Your News: What meditation can do for you

Ray Pawlett of Ki-Ways Tai Chi
Ray Pawlett of Ki-Ways Tai Chi

Meditation is a bit of a buzzword at the moment.

Many people in all kinds of different roles worldwide have discovered the benefits of meditation. It has much to offer to people of all ages, fitness levels and mental abilities. Nobody is excluded. I have taught meditation to people who really would not be expected to concentrate sufficiently and they have gained great benefit. So what can meditation do for you?

A gift that meditation offers is to teach your body and mind to be calm when all around you is chaos. The experience meditator can be like the eye in the centre of a storm. The winds whistle and rip around you but you remain unruffled.

In martial arts, this is called “keeping your centre”. If you can keep your centre both physically and mentally then it is difficult for your opponent to beat you.

Chaotic and wild energy can be characterised by fire energy. Imagine a fire burning without control.

We can cool the fire energy making it easier to control. The Buddhists call this developing equanimity.

We need our fire energy – it gives us the ability to love ourselves, others and the planet amongst other things. Imagine a world without sunshine!

Meditation teaches how to balance our energies. There are many forms of meditation. Usually, when we think of meditation we think about somebody “sitting down and contemplating their navel”, which does not sound very interesting!

Meditation can be in that form but there are many others. If we get to know ourselves through movement such as Tai chi, dance or martial arts – this is meditation. If we use colour, music or any other art form this can still be meditation.

My definition of meditation is to think of it as a skilful method that one uses to train the mind so that one can develop greater control over it, reducing internal chatter and increasing focus in the direction desired.

Try the following simple meditation exercise:-

1. Find somewhere that is fairly quiet with good fresh air and is comfortable.

2. Sit in a comfortable position with your back straight

3. Make a decision that you are going to practice meditation for a set amount of time, say five to ten minutes in the beginning.

4. Close your eyes

5. If it is comfortable, breathe through your nose. Do not try to consciously affect how you breathe.

6. Listen to the breath in your nose

7. Notice how the sound changes between inhalation and exhalation

8. As you breathe in, say to yourself “I am inhaling”.

9. As you breathe out, say to yourself “I am exhaling”

10. If you become distracted, return your focus to your breathing.

11. When you are less distracted by internal and external noise, drop the internal repetition of “I am inhaling” and “I am exhaling” and just listen to your breathing.

12. When you have finished, gently move your body reawakening it and noticing the different feelings that you may have.

Congratulations! You have learned a simple form of “mindfulness meditation”.

I run meditation classes in Bourne and the surrounding area. We are doing a special session on June 20 and 22 at 10.3am at Wake House in North Street, Bourne.

If you would like to find out more about this session or meditation in general, please contact me, Ray Pawlett on 07413 620344 or for more details.