Although it has become fashionable in the West in recent years under the name of mindfulness or mindfulness, the truth is that meditation is an ancient oriental practice.
Many people associate meditation with leaving the mind blank, but the truth is that it does not consist of that, but that we are able to ‘train’ our mind so that our thoughts do not go free, but that we are the ones who choose what think or banish those thoughts that are useless and that can even harm us. Getting it is not easy, it requires practice and, above all, a lot of discipline.
Begoña Ordóñez Romero, yoga teacher and founder of the Vidha center in Salamanca, gives us some guidelines to start meditating and talks about some of the benefits that the daily practice of meditation can bring us.
What is meditation good for?
Meditation is credited with multiple benefits, both physically and mentally. The first of them is that it helps to calm the mind, and, as a consequence, to reduce stress and anxiety, with all that this entails on a physical and psychological level.
In addition, they claim that it can help increase the ability to concentrate, improve our mood by promoting more positive thoughts and even that it helps us tolerate pain better and improve cognitive functions, among other things .
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All these possible benefits, some of them scientifically proven, Begoña Ordónez sums them up in one: “it teaches you to be happy”, she says bluntly. And it is that, for her, “to be happy is to have tranquility and peace, both mental and emotional, and even physical .
And to have peace of mind, the first thing is not to be in a hurry. Except for exceptions, I am never in a hurry ”, he assures. “Later, even if you feel at peace, you will have happy, sad, difficult days … but that is life.”
Begoña, who has been practicing meditation for 23 years, affirms that it has changed her life, “for me it has been my cure. I am where I am thanks to yoga and meditation, which for me go hand in hand. And it is that meditating gives you a lot of mental breadth.
From serenity, the mind opens and you begin to understand life and integrate it in a different way. It is not easy, it is much more intense than it may seem because now it has become fashionable, but it is like that ”.
And this, why does it happen? Basically, because what meditation helps us mainly is to control our thoughts, “meditation and yoga teach you to think less and better, to discern the thoughts that are worth those that are not . The mind has different departments.
On the one hand, there is the ‘fantasy department’, where we are 90% of the time. In fantasy we make movies, things that don’t exist, lies … that’s why it’s so dangerous. And then there is the imagination, where are the thoughts that project your life, plan, create goals… ”.
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Thanks to meditation, we are able to slow down these thoughts, we observe them without judgment, we are aware of them and, most importantly, “we realize that most of our thoughts are worthless. When we discard invalid thoughts, we find calm, but this is easier said than done, because it takes a lot of work… ”, he warns.
I want to meditate, where do I start?
Like all practices, whether physical or mental, they require experience and discipline. That is, to notice the beneficial effects of meditation we have to incorporate it into our daily routine and always practice, in the morning, at night or in the morning and at night, and without being in a hurry to obtain results, “if you you sit down to meditate, you can’t do it looking for results, you have to sit down, enjoy … because the results may come in a day or in 10 years, what you have to do is sit down and be disciplined ”, he advises.
He also advises, as far as possible, to seek help, even to begin with, “there has to be a guideBecause at the beginning of sitting and observing our thoughts, fear, insecurities will come out … everything that is inside, which is a lot, and you need someone who knows to clarify and guide you. Once we know how to do it, we can do it alone, but we have to do it daily ”.
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To those who want to start, he recommends “that they sit in silence every day, with an upright posture for 10 minutes. At first, those minutes seem like three hours to you, because sitting down to observe your thoughts at the beginning is very difficult, so it is recommended to start focusing on breathing …
But it is little by little ”. If you see that it is difficult to find a hole at the beginning, try to get up 10 minutes earlier, sit on the bed and observe yourself ”.
Other tips for novice ‘meditators’ could be: Choose comfortable clothes, a calm and quiet place, observe and accept your thoughts without judging them, pay attention to your breathing, increase a little each day , and, above all, not be afraid of failure Well, like any discipline, it requires patience and practice to increase and improve every day.
If you are curious, do not be left with the desire and, as Begoña Ordónez says, “try, because it changes our lives and in the long run it ends up healing our minds”. The how or the name you choose does not matter, “in the end we need to put a new name, but meditating and mindfulness is the same, which is concentrating the mind on something, being aware …
There may be some variant, the tools to lead to it can be different, but in the end mindfulness meditation or even contemplation… they are the same ”. And the fact is, that it is a ‘fashion’ does not have to be bad, “there will be people who will know how to make the most of it and others will not, but it seems great to me that it has become fashionable, because the more meditators we are, the better ”.