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How to use meditation as a form of self-care

Taking some time for yourself to meditate each day can be extremely helpful in calming the nervous system, decreasing stress and feelings of anxiety. It can also help you to create more mindfulness in your life and help you to live in the present moment. Although it’s not easy to achieve quietness in the mind while meditating it is something that comes with time, patience and practise.

Besides our day-to-day business, we tend to be constantly around people. In wintertime we imagine ourselves sitting by a roaring fire and enjoying quality time with loved ones whereas in summer time we are going out to meet friends outside in the sun, enjoy a meal or a glass of wine. And then there is the current global health struggles, unsteady politics and constant chatter in social media. However, in reality this can be challenging for a lot of people.

We may find ourselves feeling anxious or stressed and so we wanted to share something that might facilitate some space or time for you to unwind, go inward and relax into a state of mindful meditation.

Working with the "Monkey Mind"

When we sit on our cushion, we suddenly find ourselves alone with our own mind. We are often surprised at how agitated and relentless the thought stream appears to be. In Buddhism this is often referred to as the “monkey mind.” And we all have one! By sitting and witnessing the endless fluctuations of the mind, we slowly start to understand its nature.

The practice of meditation is to simply be aware of everything that arises in our consciousness and to choose to stay present and not to get entangled in any of our thoughts or feelings. We endeavour to gently let go of any thought or feeling or experience that arises.

Mastering the mind

Ultimately we will gain more and more mastery over the roller coaster of thoughts and feelings that is the nature of mind. In doing so, we become a master over our own mind, rather than being enslaved by it. As we start to gain space in the mind and learn to loosen the fascination with the content of our own minds, we also will begin to experience greater depth, joy and peace in our meditation. This is when we rest in the ground of being, before thought. The great masters have called this Satchitananda: Truth, Consciousness and Bliss.

For more inspo try this guided meditation here that is recommended by Vidya Heisel, the director of Suryalila and our Yoga School Frog Lotus Yoga.

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