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What is Meditation and Why is it Helpful?

Meditation and mindfulness

There are many different forms but the common thread is their experiential nature. To really know what meditation is, you have to do it.

That said, it can also be useful to have a general sense of what meditation is prior to embarking on your own journey.

Simply put, meditation techniques are tools for knowing, shaping, and liberating the mind.

In the same way that cardio or weight-training helps you cultivate a healthy, strong, and flexible body, meditation practice helps you cultivate a healthy, stable and flexible mind.

It also gives you access to a subtle level of awareness (your own inner wisdom), from which you’re able to perceive reality directly and with great clarity. So, for instance, imagine two identical and beautiful diamonds, sitting side by side in the bright sunlight. One shimmers and glistens in the light, and one is covered in mud, and does not shine at all.

Yet, both are diamonds, but one is not reflecting the light. To reveal the full splendour of the diamond covered in mud, and enjoy all of its qualities, you need to wash away the mud.

Meditation practice could be said to be the way we wash the diamond, so it can fully reflect it’s beauty and true self. The diamond is your inherent, original perfection. It’s already present inside you, but it is currently obscured by old mental and emotional habits (mud).

Meditation helps reveal the diamond nature of your own mind, so your appreciation of it can be more direct and intimate, and not covered up with all the stuff that keeps it from shining. Meditation has both receptive and active aspects.

Another way to put it is, it has both quality of awareness, in which you are aware of your surround, a soft focus you could say, and it has an aspect of concentration, in which you learn to focus your mind on one thing.

The awareness aspects have to do with unwinding old perceptual and cognitive patterns and cultivating new ways of seeing, by simply becoming aware without judgment. This is mindfulness in action. These new ways of seeing are rooted in a quality of detached equilibrium, or benevolent indifference.

Join David for an online group session on mindfulness practice.

Mindfulness: Turn your noise into a symphony

Date of group session: Monday, June 22nd / 8 pm EDT

What is mindfulness & why can’t I teach to my dog? I don’t need to teach mindfulness to my dog Biscuit, because he can’t learn what he already is, the embodiment of mindfulness. How can it help you? When you love your thinking, you will love your life. You’ll find greater contentment in mindful living & more peace of mind & quietness of heart during difficult times. An introduction to the essence of mindfulness and a chance to meditate together, including a Q&A at the end of the session.

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David Frank Gomes
Written by
David Frank Gomes