Regardless of who you are or what you do, prolonged stress is a condition that can cause deterioration to both your mental and physical faculties. Unfortunately, most people don’t recognize the signs of stress, and as a result, do nothing to offset its effects. And while exercise can be extremely helpful in releasing some of the pent up energy within a person, meditation and prayer offer added benefit by helping to lower the heart rate and connect people to something they crave most, meaning.
Mark Sircus pens this recent Natural News post on the benefits of meditation and prayer and provides a basic centering meditation to help people re-find focus during their day. According to Sircus, the power of prayer and meditation is in how both practices deeply connect us with ourselves and those around us. Focusing within through contemplation also has the potential of increasing our self worth and our appreciation of life.
Basic Centering Meditation
One can sit or lie down to do this meditation and it is best to start by taking some deep abdominal breaths. One standard way of doing this is to use the mind — give it something to do. One can count to 10 or 20 on the in breath, hold for the same count, and exhale also counting. The mind, in general, can only think about one thing at a time so here we replace the mind’s tendency to run around in rapid circles (chase its own tail) with the counting.
After a minute or two of this one begins to imagine the breath coming into the brain like a cooling wind to wash away the thought flow further. It’s helpful to imagine the breath like water flowing into a washing machine, washing our brains, clearing away all the dirt we normally have running around in our minds. One can do this for a few moments or move quickly to the next part.
We then drop our focus down to our heart center, to the point in our chests between our breasts, and feel our feelings. Here we breathe in, get a feeling of ourselves, and then breathe out, expanding our awareness and consciousness to the entire world, sending out a wave of compassion and empathy to all fellow beings who share this planet with us.
After we do this several times with several breaths we bring our consciousness down to our first chakra, to the red sexual center and breathe in, feeling our vitality, and then on the out breath we send this energy and awareness to our body. Instead of breathing out to the rest of the world we breathe out to the colony of cells, and even to our astral form, the vital energy we have or can feel from our genital area.
If we are doing this right we will actually feel the effects. First in a deepening calmness and cleanness of mind, then in expansion as we send our heart center feeling of self out to the entire world, and then in part three we feel ourselves charged up with energy.
So actually this is like self-guided imagery that parallels feelings. The imagination is, after all, the creative power; all artists know this. So we can pick up the instrument of our imagination and use it to create some sweeter inner music. This three step meditation can be repeated over and over at each sitting and should be done daily for best results.
Read more from Sircus on his basic centering meditation and the power of meditation and prayer here.