Moyo Musings - Weekly Reflections for Growth
You are the best person to answer that question. It doesn't matter if you are a Christian, a Muslim, a person who practices African spirituality, or a person who does not have any connection to religion or spiritual practice, making friends with your mind is for everyone.
In recent years neuroscience has begun researching the brains of people who meditate and have documented many benefits. But let's start by taking a look at what meditation is and is not.
Meditation is a practice that trains your mind. There are many types of meditation that have different purposes. Here are three:
A popular practice here in the U.S. is mindfulness meditation, which is based on the mind and increasing awareness of the present moment. Mindfulness meditation often involves sitting comfortably and paying attention to your breath, your physical sensations and your environment. Often Mindfulness Meditation is used to create greater awareness and compassion. When your mind wanders, you gently bring it back to the present.
Transcendental Meditation, or TM for short, is practiced twice a day for 20 minutes. During this time you sit comfortably with your eyes closed and silently repeat a mantra. This mantra is given to you by your teacher and it is selected specifically for you and your personality. In TM, the mantra is described as a meaningless sound meant to give your mind a focal point. When your mind wanders, you simply bring it back to the mantra.
Oneness Meditations are guided meditations where the facilitator or teacher transmits a state of peace and calm to the participant. This meditation helps to cultivate awareness, compassion and high frequency brain states that initiate a process of awakening to one's own divinity. This can lead to greater clarity, compassion, flow with the universe and relaxation into life.
What Meditation Is Not
Meditation is not a religion. However, it can be a tool to support a religious practice. For instance in Christianity, the Bible refers to meditation in several scriptures. It differs from prayer which is vocal. Meditation is being called more deeply inward than contemplation. In this context it is a way of increasing one's knowledge of the love of Christ. Mindfulness, on the other hand, was extracted from Buddhism and helps one be aware of what's going on without judgment.
During the Drive-up Rooftop Meditation evenings offered in collaboration with CoBiz Richmond, most often, Oneness guided meditations are offered. We refer to the connection with Source by whatever name is comfortable for each person. It is a great way to unwind from the busyness and worry of everyday life and create a new set point for the mind and emotions.
We cannot control thoughts. They are the bi-product of the brain's processing function - compare/contrast, compare/contrast, compare/contrast. However, through meditation, we can begin to experience ourselves as separate from our thoughts... as witness. From this state, we are able to respond rather than react to emotionally challenging situations.
In our next post, we will explore some of the science and benefits of meditation. Until then, remember to inhale and exhale slowly throughout the day, remember to consciously ...
b r e a t h e.