Inspiration Through Contemplation

I was in Costco yesterday and I was tasting food and looking at the books, products and all the other things and I got inspired. I never know where inspiration will come from. This morning I was out for a walk checking on the new horses that have arrived in my neighborhood and I got inspired again with another idea. When I am quiet inside and open to what is going on around me, I am often inspired by life. This being quiet inside is an important key.

I would like to share with you some ideas that are powerful and transformative. I strongly believe in the benefits of meditation. Recently I mentioned research supporting the benefits meditation has had in communities. Today I am writing about the benefits meditation has inside of you. As you well know you and I live in a very busy world where the pace of life often is buzzing by and we hurry about in a mad rush to survive. Maybe that is slightly overstated? To offset this hurry and worry pace meditation is a wonderful balancer.

Meditation is a practice for calming the mind, body and emotions. It has a rich tradition in the East and definite application in the West. Meditation comes in a variety of forms from traditional sitting practices, walking meditation and chanting/singing to prayerful practices and quiet contemplation. All have the ability to take you into a more expanded and peaceful place. These practices offer a break from the harshness of our mind and world and nurture the spirit in us.

How come these practices work so well? Meditation and the other practices alter you state; change the way you experience yourself and the world around you. Life is often run by habit driven ways, thought patterns and the trance of repetitive behavior. Sitting quietly breaks the patterns, calms the endless stalking mind and helps you see from a more expanded viewpoint. When you slow down and calm your mind you are better able to step off the hyper treadmill of life. In stillness there is a calmness and a vastness of wonder and wisdom waiting for you.

Here is a simple practice that you can do right away and in a short time feel the benefits. Find a quiet place and sit comfortable. It can be in your home, car, library, back porch, out in nature or wherever works for you. Begin by noticing your breath flow in and out. A simple way is to notice is by experiencing the expanding and relaxing of your chest with each breath. As you attune to your breath, you will naturally begin to slow down. Invite your mind to quiet down also. Be aware of the sensations of your body and emotions as they too rise and fall with your breath. Hear the thought patterns and let go. Nothing matters except that you are sitting and welcoming awareness. Let go of trying to get somewhere or accomplish something in your time for quiet contemplation. Enjoy the slowing down and relax into it. With practice you will find yourself more and more comfortable. The disturbances of life will attempt to pull you away but remain calm and just notice all as it rises and releases in your life.

There are many practices and teachers out there who can help you deepen your meditation. If you find yourself drawn to a teacher or method go and explore. The simple practice above can take you far on your own.

Enjoy an inspired life by first finding it inside.

“Meditation is an effort in the beginning. Later on it becomes habitual and gives bliss, joy and peace

"If you have controlled your mind you are the conqueror of the whole world." - Swami Sivanada