My favorite Meditation instructors - Dr. Deepak Chopra and the Dalai Lama - instruct us to “observe” our thoughts during meditation and move beyond them. How and why would we do this? Many people think that to meditate one must clear their thoughts completely. This, of course, is impossible. Even thinking about not thinking immediately defeats the purpose!
Instead, the masters of meditation suggest that we allow our minds to continue to possess thoughts while meditating, but let those thoughts flow by, while not fixating on any single thought. Rather, get to the point where you can actually observe yourself having these thoughts.
Then take the next step and try to move beyond your thoughts, recognizing that you are not defined by your thoughts and feelings, but rather by what lies beyond them, to your essential self, pure consciousness, characterized by fundamental love, no fear, and spiritual connection to all others. Once you feel you can get yourself to this space, you will feel the bliss that is described by those who meditate regularly.
Let’s try it: Get yourself in a comfortable position, either sitting or laying down. place your hands in your lap, palms open facing upward. Close your eyes. Become conscious of your thoughts, and of your breath. Breathe comfortably and slowly, letting your belly protrude as your diaphragm drops, filling your lungs from the bottom, then exhale slowly. Exhalation should be twice as long as inhalation. Try this breathing exercise for 5 minutes, then 10, and once you can breathe this way effortlessly, push your meditation breathing time to 20 or even 30 minutes.
Abdominal breathing not only allows our lungs to fill in a more natural way, but it has the benefit of stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system over the sympathetic nervous sympathetic, promoting calm healing over fight or flight responses. Peace, rejuvenation and wellness result!
For further mediation guidance, stay tuned to this space, or as always, feel free to contact us at MONACO Wellness. And, continue to pray for peace!
Dr. John Monaco