How to Meditate
Week 16 of My Vegan Journey
Hey I just realized I have made it to four months of being vegan. It has actually been very easy. I don’t feel as though I am missing anything at all. The only thing I am not eating is anything that comes from an animal and since I have removed all of that from my diet, I am actually feeling better than I have in my entire life.
Let me please share something that I have been also doing pretty much every day since I went vegan.
It’s called meditation.
Now don’t let that word scare you. Meditation is simply a way to calm or relax the brain. We can call it being mindful or being aware.
This is not some mystical weird whacko stuff. There are incredible proven health benefits of meditation.
I will teach you how to meditate in a minute, but first, here are 77 benefits of meditation. I am sure there are many more!
Normalizes to your ideal weight
Harmonizes our endocrine system
Relaxes our nervous system
Produces lasting beneficial changes in brain electrical activity
Helps with infertility
Increases serotonin level, influences mood and behavior.
Resolve phobias & fears
Helps control own thoughts
Helps with focus & concentration
Improved learning ability and memory.
Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
Increased emotional stability.
Mind ages at slower rate
Easier to remove bad habits
Improved relations at home & at work
Able to see the larger picture in a given situation
Helps ignore petty issues
Increased ability to solve complex problems
Purifies your character
Develops will power
React more quickly and more effectively to a stressful event.
Increases one’s perceptual ability and motor performance
Increased job satisfaction
Increase in the capacity for intimate contact with loved ones
Decrease in potential mental illness
Better, more sociable behavior
Helps in quitting smoking, alcohol addiction
Reduces need and dependency on drugs, pills & pharmaceuticals
Need less sleep to recover from sleep deprivation
Require less time to fall asleep, helps cure insomnia
Increases sense of responsibility
Reduces road rage
Decrease in restless thinking
Decreased tendency to worry
Increases listening skills and empathy
Helps make more accurate judgments
Gives composure to act in considered & constructive ways
Grows a stable, more balanced personality
Helps keep things in perspective
Provides peace of mind, happiness
Helps you discover your purpose
Deeper understanding of yourself and others
Brings body, mind, spirit in harmony
Deeper Level of spiritual relaxation
Increased acceptance of oneself
Helps learn forgiveness
Changes attitude toward life
Helps living in the present moment
Increases blood flow and slows the heart rate.
Leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation.
Good for people with high blood pressure.
Reduces anxiety attacks.
Decreases muscle tension
Helps prevent chronic diseases like allergies, arthritis etc.
Reduces pre-menstrual syndrome symptoms.
Helps in post-operative healing.
Enhances the immune system.
Enhances energy, strength and vigor.
Helps with weight loss
Drop in cholesterol levels, lowers risk of cardiovascular disease.
Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing.
Decreases the aging process.
Prevents, slows or controls pain of chronic diseases
Significant relief from asthma
How do you start?
Meditation is not difficult. If you can make time for ten minutes a day, that will do it. I meditate in the morning and evening. I would recommend that you begin with once a day. Morning is probably best because it’s a great way to start your day.
How to meditate:
Sit down in a comfortable chair, on a bed, on the floor, on a yoga mat… anywhere that is comfortable is fine. The room should be quiet. Soft relaxing music is ok.
Set a timer for ten minutes. I use an app called “Insight Timer” on the iPhone. I love it. I am sure there are plenty apps or just the built in timer on your phone.
Sit with your back straight. Do not lean over or curve your spine. Your shoulders should be back and not slumped forward. Place your hands comfortably on your thighs or on your knees. Relax your fingers. Do not make a fist.
Close your eyes and just breathe in and out very slowly through your nose. Try your best to be aware of your breath. That’s all. If random thoughts come into your mind (they will), just release them.
If you need help being aware of your breathe, you may use a mantra such as “sat” on the inhale and “nam” on the exhale. Or even easier, you can simply say “in” and “out.” Mantras should be said to yourself and not spoken out loud.
When the timer goes off, you are done. Don’t jump right up! Ease yourself gently out of your meditation pose!
Try this every day and I am sure you will begin to see many benefits over time. Do NOT expect immediate results. Meditation is not magic. It is something to be practiced every day.
I have been doing Transcendental Meditation for at least 25 years. My husband and both of my sons took the classes and were all coached in this technique by a teacher who had been doing it for 25 years. My husband does not do it any longer but sometimes, my sons, who are grown, will go back to it to help them sleep. I try to do this at least twice to three times a week for 20 minutes.