What To Expect From Meditation
My experience with meditation and yoga started when I was nearly 5 years old and has continued to the present day. During that time I have encountered many types of meditation practices and associated philosophies from around the world. The meditation exercises I teach at EASE are specific to the purpose of helping produce real and lasting positive changes in a person’s life. Observing thoughts and emotions from a calm comfortable and relaxed state of mind is a major component of the meditation I employ when working with people who are looking to eliminate the persistence of traumatic memories, eliminate bad habits and generally make changes for the better.
When someone’s looking to make lasting positive changes in their life, changing their own thinking and behavior is logically what could help the most. This can sound simple to do, but in reality it can be very difficult. One reason for this is that emotional reactions to negative experiences from the past are lingering and creating obstacles towards making those changes. Knowing what you’d like to change is a good start, but detaching one’s mind from negative emotional reactions and habitual thought-streams can help in actually making changes possible. When someone else has a problem in their life, it’s usually easy, from “outside”, to see what needs to be done to remedy the situation. This is because there is an emotional detachment from the problem that naturally allows a solution to be seen. But for the person experiencing the problem, making these changes can be difficult. That’s because there’s an emotional involvement with the problem that creates obstacles to changing thoughts and behavior. Meditation, as I teach it, includes methods of observing thoughts as they arise, but remaining, for a time, mentally uninvolved with them. Among other things, meditation is meant to be a time, every day, to practice being quietly relaxed and comfortable..and to practice the ability to remove your mind from distractions of thought and emotion. Emotions and thoughts can be useful, but they can also become needlessly distracting and hypnotic in their persistence beyond their usefulness. Speculation about what you might have done differently or better in the past can be beneficial, but beyond a certain point it can become a habitual meh so proceed that serves no purpose other than becoming an obstacles theseo moving forward. Meditation helps cultivate an awareness of thought and action that helps develop better control over the life you are now living. Negative emotions like anger and resentment diminish or even disappear when you learn to keep your mind from needlessly engaging with them. Distancing your mind from thoughts and emotions can eliminate the mental habit of two going bad, traumatic experiences of the past. This leaves you free to base your future actions on more logical, sensible criteria. The intentions behind the things you say and do can then improve as well.
Meditating daily can bring you a fresh perspective on your life and how to proceed in living it. Unwanted habits, negative thoughts and actions can fall away. Interactions with situations and people improve as your criteria change. Past mistakes can serve as lessons learned rather than persist as tormenting distractions. Freeing your mind in the way meditation does helps redirect the energy and thought you once spent on regret, resentment and anger to much better use. The effects of meditation accumulate and evolve with time, this can help positive changes last for the rest of your life.
-by Jim Harding (lead meditation and yoga instructor of EASE Recovery Group LLC and Blue Ridge Wellness and Recovery Inc)