By: Kathryn Gardner
In yogic theory, the mind is considered to be a field of consciousness, and thoughts are like waves that roll through that field. Meditation is a way to bring us back to ourselves, where we can really experience and taste our full being, beyond all habitual ways of being and thinking. In normal waking states, our minds focus on passing thoughts and outer circumstances, and we mistakenly identify with these thoughts and experiences. In the stillness and silence of meditation, we glimpse and return to our deep inner nature remembering that we are the field that the waves pass through.
Often, when one thinks of meditation, an idea persists that the goal is to control the mind so that the thoughts stop coming, and a peaceful feeling is achieved. But, as Sherrie Wade, founder of Transformational Meditation, sees it, “the purpose of the mind is to think.” Rather than working against the true nature of mind, practicing meditation helps us develop the ability to sit quietly and observe the thoughts, feelings and moods that pass in and out of our mind. As we observe the mind, transformation occurs.
If the transformation of mind for its own sake is not enough to tempt you, maybe the health benefits – physical and emotional – will appeal. Meditation has been widely studied and is known to reduce pain, stress and anxiety while promoting a healthy, happy and productive lifestyle*. People who meditate have been found to sleep better, age slower, be more present and focused, and be less annoyed by the details of life. In a nutshell, meditation helps you enjoy life!
Kathryn Gardner is a Vinyasa yoga teacher and is currently studying Transformational Meditation, a technique based on ancient yogic texts as well as the works of Jon Kabat-Zinn, Dean Ornish, Joan Borysenko and others. This method helps one transform ordinary waking consciousness into its original state of pure space or consciousness.
Posabilities will host a free introduction to meditation on Sunday, March 17 at 5:00 pm. Kathryn will lead a 60 minute class, “Creating a Meditation Practice” every Sunday at Posabilities starting April 7, 2013 at 5:00pm. Click here to read more.
*Many studies have been done in the last 20 years supporting these ideas, including the following:
Grossman (2004), Feiburg, Germany
Amishi Jha & Michael Baime (2007), Penn’s Stress Management Program
Miller, et al. (1995), University of Massachusetts Medical Center