can reconnect to my inner stillness that is there waiting for me, and then get on with the day feeling the wonderful shift of energy that I am in while living my life in more fullness. Michael Goodhart, Builder and Artist, Bristol, Vermont, USA
With the Gentle Breath Meditation, we can reconnect to and develop a quality of gentleness within, a quality that we can then choose and live for ourselves during our day: a quality that puts us back in step with our body and its natural state of being. And there is no greater place to be than right there.