Meditation Time!

Meditation is a beautiful and peaceful journey to the stillness within. When you quiet the mind and enter the silence of your own soul through meditation, you experience a restful vacation from the things that don't necessarily serve you much of the time.

The constant barrage of worrying, planning, rushing, and fretting that most of us deal with in heavy doses on a daily basis is the very thing that raises our stress levels to a point of compromising our immune function and overwhelming us mentally and emotionally. The societal expectations we have to produce and perform and to be successful at all things can, at times, take us to the breaking point physically, mentally, and emotionally. Being in a state of meditation allows you to transcend the distractions of thoughts, emotions, and physical
pain. Meditation allows you to go beyond into a state of just being. It is in this state of pure being that you access your higher self and connect to a universal flow of knowing and intellect.

Following are five simple steps that will get you started in your practice of meditation:
1. Choose a quiet space in which you can regularly meditate. It doesn't have to be an entire room. You can play soft music or light a candle--whatever gets you in a relaxed mood.
2. Sit comfortably. If you aren't comfortable sitting on the floor with your legs crossed, sitting in a chair with your feet on the floor is perfectly fine. Sit with a straight spine, your head even, and your eyes closed.
3. Begin with three deep, cleansing breaths, breathing all the way down to the base of the spine, breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth. Then begin to breathe normally.
4. Start to let go of all thoughts by focusing on the inflow and outflow of the breath or by repeating, silently, a simple mantra over and over. The mantra could be something like "I am healed," "I am whole," or "peace." When a thought pops into your head, put your attention back on your breath or the mantra. Make sure you don't focus on the meaning of the mantra because that becomes a thought.
5. Try to practice your meditation regularly. Twice a day is very beneficial--once in the morning and once in the late afternoon or evening. One half hour per session is ideal, but even if you can only work fifteen minutes, each time, into your day, you will still enjoy wonderful benefits.

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