Meditation is a universal, active process of uniting the physical body with higher consciousness, which enables us to tune in to Universal guidance, develop awareness, and understand and love ourselves and others.
It helps us recognize where we store harmful beliefs and habits, and transform them so that they resonate with Universal Truth.
For me personally, the prime goal of meditation is to seek clarity and understanding, to step away from the picture long enough to be able to see the picture clearly. Why do I do what I do? What is the current (most frequently difficult) situation showing me? What can I change to get a different result in an area that isn't working for me? It is also incredibly beneficial in quietening the chatter in my mind, so I can tune in and receive guidance.
When we first start meditating, we may need some help to calm the mind and hone our awareness and energy. Focusing on our breath starts the process. Visualizing ourselves in serene, beautiful surroundings can help put us at ease and go further into the practice. Counting from 1 every time a new thought pops into our minds is also helpful in recognizing distractions and refocusing attention. When I first started meditating I often found myself saying one, one, one, one… on repeat for long periods of time, as stray thoughts bombarded my mind. It took a lot of effort and patience to make it to two or even three!
Another helpful tool is to use mantras to tune ourselves into the right vibration and receive the right guidance we are looking for. Something as simple as “One” or “Oneness” repeated with every inhale helps will calm the mind and focus attention. Sanskrit mantras such as “Om” or “Om Nama Shivaya" can also help to take us deeper into the practice. Find the words or phrases that are meaningful to you, and resonate with the spiritual practice you follow. The key is to repeat the mantra while staying focused on the belief or situation you are trying to understand.
If our goal is to understand and work through certain behaviors or coping mechanisms, we will sometimes we need to allow ourselves to experience uncomfortable emotions. This may seem overwhelming, but to be present in our feelings and emotions, even if they are difficult is the only way to gain clarity and understanding, and find a way through our suffering. If we are able to face them, observe them and understand them, we also have the power to transform them and free ourselves from their limitations.
Every day, and with any choice that we make, we create our lives and decide how we are going to experience the world. Through meditation we learn how to find the connection between what we think (our beliefs), what we feel in the body (our feelings and emotions), and our actions in life (conscious and unconscious coping mechanisms and habitual reactions). We establish direct contact with our body and begin to observe the true cause of our physical ailments, emotional disorders or difficult relationships with other people. This conscious work contributes to the achievement of increased awareness, inner harmony, and regeneration of the body. And the beauty of it is that this practice is available to us ALL, at any time, and whenever we need it.