Since I became a mom eight years ago, I have found myself overusing the phrase “I don’t have time.” As in, “I don’t have time to sit in and wait for the doctor for 40 minutes.” Or, “I don’t have time to read a book.”
So when someone recommended meditation, I scoffed at the idea, saying, “I don’t have time to be alone with my thoughts.”
As it turns out, meditation is REALLY beneficial. And it is REALLY good at helping to keep the calm. I that meditation is not something that has to take a lot of time, nor does it require any special equipment, yet the positive impact that it can have on our lives can be overwhelming.
One local expert, Dorit Brauer, owner and founder of The Brauer Institute for Holistic Medicine, describes meditation as a valuable practice that allows you to reach a state of unity.
“Unity transcends polarity, which is the experience of our everyday lives,” Brauer notes, “whereas opposites create on another, good and bad, right and wrong, day and night, and so forth, and is a world of daily judgment, struggle and drama. Unity, on the other hand, represents the world where everything just is and has a right to exist.There is no judgment about anything and everything is good within a state of enlightenment and complete peace.”
According to Brauer, there are two approaches to reaching a state of unity. Eastern meditations focus on emptying the mind of all thoughts and may include reciting various Mantras. “This may be a difficult practice for Westerners, as our minds are constantly flooded with thoughts. If the goal of the meditation is to have to no thoughts, and every time a thought enters our minds, we acknowledge that it’s not supposed to be there. This, however, can often create a negative effect where meditators begin to struggle with their thoughts.”
The other type of meditation practice is called Guided Imagery, which originates in ancient Greece and is thousands of years old. During this type of meditation, the meditator is guided toward an inner journey to reach their next step of development. “Thoughts are an integrative part of Guided Imagery and therefore is very easy to experience deep meditative states with little practice, as the meditator does not struggle with emptying their minds.”
Now that you know the difference between the two, you may be able to prepare yourself for a regular meditation practice. But where?
The ideal setting for initial guided meditation journeys are places in nature and/or a peaceful place where you have a happy memory. As you visualize this place, you will instantly connect to the happy emotions connected to this memory. “As you focus on the pleasant and happy aspects of your life, it is impossible to be negative,” Brauer explains. “Another easy way to connect to the positive is to let your mind wander in search of everything for which you are thankful. Be thankful for all of the good you have received in your life. You may start with simple things, such as the sunshine or a child’s smile. You may even discover that your gratitude for even the smallest things can lead to gratitude of many things. With ongoing practice, you can become very creative with your meditations.”
There are so many benefits to meditating, including improved sleep, decreased pain and anxiety, improved concentration and energy level and an improved well-being and ability to cope with stress. In addition, a regular meditation practice also can help control blood pressure with less medication, reduce PMS, and can help reduce nausea and vomiting in patients undergoing chemotherapy.
To get started, Brauer recommends the following:
1. Breathe through your abdomen. When you are stressed, you breathe through your chest. However, abdominal breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system and breaks the stress cycle.
2. Focus on happy memories. Feel the vibration of happiness and joy. Feel the smile on your lips. Research has shown that a happy outlook on life strengthens your immune system. Remember that you get more of that upon which you focus your thoughts.
3. Visualize yourself surrounded by bright-shining, benevolent light. The light is all around you. It protects you and shields you from all harmful influences. Through breathing, you bring this light into your body. Let it fill you entirely and exhale everything that does not serve your highest good. The light cleanses and purifies your entire being. Make this a daily habit so that you don’t internalize negative emotions and stress, which may, over time, manifest as disease in your physical body.
Brauer also has made a number of meditations that are available on YouTube for anyone to try:
Two minutes to change your life. Start today and every day with a positive thought current.
Find inner peace in only three minutes. Learn to create the life you want.
Create radiant health today.
Guided Imagery Meditations:
Open your Heart
Activate your center for love, self-love and healing.
Empty your Mind
Let go of everything that happens inside your head and learn to empty your mind.
Communicate from your heart and experience loving relationships.
Learn to operate from the highest level of love and clarity.
Learn to connect to the source of your inner strength.
Only 5 minutes to change your life.
Cross The Bridge Into your Brilliant Future
Let go of everything that does not serve your highest good any longer. Embrace the infinite possibilities in your life.
Release the Past
Learn to review your life from a safe observer position. Then release all entanglements to the past and celebrate your best self.
Heal Yourself & Heal the World
Heal yourself and then the circles of light will grow exponentially.