Medical research has found that mediation can produce a number of remarkable physical and psychological benefits to the human body. Meditation:
* lowers blood pressure
* lowers blood cholesterol levels
* enhances the immune system, increasing the body's defense against tumors, virus, flu, colds & other infectious diseases
* helps asthmatics by allowing them to relax
* helps to reduce the intensity of pain
* improves the ability to study
* increases efficiency in problem solving
* increases creative thinking processes
* has a calming effect in times of trouble
* leads to a decrease in drug and alcohol abuse, and;
* decreases insomnia.
The list of benefits is endless, but hopefully this has demonstrated that meditation is a great tool for helping the human body maintain itself. It is also a necessity for communication with your inner guidance.
Anyone can learn to meditate. It is a state of mind achieved by the individual and, in being so, there is no " absolute" technique. It is what works best for you to help you achieve that state of oneness. It does not require any special talent or equipment. What it does require is an intent and desire to learn and the determination and discipline to follow through until you achieve results.
Here is a simple exercise for beginners as well as those that have been meditating for years:
* Allow ten to twenty minutes for this exercise.
* Choose a room where you are least likely to be disturbed. Disconnect the phone if at all possible. You may play some peaceful background music if it helps you to relax. Please choose instrumental only and something that has no words associated with it.
* Seat yourself in a comfortable chair. Place both feet flat on the floor, hands resting palms up in your lap. Sit as straight as possible but be comfortable and, above all, relax.
* Place a lit candle at eye level about two or three feet away from you. Make sure the candle is in a fireproof container and is in a stable position.
* Have the room as dimly lit as possible.
* Concentrate on the flame of the candle. Stare at it with a fixed gaze for several minutes. Keep your attention on the candle, and as thoughts come racing through your mind, gently force your attention back to the flame. Close your eyes and try to "see" the image of the flame. You will probably experience a black spot in the shape of the flame. Keep your attention focused on it, for it will begin to change colors. If you lose the image don't be discouraged, relax, stare at the flame with your eyes open, and then try again.
* The flame image will sometimes seem to move upward in your minds eye. This is perfectly natural. Just open your eyes and focus on the flame again for a few moments. You will eventually be able to control the drifting of the image. It is all part of the process.
* When you feel you have given it an honest effort, open your eyes and experience the sense of restfulness that should be present.
This is just an exercise in learning to let go. If you found yourself forgetting the candle flame and just experiencing calm peaceful blackness, congratulations, you have entered the meditative state.
Try to practice this at least once a day for a week. After using this technique for a while, you may find yourself beginning to naturally slip into a meditative state just after lighting the candle, which is a sure sign that you're progressing well.
As you begin to practice the art of meditation, it is important that you keep a detailed journal or diary about your experiences. You will begin to notice certain symbols, sensations, images, sounds or scents occurring on a regular basis during your meditations. Paying attention to these and making note of them will be the beginnings of your personal record of your own dialogue with your own inner guidance.