Meditation is not a spiritual practice

By TNT Bureau

Mar 30, 2017: Meditation can improve your athletic performance, your love life, and even increase your IQMeditation is not a complex matter. It?s not even a spiritual practice, as many people think, unless you wish to make it one. It is more like aerobics for the mind. It tones and tunes up the thinking processes and the emotions and brings everyday life into sharper focus and new degrees of ease and harmony.

It will not turn you into a flower-brandishing pansy or a grinning freak. It can improve your athletic performance or your love life, even increase your IQ. And the best part about meditation is that it requires nothing on your part but the time it takes to do it.

Choose a cosy place

Start by choosing a comfortable chair. If you?re new to this, we don?t advise using your bed. The chair should have a high back and sloped enough to support your head so that it won?t drop into your lap when you relax. Sit down, sink in as deep as you can, and close your eyes. If you can?t seem to remain still for more than a moment, try some stress-reducing techniques. Once your body is relaxed, keep your eyes closed and try to blank your mind, pushing aside every thought that pops up. You might be surprised how busy your mind really is, but this will be a lot of fun if you give it a try, even though it might take weeks before you can blank your mind for even a couple of seconds. Don?t think this means you?re going to have to work. The longer it takes the more stressed your mind was to begin with and the more benefit you?ll get from any improvement.

Try to blank your mind

This mind-blanking business can be frustrating at times, but it is definitely worth the effort, or lack of effort if you will. This clearing of the mind is more a growing process than something to be learned, so no one can really teach you how to do it. Transcendental Meditation (TM) has been using one technique for several years which seems to help, however. It involves the mental repetition of short, meaningless word in time with your breathing. The word acts as a focus point, something for the mind to latch onto, and it makes it easier for stray thoughts to fade into the background.

The first few times you try this, one of two things should happen. One type of person will find they can?t seem to relax their minds. They will suddenly begin a train of thought and may follow it for several minutes before remembering the original reason for relating. That?s fine. This loss of concentration indicates a degree of relaxation, and this sort of contemplation can be very valuable, as it can provide new insights into old subjects.

A second type of person will have dreamlets, the mini-dreams you have before falling asleep. After trying to pull themselves out of the dreamlets a few times, they will probably fall asleep. That too is fine. This indicates an ability to relax at will, and the person only needs to learn how to remain mentally alert while in the relaxed state. You?ll find trying this, even unsuccessfully, for as little as a week, that your waking level of concentration, your resistance to stress and your endurance in all sorts of tasks will have increased. It will continue to increase long after you have learned to really blank your mind.

See the benefits

Once you are able to do that, you will find your mind becomes a clear screen on which you can project the most vivid fantasies, analyse problems and situations with amazing clarity and objectivity and delve into the depths of your thinking processes. That?s only a side benefit. The most exciting benefits are seen in your day-to-day life.

You can remain in a meditative state as long as you like, but from five to twenty minutes after you reach that level of relaxed alertness your body will probably want to rise again. You can open your eyes and go about your business any time you like, although you may find yourself either a little drowsy or very energetic. People react differently to relaxation. You should immediately notice a calmness and vigour that will stay with you throughout the day.

These effects occur because meditation produces a response from the brain similar to that of the stress-reducing techniques. It regulates and increases your mental tolerance to all kinds of stimulus. So instead of a brain-wave curve most of us carry around that would sound like gangly acidrock if you hear it, your brainwave curve will come to resemble more and more the sound of a flute or massed strings. And that will do you a world of good, even if you happen to be a gangly acid-rock musician!

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