Meditation for Health and Happiness

“Meditation is simplicity itself. It’s about stopping and being present. That is all.”

The following post gives you a terrific introduction to mindfulness meditation. And what’s the connection to writing you ask? Everything. In order to open the creative mind, silence, simplicity, and letting go are essential. Meditation is the gateway to mindful writing. Attending to the magic of language, allowing your full creative potential to flow through, this is the power of integrating meditation and writing, together. Freewriting or stream of consciousness writing straight out of meditation practice is one of the most powerful resources to help you transcend writer’s block, discover new ideas, and cultivate original possibilities with your writing.

Guest Post By Payal Bhandari

Different cultures and spiritual traditions practice different types of meditation. The more popular types include Centering Prayer, Mindfulness Meditation, Kabbalah, Tibetan Buddhism, Self-Realization Fellowship (SRF), and Transcendenta Meditation.

Meditation is a lifelong process which should be practiced on a daily basis.

What Is Meditation?

Meditation connects a person’s mind or spirit with his/her physical health. It calms the mind and relaxes the body. There are many different ways in which meditation can be done. During meditation, a person will direct his or her focus toward a sound, image, word, breath, or prayer, and become still. Meditation brings balance and harmony in the middle of continual change and noise. The person opens up to peace within.

Meditation and Health

Meditation can help calm your body and mind. This calming effect promotes healing and you may find the following physical benefits manifesting in your life:

  • Increased positivity
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Less tension headaches
  • Better management of depression
  • Improvement of heart conditions
  • Better management of high cholesterol
  • Being freed from eating disorders
  • Ability to quit smoking
  • Increased lifespan

Tips on Getting Started

If you’re new to meditation, these tips might make it easier for you to get into it:

  • Find a quiet and private place to sit that you can regularly use where you won’t be bothered.
  • Set some time aside on your program for meditation. Say to yourself that you have nothing else to do during this period.
  • Find a way to gently end your meditation session, such as a vibrating alarm or someone softly calling you.
  • Find a comfortable sitting position. Keep your back and neck straight, your chin parallel to the ground, and your hands resting in a comfortable position. You can either sit in a chair with your feet flat on the ground, kneel on the ground, or sit with crossed legs. The most important thing is that you are comfortable.
  • While keeping your eyes open or closed, simply allow your gaze to settle.
  • Start with shorter periods in the beginning and gradually build up to 20-minute sessions.
  • Meditate on an empty stomach – a full belly can make you feel sleepy.
  • Meditate regularly. The more you meditate, the easier it gets.

What to Expect from Meditation

Meditation is a continuous process, so be patient with yourself. It may be difficult to sit still and concentrate in the beginning, but it will gradually become easier, and your mind will become more clear and stable. Over time, you’ll experience an increased sense of freedom, and you’ll find you focus less on your own needs and become more compassionate towards others.

You may experience a deepening in your spiritual life, and you’ll feel you’re able to release negative habits such as anger and fear. Don’t expect immediate rewards, but if you consistently practice meditation you will reap the rewards in time.

About the Author

Payal Bhandari M.D. is a family physician at Advanced Health. She provides personalized, comprehensive primary care to families and individuals of all ages in San Francisco since 2005. Dr. Bhandari delivers integrative, holistic care which looks at the whole person. She is consistently able to understand the root cause of any illness and effectively transform health.

A Note from Albert:

I hope you will join me at the Esalen Institute, Omega Institute, Hollyhock—Canada, or Shambhala Mountain in Colorado for one of my popular writing retreats “Writing as a Path to Awakening”, in which we integrate the power of meditation with the power of innovative writing exercises, prompts, and insights that help take your writing to extraordinary new levels! And please stay tuned for my new book by the same name due out in 2018!

Please click back to our EVENTS page for more information.