Years ago my view of meditation was as follows; post-modern hippies sitting cross-legged, pointer finger and thumb lightly clinched, while reciting a deep bellied chant. These hippies were seeking mindfulness, clarity of thoughts, health, creativity, focus, inner peace, and harmony. While I now believe there may be some things to learn about my previous ideological views, I realize that meditation can be useful to everyone as nothing less than a non-pharmaceutical prescription. I became curious about these desirable traits attributed to meditation, but find myself often trying to understand the hows, the whys, and the whens, before I jump into unconventional styles of thought. Unconventional to my own experiences, at least. I wondered, am I to focus on something? Am I to focus on nothing? Maybe I’m supposed to just focus on focusing? I don’t bother with the insignificant inquisitions any longer. Why the change? Was it maturity and/or Clinical Trials? These two factors surely helped, but once I finally began to meditate without of the worry of doing it wrong, I found it empowering, tranquil, refreshing, and other associated adjectives. My own personal goal for meditation is just to stop and take a look at myself. I try to really enjoy the present moment. I (try to) slow my mind so there is but one chain of thoughts entering my conscious mind at a time, selectively choosing which thoughts to acknowledge, and which to discard. “Practicing meditation” is a quote you may sometimes hear. This is due to the fact that meditation takes time and is a skill that is harnessed and perfected. We each have our own view of meditation and it can be used for many purposes.
One of my coworkers said, ” I use it to clear my mind of all the little things constantly floating around in my head until the biggest issue is the only thing on my mind. Then, I can focus on that and hopefully find resolution on it.”
Meditation has been proven to lower cortisol (stress) levels, inhibit pain signals, increase focus, treat depression, etc. An excellent video that seriously simplifies the process and makes a great case for meditation is Andy Pullicombe’s speech on TEDTalks. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qzR62JJCMBQ