What is M E D I T A T I O N and what it is for?

Meditation is a simple process of quieting your mind. Why would you need to quiet your mind? How about for a day you become an “observer” of your thoughts? Sure enough, you will notice that thoughts are constantly running through your mind and you are unaware of them most of the time! Spend a day observing what is going on in your mind. Pay attention which thoughts make you feel good about yourself, and which ones create inner turmoil. Which thoughts are constructive, and which ones aren’t?

In time you will notice how your thoughts float back and forth from “examining” your past to “speculating” about the future. Both past and the future are mind’s illusions. Past is just a memory influenced by our emotions. We remember our experiences and events in a light of how we feel today. For example, imagine you had a beautiful wedding and now you are going through a difficult divorce. How do you think you’ll remember that wedding? There is a big chance you would think that the wedding was not that great! Your past, or your thoughts about the past, will be altered by your present negative emotions; hence your memories are not the best source of information!

Same goes for your future, no matter how hard we try, we simply cannot predict the future. All your thoughts about the future are nothing but assumptions. We all know what happens when we assume...The only life and truth we have lies within the present. One of the ways to stay in touch with the present is through meditation.

There are all kinds of meditations, but I am not here to overload you with information. Meditation does not have to be mysterious! Try this simple exercise: For a minute or two, simply listen to your surrounding sounds. Take note of your breathing and your heart beat then expand your listening to the sounds inside the room you are in followed by the sounds within the building and then noises from the outside. In due time, you will feel calmer, more grounded and centered. Your perspective on things in your life will shift in a positive direction. Your worries and anxieties will be contained and you won’t feel so overwhelmed. That’s how simple mediation is! There is no need to “OM” and sit in a lotus position, unless you enjoy it.

You can meditate anywhere; it can be a short mediation or a long one, a deep one or a relaxing one. Meditation can be structured or unstructured, guided or unguided. Breath counting would be structured, while in unstructured meditation the experience itself leads the meditation.
Creative visualization is when we visualize goals coming to fruition. Guided imagery meditation is used by psychotherapists as an experiential tool to access repressed emotions.

A good rule of thumb is to select a method that feels natural and compatible to you.

It is a beneficial practice to meditate 20 minutes a day. There are numerous advantages to meditation, including an increased awareness, a calmer mind, better decision making, increased creativity and productivity, and decreased levels of stress.


Svetlana Antonyshyn

Co-founder and Psychotherapist at Holistic Health Clinic
2174, Major Mackenzie Drive in Maple, ON

Author's Bio: 

Co-Founder of the Holistic Health Clinic and a Certified Psychotherapist, Svetlana Antonyshyn is devoted to helping people with their emotional, mental and physical wellbeing. Understanding that mind, body and spirit is one, her philosophy on wellness is holistic.