February 8th, 2013
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“Never be in a hurry; do everything quietly and in a calm spirit. Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, even if your whole world seems upset.”
– St. Francis de Sales, patron saint of writers


Courtesy of Bethany Fine Arts Gallery
From my core being, I am trying so very hard to attain a zen state of mind.
This year is the year when I am trying to learn to meditate and think about serene things and scenes of nature that bring to mind a balance of calm and beauty.
It is a matter of trial and error for me to get my Western mind into an Eastern place of mindfulness where deep breathing and relaxation can lead to healing.
It is harder for me than I thought it would be because once I close my eyes and try to start to focus on one place, less than a minute later my mind wants to start thinking about something that happening in my life that needs solving.
I am slowly learning how to put the brakes on my busy thoughts and I’m going to keep working on this because the end results are so worth it.
Meditation helps control pain and promotes general health, according to the American Holistic Medical Association.  A series of studies published in prestigious medical journals over the past decade found that people who regularly practice meditation reported a significant decrease in pain, anxiety, depression, blood pressure and other physical symptoms.
The breathing is the first thing that I have been consciously working on.  Breathing, you say?  Don’t you just do that naturally?  True, we all breathe to stay alive but most of the time we don’t realize that we are breathing in short breaths instead of slower, deeper breaths.  Okay, maybe you realize it but I’m just becoming aware of it.
For instance, the other day, I caught myself when I was in the middle of trying to finish something at work on deadline. I was trying to work faster and I wasn’t paying any attention to the way I was breathing. I realized that if I stopped, took some deep breaths and slowly continued to take deep breaths that my pace of work was more focused and I finished with a better state of mind.
Instead of being all frazzled, I felt calmer.

It’s going to be awhile before I really feel I am on the road to true mediation but I am making the effort to be more aware and I feel that’s progress.

The journey towards mindfulness and a calm, focused inner being continues. . .
My groovy readers, please share. . . What do you know about meditation that could help others?
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