I recently began meditating as a way to help myself move forward in life, to find what I want to do with the rest of my life and get out of the rut that I felt myself in. So on the vacation that I just returned from, it was good that my two girlfriends were as interested in meditation as I was. We took time each morning we were in Sicily to spend time focused inward. I do believe it made our time there more fun, as I certainly felt calmer and more able to deal with the anxiety of navigating a country in which I do not speak the language — and not many of the folks there speak English that well.
We’ve talked about the value of meditation before on this blog and covered it in length in an article on mindfulness in meditation Here’s how we describe the value of meditation:
The practice of meditation is about relaxing in order to focus: a daily session in which we intentionally focus our minds on something, such as our breath or a word. When the mind inevitably strays to a thought or emotion, we bring our attention back to the chosen focus. By letting thoughts and feelings pass without judging them, most regular meditators describe feeling more relaxed, less anxious and therefore less disturbed by negative thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.
Meditation can be very useful for people who struggle with eating. The relaxed, upright posture produces a calmer, more balanced emotional state. Watching the mind, being aware of thoughts, feelings and sensations, and bringing the mind back to a focus gradually trains us to be a “witness” rather than “victim” of our own states. Every time we bring the mind back to the focus, it is like exercising a muscle in the gym—the ability to let go of disturbances and focus the mind grows stronger. Gradually, we recognize that thoughts and feelings are temporary experiences, arising and falling away like waves in the ocean.
I try to spend about 20 minutes a day meditating, but shorter or longer periods are useful, too. That’s just the amount of time that seems to work for me. And now — excuse me — I need to go meditate. I’ve got a lot of catching up to do after being gone for two weeks, and meditation will help me approach what seems like an overwhelming amount to do in a more relaxed fashion.
Ciao for now!