Today most of us experience stress at many levels and from many sources. Because we are bombarded by multisensory information all the time, we can easily become overwhelmed. Sensitive people, and that includes creative people, therapeutic personalities, helping professionals, and survivors of trauma, have an obligation to themselves to seek stillness and take actions that promote grounding and centeredness.
Notice that I do not say that we have an obligation to do this for the others in our lives. I say that we have an obligation to ourselves to take care of ourselves. If we do not, we will not be able to manage the demands of life and will become ill in one way or another.
Persons who are or have been in treatment for emotional and mental symptoms may be very familiar with the use of medications that calm and contain our feelings and help us cope. These, however, do not always provide the hoped-for result, are not without side effects and must be taken cautiously and under medical supervision. The wonderful news I wish to share today is the fact that we can obtain calm and comfort through non-chemical means. We can engage in the ancient practice of meditation.
Meditation takes many forms and there are many types followed by people around the globe. One might say that there is no wrong way to meditate. But there may be a better way for each individual according to individual needs and tolerances. Some people feel very comfortable sitting and closing their eyes with or without any accompanying music or other sounds and can enter a state of stillness and peace through quiet contemplation of a mantra, or meditative phrase, or even by simply focusing on their breathing. Others find sitting still nearly impossible and a source of rising agitation or anxiety, and these may prefer a moving meditation, either swaying gently as they sit or walking a particular path as they focus on a mantra. Some people enjoy a guided meditation, and others find all sensory input distracting and seek silence and physical stillness as they retreat within in meditation.
Meditation, according to some, evokes deep brain waves that relax and calm the mind and body. I have found meditation helpful for relaxing, re-energizing, stress-reduction, and returning the self to a state of holistic integration and highest functioning.
Here are some links you may find helpful as you meditate or contemplate trying it:
The Chopra Well Meditation videos (videos uploaded by Deepak Chopra and others)
Vipassana Meditation Course (Buddhanet)
Guided Visual Meditation (Marcus Knudsen)
Insight Timer (Tibetan bowl timer app for iPhone, iPad or Android device)
I hope you will find these links helpful as you explore ways of finding calm and stillness along your path.
Namaste (Sanskrit for "The goodness in me salutes the goodness in you.")