When you hear the word ‘meditation’, what does your mind conjure up? Is it an image of someone sitting completely still in a lotus pose with a serene look on their face? This alone — the idea that you have to be perfectly still, without any thoughts racing through your mind, to achieve meditation — is enough to intimidate and discourage anyone from trying to meditate in the first place!
But here’s the thing: meditation isn’t so much a destination or a perfect pose as it is a practice in slowing down, turning inwards, and getting quiet.
The goal of meditation isn’t to turn off all thoughts completely. Rather, it is about finding the stillness that exists within our storm of thoughts.
The human brain contains around 86 billion neurons (compare that with the 23 billion neurons of an elephant and the 1 billion of a cat). Needless to say, the human brain is BUSY – we think approximately 2000 thoughts every hour – and highly complex.
So how do we find respite from the constant stream of mind-chatter, that all too often causes us unnecessary stress, worry, and anxiety?
One way to more easily experience meditation is with sound.
While there are many methods to try, one of our favourite ways of helping people reach a state of peace and stillness in meditation is through the use of musical instruments like himalayan singing bowls, chimes, and kalimbas. Also known as a ‘sound bath’, the vibration from these instruments assists the brain in quieting racing thoughts through a process called brainwave entrainment. Our brains naturally respond to certain frequencies, and will start to pulse in rhythm with the sound vibrations. This allows the practitioner to essentially guide your brain into a slower frequency in which rest and healing can occur. And, the impulse to become distracted – especially in a group setting – is reduced, making it easier to float into a state of relaxation and stillness.
Participants in our community meditation classes report seeing colours and images during meditation, and experience reduced stress, better sleep, improved focus, and increased creativity and intuition after sessions.
Meditation is also flexible, and can come in many different forms.
When life gets hectic and it can seem too luxurious to take time out to sit still or join a class, there’s another option that can help to slow things down, bring comfort, and replace the busyness in your life with a sense of calm.
Simply becoming meditative in our daily routines.
The next time you’re stirring a pot of soup, walking to work, eating lunch, or brushing your teeth, get present with the task by tuning into your five senses.
Meditation can be as sacred or as simple as you like.
Whether you spend a few minutes mindfully making your coffee, or you carve out dedicated space each week neither are better than the other, and both are beneficial.
Sometimes it’s being curious, and exploring the playground of what is light and what is dark within you. Sometimes it’s allowing yourself to be transported to a place where time doesn’t matter and your to-do lists disappear. And sometimes, it’s pausing the barrage of thoughts for just a moment or two by fully immersing yourself in eating a sandwich.
Want to experience the benefits of sound bathing for yourself? Try one of our community meditation classes! Find more details and class times here.
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