It's OK to be a little selfish...with your time
In today's world of speed and technology we are always on the go either physically or mentally. Don't get me wrong I am all for technology and the way it has connected us in ways unthought of until recently. However it seems we are always giving our time and attention to outside sources; our jobs, our kids, parents, television, emails, social media sites, etc. It seems that alot of the time our thought processes are related to things and occurrences that exist outside of our being. We often pride ourselves on being multi-taskers when in fact we are just switching tasks at a rapid rate. How many times when you are walking are you paying attention to each step? Or are you lost in thought about a past or future event? Do you pay attention to each breath that you take? Or are you breathing unconsciously, shallowly and neglecting the very air that you cannot live without? How many of us our involved in all of our actions at all times on a mental level? We have done some activities so many times that it's easy to amble around on auto pilot. This allows many of lifes moments to pass us by. While it may be quite hard to be conscious of every single breath when we are present in each moment we are having a richer life experience. This falls under the category of mindfulness. Studies are showing that when we take time for ourselves and tune into our inner being we begin to lead healthier and happier lives.
Meditation is one such way to tune in and is becoming more and more popular. There are different forms of meditation which can be researched but most will have the similar effects. When we meditate we learn to listen to our body, our balance, our emotions, our breathing becomes deep, meaningful, our focus increases as well as patience. We clear our minds of the clutter that surrounds us and tries to penetrate us. Meditation usually brings feelings of peace, clarity and stress relief. Often times answers that we are seeking are revealed during or after meditation. There many more benefits, these are just some great examples.
Meditation is not as hard as some people may think. Some believe that they cannot meditate or that you have to be perfectly still with a crystal clear mind having no thoughts at all. I too believed this at one time. It is natural fo the human mind to always think and be active. Through meditation we learn to empty the unnecessary thoughts and control the rest, focusing on the purpose or nature of the particular meditation we are doing. In some mediatations the breath is the key to uniting mind and body so we attach our thoughts to the breath being conscious of it from start to finish. Other forms of meditation may involve connecting to one's inner energy and facilitating it's flow and circulation. Some mediatations are laying down, some are sitting, standing or moving. Tai Chi is an excellent example of moving meditation. In Tai Chi we learn to be aware of breath, balance, and the harmony of energies while moving in a relaxed and flowing state.
Learning to meditate will relieve some of the stress and tension created by this society in which we live. Always giving ourselves away to outside sources will leave us feeling empty and sometimes frustrated. When we speak of ourselves using words like "me, my, mine and I" often we are using these words to speak about outside influences like the things that we like, an inherited personality trait, an outside entity or a material possesion. Meditation helps you to look deeper than the physical world and the things that have influenced you. Meditation connects you to who and what YOU are. When we think about what's inside of us on a non physical level we think about thought, emotion, energy, the inner child and spirit. Only with a clear and serene mind can we connect to these things and understand how to be in accord with them. When you think of what's going on inside you on a physical level, you are made up of organs, muscle, blood, bones, cells. We often ignore our inner being unless there is a problem and pain or an exam has caused us to look inward. Some meditations teach us to send love and attention into our body parts for optimal function and health. We give so many thoughts away to the outside world. Take the time and give some thought to you. Be selfish with your time, at least five minutes a day. You don't have to meditate for hours to enjoy its' benefits, although you certainly could. If you just start a daily practice of a couple minutes soon you will find that you will want to increase the time. Tune in and take a deep look inward, you may discover an old friend there, one who might help as you go through this fast paced technological world.
I am the Owner/Instructor at Green Dragon Tai Chi and Qigong. I teach Tai Chi for health and self defense. I teach in various locations around Cleveland. I teach students of all ages from kids to Seniors and all ages in between. I have recently begun teaching classes at Collinwood High School through NLI. I am hoping to create a happy and healthy Tai Chi Community.