Stay young and healthy with just 5 minutes of meditation each day
Usually, most of us seek to escape our challenges by eating too much, consuming alcohol, smoking, watching porn and other ways that distract us from acknowledging our inner voice but did you know the regular meditation can help calm the agitation of the mind down, healing anxiety and worry, and even reverse ageing caused by the continuous stress of meeting and overcoming daily challenges?
Conventional medicine still chooses to see the body as faulty, stupid or inadequate when we become ill, and in need of correction with surgery and/or drugs. This is because it sees the physical level of reality as the causal level, ignoring the all-powerful ‘mind’ – that elusive aspect of our lives that actually runs the show!
The new biology of epigentics shows that disease starts in the mind first, then gets ‘hard-wired’ into the body.
If we are constantly living in the stress response, this slowly damages our physical body, and sets up mental, emotional and physical disease.
If you have a lot of stress going on in your life right now, it’s even more important that you find the time to be still, and to meditate because this deactivates the stress response, which is responsible for premature aging of cells, and triggering bouts of sickness and illness in the body.
People can suddenly look years older after an extremely stressful period in their lives, and many researchers are now saying that ageing is not simply due to the number of years we have lived (our chronological age) but about how much time we spend engaged in the stress response, which hinders cellular communication and affects our biology in an adverse way.
Stress triggers our genes to activate negative health potentials!
The human body was designed to live for much longer than we previously thought and, if you stay out of the stress response, you will feel more vibrant and look years younger that your chronological age. Who doesn’t want to look and feel good?! The beauty industry gets us to spend billions in products to mask what’s going on… so why not bypass that whole charade and get to the root cause?
Meditation provides a clear pathway to reduce, and even eliminate, stress in our lives – and thus it can help reverse many of the physical signs that we tend to associate with ageing because it naturally puts us into a ‘timeless’ state.
Sadly not everyone today has an active meditation practice… actually, the majority don’t. Despite the increase in awareness of mindfulness, yoga and energy medicine, many people don’t create the time to follow this path.
People continue to ‘think’ that it’s too esoteric, too whacky, too difficult, or just that they don’t have enough time.
If you’re one of those people, then read on!
Pitfalls to watch out for
1. The first and most common pitfall – and complaint – is not having ‘enough time’ to meditate!
On one level, that can be perfectly true. Getting the kids ready in the morning, rushing out the door to beat the morning traffic to work, feeling tired from a late night out and getting up later than expected, and so on all seem like perfectly logical reasons to put off starting a meditation practice. Yet, the list of excuses is practically endless… the bottom line is you’ll never run out of excuses to postpone starting a daily practice of meditation!
Your mind will always tell you ‘there’s not enough time’.
This is not the actual truth, but simply the chatterbox in your head that has been running the same dialogues for quite some time, and has got used to seeing things and doing things a certain way.
The funny thing about life is that our perception always determines our result. If you don’t think/feel you have enough time to try out meditation, you won’t! If you think/feel that you will have enough time, then you will…
Also, whilst we all have a certain amount of time during the day (24 hours according to my watch), meditation has the uncanny ability to ‘bend time’ or to ‘create more time’.
This may sound fanciful at first but haven’t you noticed that when you’re “having a good time”, time flies by in the blink of an eye, and when “you’re having a bad time”, time can literally grind to a halt?
How is that possible? Is clock time just an illusion, as quantum physics tells us?
Whilst we need to live ‘by the clock’ to have a sense of order, get to work, meet up with friends and so forth, living ‘by the clock’ incessantly puts us under tremendous stress. And it’s only getting worse with the increase in information streaming into our minds from everywhere.
2. The other common pitfall is trying to do too much meditation, too soon!
A beginner will typically say to themselves, ‘I’ll meditate for an hour a day” but they soon find out that 5 minutes of meditation feels like an hour to the untrained mind.
The monkey mind won’t sit still unless it’s had some training first – and a lot of it usually!
What is meditation?
Perhaps it’s best to address what it is not‘? There is a certain fixed idea of what meditation is for most people, mainly because of popular images in the media.
Meditation is not sitting still for a fixed amount of time each day… meditation can be active running, knitting, painting, sculpting…. or it can be passive, which is what people usually think of!
It also really doesn’t matter whether it’s just 5 minutes, or if you can do 30 minutes or more. The need to achieve ‘more’ and compete with yourself is negative ego speaking.
The main thing is that your time spent in meditation creates a shift in awareness as you let go of the ‘endless chatter’ in your head and become more deliberate and conscious about what you are experiencing in the ‘here and now’.
As you practice meditation, your mind will eventually become relaxed yet alert as you enter a state of Presence.
Initially, you might find you are ‘trying’ too hard, based on your preconceived ideas of what meditation ‘should’ be like. Just let it go… that too is the mind getting in the way, and a common beginner’s mistake.
