Queenstown, New Zealand – what a beautiful place.
On my recent trip to Queenstown, it was not just the beauty of the place that struck me but the friendly and relaxed nature of the people living and visiting there. It was as though everyone had a similar purpose of just to relax and enjoy. There was little evidence of stress.
If only we could be that way the majority of the time!
It is so important to take quality time away from your regular daily activities and if you can get away to a beautiful destination, even better.
Having regular holidays is not enough however.
We need to take time each day to experience stillness and peacefulness. Our minds are all too often non-stop with endless stimulation from a myriad of different areas with countless demands and deadlines placed upon us.
Meditation can help bring stillness to the mind and with that, greater clarity of thought together with a more relaxed being. Meditation can be different for one person to the next. Consider what you want from meditation and what works best for you to accomplish this end. Your learning style can have an impact on what is most effective for you. For example, if you are a visual-dominant person, focus on a candle, flower, artwork or another item that ‘works’ for you. For auditory dominant people, chanting the sound ‘AUM’ (pronounced A-U-M), another sound or word, or listening to music (without lyrics recommended) may be helpful. For kinaesthetic dominant people, focus on the breath is a good option.
To allow meditation to be most effective for you, consider the following hints.
- Find a quiet place without external distractions.
- Ensure the environment is not too hot or cold.
- Sit (floor or chair) or lie in a comfortable position. Lying on your bed is not recommended unless you have a specific concern that prevents you from comfortably lying on the floor.
- Allow your arms to lay by your side if lying or hands in your lap if sitting.
- Use a means of focus that allows you to maintain stillness of mind (refer above).
- Don’t fight against internal or external distractions. Just accept them and allow them to leave your mind and return to your point of focus.
To maintain a single focus can be very difficult for most people. Like most things, you will improve with practice. Persist and be encouraging toward yourself. It is most important that you do not be angry or impatient with yourself as this will make the process more difficult. Try to make a consistent time and place each day so as to more easily create a habit. Sunrise or sunset is the optimal time but whatever time suits your schedule is best.
Once again, persist! The benefits are worth it.