Jewish Journal

Meditation 101

by Arielle Adelman

April 25, 2013 | 10:10 am

Meditation Gardens, Pacific Palisades (Photo, Kali McCabe)

Meditation is one of those things that until you do it, it’s really hard to understand why you should even start doing it. There are so many ways to meditate that it seems there is a method for everyone. True meditation is a peaceful, thoughtful state of awareness where the mind is calm but alert and begins an inner transformation that brings us to a higher level of awareness. Furthermore, there are countless medical benefits associated with consistent meditation practices.

Why should you be meditating?

Do you experience stress, anxiety, difficulty sleeping, negative attachment to people (like bosses, ex’s, parents), frustration, feelings of being a victim, detachment, or simply want to be healthier? The answer to all of this is meditation.

Hospitals, clinics, and integrative medicine practices are increasingly recommending that people use meditation as part of a preventive health care plan and to manage symptoms of disease. Meditation inspires spiritual, mental, and physical transformation, which helps regulate the daily frustrations of life, understand why certain events are occurring in life, gives solace to unanswered questions, ignites creativity and ideas, and sets the tone for a mindful day. I swear.

Fun Fact: Sex lights up the same parts of the brain as meditation. It throws you into a more visceral, non-censored state. You act without thinking. You act from a place of knowing. And being. (Read more in Scientific American)

I bet you are wondering how you are supposed to meditate. The truth is that any moment when you can quiet your mind and connect to your inner self, this a form of meditation.

So for those of you that are new to meditation, start small by creating mindful awareness when you: Sip a cup of tea, stretch, sit in a sauna or hot tub, hear a song you like, stuck in traffic. Take a moment to reflect on where you are in this particular moment. Listen to your breath; reflect on what you have to be grateful for. Refrain for just a few moments about what you have to do tomorrow, how mad you are at your mom, the crazy demands of your boss and just be in the now. (I know it is hard, but you can do it!)

For those of you living in LA, there is a meditation garden called the Lake Shrine in the Pacific Palisades that breathes peace and an overwhelming sense of calm and gratitude for simple, natural beauty . Just go there and sit. Listen to the noises, smell the air, look at the water, and feel the ground beneath you. Just be still. (Picture above)

For those of you who are ready to commit to a more serious meditation practice, read the following blog post, “Meditation 102.”

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Celebrity personal assistant turned Wellness Nerd. Home cook turned Kitchen Professor. Health & Wellness/Life coach in training. Master’s in Nutrition and Dietetics...

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