The vast majority of people are not even aware that they have a gazillion thoughts running through their mind until they begin to meditate. Many of those thoughts are just repetitive and practically useless because they do not have any power behind them – but they are draining nonetheless! Each thought takes energy (ponder that!).
When you meditate with awareness it’s like switching a light on in a dark room that has been used for storing many things… and you notice endless ‘boxes’ of stuff, much of it useless that can be discarded! It can be a shock! However, like a good spring clean, your ‘house’ (mind) will feel so much cleaner and lighter once you get rid of the junk!
So, my advice is just to either go for a walk in nature, or to sit still for a few minutes each day, no more than 5 to 10 minutes, to begin to release unwanted clutter and unwanted thoughts.
Whether you choose an active or passive form of meditation, be in the NOW! Switch off your high tech gadgets and don’t allow yourself to get bombarded by all that pinging!
As I explain to all my students simply committing to 5 to 10 minutes a day active or passive meditation is far superior to doing an hour once a week.
How to start meditation today
1. Make sure you set a timer, so you don’t have to keep checking ‘how long’ you’ve been meditating for, which will just be a distraction! This is something the untrained mind loves to do – so it will usually start worrying, and find an excuse to stop the exercise. Be aware this may happen.
2. Find/create a safe space where you will not be disturbed by your children, pets or partner. Turn your phone off (can’t stress that one enough for today’s technology bound world). Make sure that the TV, Radio and other devices are off also.
3. Find your ideal time of day by experimenting. Either this will be first thing in the morning (ideal to set up positive energy for your day ahead) or last thing before you go to sleep at night (great to release any unwanted stress that you’ve picked up along your physical trail). Choose ONE time of day to begin with, and stick to it.
Once you’ve found a nice rhythm, and have been meditating for a few months, you can experiment by switching your routine to a different time of day (or not).
I suggest breaking ‘routine’ from time to time to keep yourself alert and conscious, otherwise meditation will most likely just become another tool you use to fall back asleep.
Passive Meditation (example).
Here are a few key steps to help you if you ‘re interested in doing passive meditation – it’s only one of many ways to meditate but I’ve found it’s an easy way for most to get started:
- Sit on a chair or on the floor, with your spine erect but relaxed. (You can lie down on your bed, or lie down on the floor, but be careful not to fall asleep. The whole point is to be relaxed but conscious!).
- Turn your palms facing upwards on your lap (or keep them down if that feels better to you)
- Close your eyes and breathe deeply from your belly, focusing on your navel. Watch the belly rise (as the breath comes in) and fall (as the breath goes out).
- As you breathe out each time, let go of thoughts about the past and/or future, bringing your attention back to the present moment by focusing on the breath. Since your mind is a natural focusing tool, it is easier to focus on something, whether that is the incoming and outgoing breath or a lighted candle or a mandala, then trying to ’empty’ the mind completely, which is usually more difficult. See what works for you!
- Ensure both feet are firmly placed flat on the floor which will help you stay grounded, rather than ‘light headed’, which can easily happen if you are not used to breathing deeply for long periods of time.
- If you wish, imagine that the sun is shining on the top of your head (the crown) and feel its warmth (use the power of your mind to actively create this). This ‘light’ is actually the light of your Inner Spirit.
- Draw the warmth and energy of the sun down through your body to your navel, then to your hips, legs and all the way down to your feet. Allow the light, warmth and energy to travel down towards the Sacred Heart located in the centre of your chest, down past your navel to the root (where your genitals and anus meet). Allow the warmth of Spirit to flow down your legs into the ground below you. If you are able to sit ‘grounded’ with your bare feet contacting the earth, so much the better.
- Pause for a few moments here.
- Breathe. 1… 2…. 3…. 4…. 5…..
- Now draw the energy up from the earth and imagine that red, grounded energy revitalising you from toe to head.
- Feel for a two-way energy flow (down from Spirit, and up from the Earth). Part of the unfolding and growth of your Soul is reliant upon your consciousness moving towards the Earth star below your feet. It is not possible to open the Sacred Heart unless one is grounded. Once the Sacred Heart opens, you come into synchronicity with the earth.
- Say a simple prayer/affirmation of your choice to remember your Inner Connection. For example, “Spirit and I are one in truth. I am safe, I am loved, I am well.”
- As you continue to breathe deeply, feel the connection and remember this feeling as you bring your attention back to the outside world. Open your eyes, smile and give thanks.
- Finally, if you wish, imagine an energetic shield of protection around you. The easiest way is to visualise a bubble of golden white light around you and then fill it with images that make you feel good. This can be as simple as imagining lots of beautiful stars. If you cannot easily see a circle or sphere in your mind, then simply try to get the feeling of having one around you. The main thing is to make it as real as possible.
As you continue to practice this short meditation, you will be able to close your eyes at any point during the day and take a couple of deep breaths and re-connect.
It really is that simple!