Clarity of purpose is absolutely essential to effective personal development. Meditation is a primary tool someone serious about personal development will want to master.
Clarity of life purpose is absolutely essential to effective growth. Because your unique purpose is deep within, the tools for clarifying purpose are reflective; Meditation is one such tool.
Meditation may conjure an image of a white-robed guru, sitting in a mountain top cave and fasting for days on end to seek enlightenment. Fortunately, meditation is not that demanding.
In fact it is very easy and convenient to meditate once you understand the basic principles. Here are the three principles of effective meditation:
- quiet mind
- quiet mind
- quiet mind
That’s it in a nutshell–a quiet mind. It sounds easy, but many people find it difficult initially. Though some people indicate that incense, candles, special lighting, and a dedicated space are useful, they are not necessary. With practice you’ll be able to meditate on a quiet walk or in a crowded airport.
Now, let’s try a very basic meditation; though this is great for beginners, it can also serve you well for a lifetime. Remember, we’re striving for a quiet, focused mind.
Find a place without distractions. Sit erect in a straight backed chair with your feet flat on the floor and forearms resting in your lap. Take several deep, slow breaths.
With each deep breath your stomach should rise and fall. Be aware of each breath as you inhale, hold it for a few seconds and exhale. Continue slow, deep breathing while you close your eyes. Focus your mind on the space between and above your eyes, the mind’s eye.
Relax your shoulders and neck. Relax your jaws. Continue to deep breathe. Relax in turn your arms, torso, legs, and feet. Continue to deep breathe.
If you find thoughts filling your mind, focus on mentally drawing back from them. Watch each thought as it passes by but don’t attach yourself to the thought. Just watch it pass by.
If thoughts capture your attention try picturing a candle. Focus on the flame without thinking about it. Just focus on the flame and when you feel you are focused only on the flame blow it out.
Remain in this state for 5 minutes if you can. It’s okay if you fall asleep; it shows that you were able to deeply relax. But sleep is not the purpose of meditation. The purpose is a deep, quiet period of connection with your inner self.
Don’t be discouraged. Learning to quiet your mind may take some time. See the discussion for helpful references.