"A human being is part of the whole called by us the 'Universe', a pert limited in time and space. We experience ourselves, our thoughts and feelings as something separate from the rest. A kind of optical delusion of consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from the prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in all of its beauty....We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if human kind is to survive."
Meditation allows us to return to our consciousness to its true natural original source, through a gradual increase in self awareness and therefore an awakening to who we really are and to discover our natural inner resources of peace, power and love.
Derived from the Latin Mederi meaning to heal, meditation can certainly be considered a healing process for all spiritual, mental, emotional and physical levels. With the correct use of the mind we can benefit from an overall feeling of peacefulness and contentedness.
A common misconception is that meditation can be learned simply from reading or attending lectures/workshops. However whilst we may intellectualise the process and benefits there will be very little value until we practice and have direct experience on a regular basis. Meditation is our personal journey to understand and explore the mysteries of our minds, discern the purpose of life, search for truth and ultimately achieve inner peace. Initially it is important to learn not to try and stop the mind but rather to build awareness and observe our thoughts, working towards controlling the activity and quality of them for a more positive outcome. In time and with practice we can slow our thoughts down and enter an inner space within our consciousness devoid of thoughts and become "silent".
There are many methods of meditation some use objects to aid concentration such as candles, others use sounds for instance the chanting of mantras or sounding gongs and some may just concentrate on the breath. These may require us to be seated, lying down or walking.
The first step in learning to meditate is to relax both the body and the mind and to free ourselves of distractions.
I include Relaxation, Visualisation and Meditation in my Yoga classes, workshops and Retreats. I can also offer this as part of my One to One lessons. The picture illustrates a meditation session during a workshop I ran at the Egypt Yoga Festival in the beautiful setting of Taba Heights in Sinai.
Heather teaches Mindfulness and other types of meditation at Laleham Village Hall and WGT Mindfulness Centre in Staines-upon-Thames.