Over recent times much has been written about mindfulness and the art of meditation. From changing brain waves, to the clairvoyance of Kadampa Buddhism, it’s all been covered. So, with this in mind, what follows is a brief and realistic assessment of what you can expect from improved mindfulness achieved through regular meditation.
- An increasing sense of control over impulsive behaviour.
It’s so often the case that excessive consumption (of anything) is simply due to an unthinking attitude. As a consequence of training the mind to remain predominantly present – in the now moment – we gain greater control over the cravings associated with excess. Often it’s placing our thoughts into an imagined future, in an uncontrolled manner, that causes us to generate desire.
- Increased freedom from the anxiety associated with worry.
Worry, in its simplest form, is thinking about a future event and applying a negative outcome. Once again, when we’re able to distance our thinking from an imagined future, we free ourselves from worry.
- Increased awareness of the nature of thought.
Meditation is the study of mind. This definition is one of the reasons for dismissing the notion that meditation is boring. Curiosity is the cure to boredom. Through raising awareness of our thoughts we begin the process of improving our self-talk. It’s how we speak to ourselves that determines much of our outlook and experiences of life.
I am what I think and, therefore, I am my thoughts – GOLD Counselling
- An increasing sense of calm and peace of mind.
Calmness is achieved through quieting the mind. The ability to relax the bodymind comes with time and practice. The first step is to form the good habit of meditating daily. Once this is achieved we can then slowly and gently raise our awareness to what might be troubling us. Successful meditation is when we’re then able to gently allow these thoughts to drift through the mind, and away, to be replaced with an alternative focus.
- Improved focus and clarity of mind.
We’ve all experienced the cloudy muddled thinking that comes with stressful modern living. We want everything, and we’ve earned this right, however, taking the time to calm and quieten the mind, awards us the power of focused clarity.
- Altered perception of time.
As any good mechanic will tell you, keeping a car’s engine in good order doesn’t take time, it saves time. As such, resting the mind if only for ten minutes a day, during our waking hours, helps us to begin the process of fully engaging with all that we do. Releasing ourselves from the burden – of being addicted to mental stimulation – awards us the prize of more time. The greater control we have over our minds, the better able we are, at managing our time.
So there we are, realistic goals, yet powerful ones, all the same.