Meditation can be described as a state of being where the mind remains alert and focused while the body is relaxed and resting. It is also a spiritual discipline promoting balance, peace, inner strength and ultimately self-realisation. Meditation actually rewires the subconscious to be more at peace, which heals your soul. During meditation you will not be hypnotised or controlled: you are in control of your experiences at all times.
There are many different types of meditation, all with the aim of calming the mind and bringing you back to your quiet centre of peace within. When the mind is calm and free from worry, it is clear and you are more able to hear your own intuition and make better decisions. The aim of meditation is not to stop the mind but to let thoughts arise and then let them pass without being carried away by them. Over time this helps you develop detachment from drama as you will be less distracted and overwhelmed by negative thoughts and emotions in your everyday life.
Meditation differs from relaxation in that with relaxation the body and mind are relaxed and the mind wanders. Relaxation is good for stress relief as you can switch off and take time out. Relaxation is the absence of tension and muscular contraction.
Benefits of Meditation
- Greater concentration and focus in daily life – it improves performance in study, sport etc and aids achieving goals.
- Promotes inner harmony, peace and balance.
- Calms body and mind so relieves stress.
- Improves physical health – lowers BP, tension, anxiety; improves mood and boosts the immune system as it is under less stress.
- Clearer, quicker thinking and increased productivity.
- Calming and grounding – puts things into perspective, brings us back to a place of peace and stillness.
- Greater inner strength, serenity and self-confidence which leads to positive changes in all areas of life.
- Increases intuition and self-awareness.
- Greater sense of connection to others and concept of Oneness.
- Encourages us to live in the present, develop forgiveness and release the emotional baggage of the past.
Types of Meditation
One-Point Meditation: This style of meditation is great for developing focus. Usually the focus is the flow of the breath, with the attention being placed either on the tip of the nose or on the rise and fall of the stomach. Simple mantra meditation (such as ‘in/’out’ in line with the breath), counting meditation, observing a candle flame or crystal are further examples of this type of meditation.
Guided Meditation/Visualisation: The style involves being taken on a journey in your mind to a place of peace and beauty such as a beach, forest or garden incorporating the sights, sounds and smells of the place to help you go beyond the physical senses. Body scan and chakra meditations also come under this heading and both are great for increasing self-awareness.
Mindfulness: This involves being totally involved in whatever task you are doing, such as walking, brushing your teeth or eating your dinner mindfully. It encourages you to live in the present moment and is very good for people with anxiety who need a more grounding kind of meditation.
Creative Meditation: This includes healing meditations (sending light to and using visualisation in a particular area of the body or mind). You can also visualise yourself achieving a particular goal or manifesting a desired character trait such as confidence, peace or joy. Nowadays it is used by athletes and in some workplaces to boost performance. It adheres to the concept that action, or energy, follows thought.
Beyond the Self: The true purpose of meditation is to go beyond our concept of Self and ego. Methods include focusing on the still point or space between the thoughts, Vipassana meditation and meditating on light or the nature of God. Some of these methods encourage you to meditate on questions such as ‘Who am I?’, which then becomes like peeling off the layers of an onion as you go deeper and deeper. Over time your crown chakra opens up more and you are more easily able to project your consciousness beyond your physical body out into the universe and become aware of the inter-connectedness or oneness of all life.
Active Meditation: This style includes practices such as Chi Kung and Tai Chi but can also include walking meditation. Each movement is carried out with purpose and focus and the person becomes totally absorbed in what they are doing.
I offer the following as half day workshops:-
Beginners Meditation and Relaxation
Includes definition and benefits of meditation, relaxation techniques, meditation techniques, guided visualisation, emotions, resistance, dealing with thoughts and distractions, psychic protection, grounding and closing down. In this course you will be introduced to a range of meditation and relaxation techniques including counting the breath, focusing on one point, candle gazing and mantras so that you can find out which practice suits you best. There will be time after each meditation to share experiences. This course will give you the basics to begin meditating on your own.
This course incorporates creative visualisation and relaxation techniques to promote positive change in the body and mind. Each week will include a body scan relaxation, a creative visualisation exercise to promote positive qualities and a meditation to heal the body. The course is open to all with a basic knowledge of meditation. Please bring a notebook and pen. Course notes will be provided at the end of the course for all participants completing the full course.
Meditation for Healing and Wellbeing Workshop
This workshop gives you the opportunity to explore a variety of meditation styles to find out which one suits you best. We will include simple breathing techniques to calm the mind and balance the body; a chakra meditation to balance the energy body; a mindfulness exercise; simple seated Chi Kung exercises to boost chi and energise the body; and a healing meditation for body and mind.
The practice of stillness is a very effective form of meditation in which you observe the still point, or space, between the thoughts. It is said that the truth reveals itself in those moments. The course is open to all with a basic knowledge of meditation. Please bring a notebook and pen. Course notes will be provided at the end of the course for all participants completing the full course.