Benefits of Meditation

Yoga meditation(May 2012)

Out of nowhere comes this loud startling noise.  You jump; unaware of what has created this jolt that has just raced through your body.  Your eyes widen as you begin to focus on your surroundings.  Through a blur, you begin to realize things are familiar, yet unclear.  Then, underneath you, there is something warm, comfortable and soothing, holding you in a safe place as it has been for hours.

As you begin to face your day, immediately thoughts and feelings pour in to what was, at least for a moment, an empty vessel.  Days begin before you’re “ready:” kids need your immediate attention; your spouse requires your support; your workload did not disappear overnight (or even lessen); as the list grows, so do your feelings about the list: anxiety, frustration, fear, unrest, resistance, rebellion, and so on.  Has it ever been that all of these distractions, these thoughts and feelings, can be put to rest or at least suspended, so that you can experience your wholeness? 

While there are many benefits of meditation, balance is likely the greatest gift to be found through meditation.  It is not possible to stop the barrage of energies flowing toward you in a moment (think tidal wave).   However, it is possible to maintain a state of balance regardless of the distraction that presents itself.  Meditation helps to reduce the negative effects of stress allowing for balance.  It just takes a little practice.

Take a moment to check in, now.  Notice what you’re feeling: physically, emotionally, mentally and spiritually.  Just notice.  It might help to close your eyes and go “inside” to notice.  A headache, back pain, nagging thoughts about being late, the grocery list, etc., may be flooding your present moment.  Again, just notice.  There is nothing to do about it.  Rather, take inventory of what you’re noticing.  Sometimes you’ll notice extraordinary thoughts about situations that occurred years ago and remain unresolved.  On the other hand, you may be having ordinary thoughts about extraordinary circumstances and you may notice you’re still at peace.

Ease and flow, balance and wholeness; take a moment and call to mind the words, images and feelings that come up for you when you consider meditation.  Understand that meditation is not the end game.  Rather it’s a practice; a practice of Being.  There are many ways to enjoy the practice of meditation.  For example, you can sit with eyes closed and try to empty your mind.  You may lay and focus on a pale color (pale colors, for the most part, are calming; bold colors, for the most part, are exciting).  You may prefer to have someone guiding you through the meditation.  Here are a few examples:

Sit comfortably.  Take a few deep breaths, allowing your body to become more peaceful.  Focusing on the numbers 1 through 10, imagine 1 coming down through the top of your head all the way down to your center, or just below your belly button.  Do this for 2, 3, 4, etc., until you get to 10.  Here’s the catch: as you make your way to 10, whenever you have a thought, you have to start at 1 again!  Consider how many (and how often) people have made it past 1.  Has anyone?

Let’s try a color.  Sit comfortably.  Take a few deep breaths.  Notice your body becoming calmer.  Now, imagine a pale blue beach ball over the top of your head.  Bring it down through your head and into your body, slowly.  As it makes its way through, imagine and visualize your body absorbing the pale blue color into every cell, absorbing as deeply as you can.  Pale blue is used here as the color of Pure Peace.  Like a sponge absorbs water, getting bigger and fuller as drinks in more water, feel your body getting bigger and fuller as it absorbs the pale blue.   Pull the pale blue beach ball down past your shoulders and chest, into your abdomen.  Take a moment to absorb Pure Peace into your deep organs, feeling it permeate your cells.  Moving the pale blue down into your pelvis, feel how your body is adjusting as Peace begins to flow.   Now, move the pale blue beach ball down and out through your feet, absorbing pale blue from the top of your head all the way down through your feet.

As you do any of these exercises, you may feel strange sensations or what some people refer to as a “buzz.”  You could feel a tingle or a tickle on your face or lips, your forearms.  Check in with your body and notice what you are feeling.  Again, just notice.  There is nothing to do about it.  You could feel a light brush against your skin, a tingle, a rush of something, a temperature change, a release of tension, etc.  What you’re feeling is energy flow.  Enjoy the feeling and as you practice, you will building your awareness of flow and how to increase that flow when you’re stressed, have low energy or are just feeling down.

As you try any of these exercises, go to our face book page and share your experience.  We learn from each other!  And, join us at the Raby Institute for our afternoon meditations.  While you’re here, you can visit Alma, our apothecary, for more support on meditation and calm.  Feel free to check our meditation schedule online,


"The journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step."
- Lao Tzu