More than just sitting cross-legged on a pillow in a lotus position, meditation is a tool that allows us to get to know our unconscious mind. It’s a state of relaxed awareness. It may start with relaxation exercises and deep breathing that help us pay attention to bodily sensations that we tend to ignore throughout the day. The body communicates with you, if you let it. Meditation doesn’t mean stopping all thought. It means becoming aware of what we think about, observing the mind in action, like a bystander.
From here, we bring the thoughts to the conscious mind, where they can be examined. Meditation is sitting with our feelings instead of running away from them, allowing ourselves to be in that shadow aspect of ourselves that we often tend to avoid. These negative thoughts are like a tornado chasing us. We can run away forever, or we can run straight towards the eye of the storm. Once it passes, it leaves us stronger and more aware.
We don't really understand our minds.
There is a high price to pay for the failure to look within and face the unpleasant thoughts and emotions. When we push them deep into the unconscious mind, difficult feelings that we have not addressed turn into addictions. We have become masters of escaping them, looking for distractions, numbing the feelings. Feelings and desires left unexamined linger and spread. Strangers to ourselves, we end up making bad choices. We buy the things we don't use, we chase the wrong people and go on holidays we don’t really enjoy. Then we end up being surprised by our dreams, insomnia, physical symptoms, illnesses, anxieties, irritability, frustration, and the feeling of being lost or stuck.
Through meditation and creative questioning, we get to know ourselves better.
Socrates boiled down the entire wisdom of philosophy into one command: Know Yourself. Meditation is tool that can help us do that by untangling, examining and confronting aspects of ourselves that we have avoided all our lives. Feelings become easier to identify. We become less scared of the contents of our own minds. We start to know ourselves a little better. The more closely we explore our minds, the more we get to know its tricks, eventually allowing us to surrender to life and live in our authentic nature.
Meditation allows the wisdom of our Higher Self to come to light.
Guided meditation can take us on a journey, inviting the unconscious mind to come forward, by quieting down the conscious mind. This is where the insights, our true nature, wants, needs and desires come to surface. We often end guided meditations with a journaling exercise or a mind mapping exercise, letting the unconscious mind communicate what it needs to. It’s the first step in establishing our connection with the higher self, that wiser, bigger self that sees more and knows more.
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