Nourishing Mind and Spirit
Meditation is the perfect vehicle for rejuvenation of the body, mind, and spirit. By its very nature, meditation takes you to the quiet place inside yourself and works gently to stem the fight-or-flight stress response. Our physical body reacts to ongoing stress by creating physiological changes that damage the body and accelerate aging. Prolonged stress can indeed make you sick and accelerate the aging process. During the stress response, your heart beats faster, your blood pressure rises, your breathing becomes shallow, your blood sugar level rises, and your immune system is suppressed.
Through the restful awareness of meditation, it is possible to quiet and purify the mind and calm the stress response. People who regularly experience restful awareness develop less hypertension, heart disease, anxiety, and depression. They find it easier to give up life-damaging habits such as cigarettes, excessive alcohol, and drugs. In short, meditation is a very important way to purify and quiet the mind, thus rejuvenating the body.
If you have difficulty meditating and experience lots of thoughts, restlessness or boredom, don‘t be discouraged. This means you are actually releasing stress. Keep a neutral attitude towards the thoughts, and gently return to the focus of your breath or mantra. The more you concentrate on a single focus during meditation, the more distractions will recede. When you begin to meditate on a regular basis, you will start to notice that thoughts and feelings that may have been building up inside of you are gently released and you reach the quiet place that was always there, waiting for you—the place of pure awareness. It is there that you experience peace, healing, and true rejuvenation.
If you are new to meditation, try the technique below to start your practice. Remember not to force anything, and allow your breath to move easily and gently. Don‘t inhale deeply or hold your breath, just breathe normally. As you relax, your breathing should become lighter. Whenever you feel comfortable with this process, begin your meditation. After you have practiced this meditation, you may wish to learn a more specific and personalized process through a certified meditation instructor.
So Hum Meditation
1. Sit comfortably where you will not be disturbed, and close your eyes.
2. Take a slow deep breath through your nose while thinking the word "So."
3. Exhale slowly through your nose while thinking the word "Hum."
4. Continue breathing easily, silently repeating "So…Hum…" with each inflow and outflow of your breath.
5. Whenever you attention drifts, gently return to your breath, silently repeating "So…Hum."
6. Continue this process for twenty minutes with an attitude of effortlessness and simplicity.
7. When the time is up, continue to sit with your eyes closed for a few minutes before resuming your daily activity.