A few of us here at Afterglow agree our first inkling of meditation and its power came from the 1984 movie The Karate Kid.
“Better learn balance,” Mr. Miyagi says. “Balance is key. Balance good, karate good.
Everything good. Balance bad, better pack up. Go home. Lesson not just karate only.
Lesson for whole life.”
While the practice of meditation has existed in various forms for thousands of years, it is
only within the last couple of decades that many, including medical practitioners, have begun opening their eyes to its benefits. In 2001, Psychology Today published an article substantiating claims that not only does it have psychological benefits, but physical ones
Did you know that meditation has the power to decrease the risk of heart attacks and gastrointestinal problems, enhance the body’s immune system, and increase energy levels? Additionally, research has shown that people who meditate produce less cortisol, meaning the body is quite literally experiencing less stress and trauma.
How do you get started?
- Find a place and time where you are not likely to be interrupted.
- Adopt a comfortable, yet alert body position. Try sitting cross-legged or in a straight-backed chair, if you do not wish to sit in lotus position.
- Focus on your breath, a singular non-threatening object, or sound. Try to stay in the moment, and allow your mind to be still.
- When thoughts or emotions arise, acknowledge them and let them pass. Then go back to the breath, object, or sound.
The practice of meditation is not a destination. It is a journey. There will be days when sitting quietly is easier than others, but those are more often than not, the very times we need stillness the most. Meditation has long been known as an aid in managing stress, and to help bring things and people into harmony. In today’s chaotic world, we are slowly beginning to understand how much that balance is truly needed.