From ancient lands to the modern-day world, the practice of meditation has brought the concept of mindfulness and alternative therapy to the western world.
‘Quiet the mind, and the soul will speak.’
~ Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
As we journey through our seemingly chaotic lives, balancing work and relationships to raising children and finding fulfilment within ourselves, the desire to slow down and connect with our inner being has become more imperative than ever.
In this Feature you will find
• What is meditation
• A Brief History of Meditation
• Meditation in the modern world
• A step by step guided meditation for you to do at home.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a transformative practice that develops deep concentration and stimulates mental clarity. It involves guided and unguided meditation where you are either walked through various steps involving a sequence of mental pictures, or silent meditation where one sits quietly and concentrates on their breathing. Meditation has paved the way for many people across the world to have a more balanced and grounded perspective on life.
By implementing these practices, you can train your mind to become more positive, peaceful and relaxed, improving mental and physical health by dramatically reducing stress and tension within the body. Millions of people across the world have turned to meditation to boost wellness within their lives, gain more awareness and even improve sleep.
A Brief History of Meditation
Though meditation has gained momentum in the last few decades it is by no means a new concept. This popular practice, steeped in a rich cultural history, tells a story that travels from East to West.
Records of meditation can be found in India around 1500 BC. Referred to as Dhyāna (Sanskrit) or Jhāna (Pāḷi), the archives explore the ancient practice and its’ varied used across India. Dhyāna in Hinduism can be translated to mean contemplation and meditation, which incorporates yoga poses. However, in Buddhism, it refers to the point in the meditation process that leads to Nirvana.
In China, references to meditation can be found as far back as 3 and 6 BC. It developed other forms of meditation through the philosophical tradition of Taoism involving mindfulness of the breath and observation - harmonising the mind, body and the soul. Meditation also has religious ties in Ancient Egypt. Smai (also known as Sma, Sema or Sem) is an ancient Egyptian word, when translated it means ‘the science of breath and union’. The hieroglyph for Smai derives from a language called Metu Neter, which dates back around 10,000 years ago.
The steady increase in globalisation and cultural exploration provided the catalyst for a growing interest in meditation. However, the introduction of Buddhism to Europe can be traced right back to Alexander the Great who first began his conquest of northwestern India in the 3rd century BC. By the 19th century, Western awareness of meditation increased exponentially. The World Parliament of Religions, a global conference of faiths, hosted a groundbreaking event in Chicago in 1893. It was the first time that Asian spiritual teachings were introduced to Westerners by members from the Asian community
Meditation in the modern world.
Today, meditation is more popular than ever and as it has become more mainstream. Its’ positive impact has been celebrated in every corner of the globe. Due to it being a powerful mental antioxidant, those that meditate seem to generally have happier lives due to the natural release of endorphins that are experienced with meditation. It can be incorporated into even the busiest lives, whether you are on your lunch break, commuting into work and even if you are enjoying a solitary walk. Meditation can be adapted to any schedule, at any time.
Now more than ever this profound art form is no longer just being practiced in the privacy of our homes but also in schools and workplaces. Introducing young children to meditation can help them to control their emotions, connect with their inner being and develop a greater sense of self-worth. Children are the future and by encouraging them to practice mindfulness we can expect a new enlightened generation of people that will elevate the vibration of this world for the greater good.
A step by step guided meditation for you to do at home.
As a gift to you, I want to provide you with this simple yet powerful grounding meditation that is designed to help you become more centered and connect your body to Mother Earth. This is perfect for everyone, even children, as the benefits can be felt by all. I welcome all who find this meditation to take some time within your day to experience the amazing power of grounding energy. To prepare you for our appointment I advise that all of my clients practice this beforehand, to improve the flow of our session.
Below are ten simple steps to help you ground yourself. Practice makes perfect, the more you try it the better the experience will become.
1. Find a quiet place where you will not be disturbed, remove all distractions and settle into your surroundings.
2. Sit comfortably, ensure that your spine is straight and that your feet are placed firmly on the floor.
3. Close your eyes, be calm and relax.
4. Imagine a golden rope extending from the base of your spine, pushing deep into the ground until it approaches the centre of the Earth.
5. Picture yourself attaching your golden rope to a large rock when it reaches the Earth’s core.
6. Visualise a brilliant light beaming from the centre of the Earth, through the ocean, land, grass and floor.
7. Imagine the light flowing from your feet, ankles, legs, thighs, tailbone and rising through your body until it reaches your head.
8. Take a deep breath and imagine all of your stress and worries leaving your body, flowing toward the centre of the Earth.
9. Now move your hands and feet, bringing your attention back to your body.
10. Open your eyes, and embrace the feeling of being grounded.
The power of consistent meditation will improve the quality of your life. Take steps today to find your bliss and benefit from more patience and a greater sense of wellbeing. Your body is a temple so nourish it with the transcendental experience that one can achieve through the practice of mindfulness. Be present and open yourself up to more enlightenment, acceptance and a stronger sense of authenticity. May you discover your zen and your peace.
Love and blessings, Mariana.
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