The Sound of Silence… Meditation

There’s a great way to regain your sense of balance and calm that’s been popular for more than 3,000 years: meditation—and finding stillness during these stressful, ever-changing times. Various schools of thought teach different styles. They all lead to one essential goal: to still the mind so the body can follow. For the best results, meditate once or twice a day for a short period of time.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi introduced Eastern meditation to the West during the 1960s via Transcendental Meditation or TM. During TM, meditators use a Sanskrit intonation, or mantra, silently for 20 minutes twice a day while they sit still, close their eyes, and let their minds wander. Every so often they think of the mantra to focus thoughts and say that it feels like a fully conscious, revitalizing nap. Mindfulness meditation is similar, centering on breath instead of a mantra.

Another method uses three different words to transport you into a meditative state. Choose three comforting words, count down “three, two, one” while thinking of the words one at a time and relaxing with eyes shut and mind open wide. Bring your thoughts back to these words every so often. Never force anything; just let streams of thoughts flow gently by. You can practice this for at least five minutes a day to achieve positive results.

Meditation probably began with the Hindus around 1,500 B.C. Fast forward to 2019. Today, advances in modern technology enable companies, such as Headspace (headspace.com/meditation/meditation-for-beginners), to offer apps for meditation plus a ton of information to get you started. Try it and begin the New Year with a sense of calm. You deserve it!

by Lori Berezin