Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Health is Wholeness and Balance

“Health is wholeness and balance, an inner resilience that allows you to meet the demands of living without being overwhelmed.”
—  Andrew Weil, MD

How very simple. What a gift it would be to deliver this to the doorstep of the tired masses that trudge through their responsibilities each day. It sounds like a big undertaking, but maybe it could be very simple.

We become overwhelmed because we are constantly bombarded by demands. Our, family, our coworkers, our friends, pets and neighbors all take a little piece of our day. The sum of these little pieces is an erratic equation that we try to solve through constant noise singing in our brains.

What if we could turn off the noise? What if we felt liberated enough to say no to requests of our time? What if we carved out a small space of time each day to find peace and spaciousness around us? Things would be better, wouldn’t they? Maybe even balanced.

We can only be effective in our lives if we are not constantly living on the edge of stress. A worthy method for stress reduction would allow us in any space of time to re-center and gain control of the emotion we tie into drama of everyday life. Meditation is one method that meets this challenge wherever it lives.

Here’s how to start:

Keep in mind patience is a virtue, as the mind does not always want to focus. Having unrealistic expectations towards positive results can create unnecessary pressure and take away the enjoyment of the experience.

Choose a quiet place to meditate and sit in a comfortable position. You can sit in any other position that is comfortable. The most important thing is to keep your posture straight to prevent our mind from becoming sleepy.

With your eyes turned downward, focus your attention to your breathing. Breathe naturally, preferably through the nostrils, without attempting to control the breath. Be aware of all of the sensations in your body that breathing creates. These sensations are your object of meditation, try to concentrate on it to the exclusion of everything else.

At first, your mind will be very busy. If you discover that your mind has wandered and is following your thought patterns, immediately return your focus to your breath. Repeat this as many times as necessary until the mind settles on the breath.

If you can do this for only a few minutes a few times a day you will start to notice how good you feel once you have calmed yourself down and are more aware of your emotions. Start to gain awareness of times during the day when this practice could be helpful.

If you are interested in learning more about meditation practice for stress reduction, join us at The Center for Optimal Health on Thursday, September 15 at 6:00 pm. Dr. Kumar Arun will be instructing a small group on the beginning principles of meditation. Call 517-324-9400 to reserve your spot.

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