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Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Awareness Meditation

Awareness meditation is a way of bringing introspection into the deeper inner self. The benefits derived from this type of meditation are many. One of the major benefits is being able to reduce and even stop negative thoughts. This is an enormous benefit. Think about it. If you could eliminate negative thoughts your life would change drastically.

When you observe an incident or event happen that you perceive as "bad," a negative thought almost immediately emerges. That negative thought then produces an emotion such as dread, fear, anxiety, worry, and the list goes on. You don't even have to see something happen. Simply thinking of something that happened in the past dredges up the same negative emotions. It is possible to even imagine negative situations and have negative thoughts and adverse reactions.

If negative emotions become chronic they can eventually make your body sick. Illnesses such as cancer, ulcers, heart disease, depression, chronic fatigue, and skin rashes are just some of the problems we face from too much negative thinking.

To begin, you must sit in a comfortable position. If there are aches and pains while sitting it is doubtful that you will ever calm the mind. Use whatever it takes to sit comfortably. Once your body is comfortable begin focusing on calming your mind. Chakra breathing, progressive relaxation, concentration are some of the ways you can calm your mind. Don't worry about the time. Once the mind is calm the body will become calm. A calm mind will allow the body to distress.

Remember, there is a difference between a relaxed body and a calm body. The body may be relaxed but not calm. For example, you may be sitting comfortably but the body may not be calm due to anxious thoughts. The heart may be beating excessively fast, your breathing may be erratic or labored, and muscles a little tense. So, first the body must be relaxed and the mind calmed. Once the mind is calm the body will follow.

With the body and the mind calmer, your meditation practice may commence. It is important to understand that a calm mind doesn't mean that there are no thoughts. It means you have distanced yourself from your thoughts and are no longer affected by them. Simply observe thoughts and allow them to pass in and out of your mind.

Instead of reacting to your thoughts you become aware of how restless they are. Thoughts only become a problem when you identify with them and react to them. When you identify with your thoughts you will become caught in a never-ending cycle of thoughts, emotions, and reactions. You want to stop the merry-go-round.

Notice thoughts when they arise. Be open to them, and eventually they will pass. Come back to awareness of what is. Notice thoughts, notice your breath, be aware of feelings. Slowly become aware of what is around you such as sounds, smells, a breeze over your skin. Be aware of the subtleties  within your body and thoughts in the mind. Sit in awareness with calmness and assurance that everything is okay just the way it is. There is nothing to worry about. There is no need to try and control everything.

Awareness brings freedom from random and meandering thoughts. It is within this freedom you begin to experience who you really are. You are no longer the inner turmoil.  Inner peace and contentment prevail.

When you carry this peace and contentment throughout your daily life, meditation becomes very therapeutic. Rather than living in the complexities that life can throw at you and you reacting to them negatively, you can bring your awareness to them in a peaceful manner.

There is no way you can't benefit from the practice of awareness meditation. It may not be apparent to you immediately, but slowly and surely the benefits will begin to emerge. The more you meditate the more the subtle impressions of its benefits will be absorbed into your subconscious.  And before you know it, they will surface. You must have patience.

Patience will allow your meditation practice to unfold. Awareness meditation is a tool by which lives may be changed for the better. Most of all, be kind to yourself.

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