The Relaxation Mini-Meditation


 

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The mind is like a monkey in a tree.

 

 

 

 

A few minutes of meditation can be refreshing.

Meditation is a method of strengthening concentration and attention by deliberately focusing the mind on just one idea. Like a monkey in a tree constantly jumping from limb to limb, the human mind jumps from one thought to another. It goes from a fear, to a worry, to a joy, and back again. It is in the present moment, then the past, and now the future. The mind is rarely still. The mind’s frenetic nature creates stress, disrupts attention, and lowers efficiency. Meditation stills the mind. Quieting the mind can bring relaxation to the body. As the mind is quieted the muscles relax, breathing deepens, the heart rate slows, and blood pressure is lowered. Quieting the mind teaches us to concentrate. It refreshes us with renewed energy so we are more efficient in what we do.

Meditation involves reflection or contemplation on specific mental content. While sitting comfortably alert, the mind is focused on a chosen selection which may be a word or phrase. It may be a neutral word such as "one" or an emotionally comforting word such as peace, love, or hope. Short spiritually inspiring messages or prayers can also be used.

The basic technique is to purposefully, but silently, repeat the chosen word or phrase in rhythm with your breathing. While breathing in and out, slowly say the word or phrase to yourself. As you do this your breath naturally deepens. During the process of concentration your mind will normally stray. When this happens, simply refocus and continue. A few minutes of meditation can be invigorating.

The accompanying stereogram can help you to stay centered on the meditation task. A stereogram is a two-dimensional, computer-generated, graphic image that has a 3-D image hidden in it. In order to see the hidden image you must be receptive to the process, relax your vision, and allow it to come into view. Once you do this, you have entered a meditative stance. As long as you can see the hidden image, you will remain in this relaxed, receptive state. If the image is lost then you are losing concentration and need to regain it. Maintaining the hidden image in sight can be a visual aid and cue to staying in the meditative stance.

The hidden stereogram images accompanying this series contain words to serve as a focal point for a mini-meditation. A mini-meditation is a brief period of concentrated attention which is directed towards instilling a positive attitude and having a calming influence.

How to Relax with the Hidden Image

Relief from stress is sought through achieving relaxation. "Relax" is the hidden word in the stereogram. Find the hidden image when you meditate and use it for your focus of attention. As you slowly breathe in and out, repeat a short phrase containing the word relax. For example, while inhaling think to yourself, "I am..." and as you exhale think "...relaxed." Or, slowly say to yourself, "Relaxation flows through me." You might try repeating, "Relaxation spreads over my body." Create you own statement. Practice one of these methods for several minutes while focusing on the hidden image. Slow your breathing and keep the image in sight. Feel yourself become relaxed, centered and at ease. When you are ready to stop the meditation slowly close and then gently open your eyes as you look away from the screen.

Remember

When you choose to relax and let go of stressful living, you take control of your life becoming calm, open, and centered. You are empowered to creatively focus on the possibilities that confront you. A relaxed attitude moves you out of rigidity, so you can go with the flow in a spontaneous manner. In essence, you give up the imposing might of the Oak tree which is often blown over in the storm for the flexibility of the Willow tree that knows how to bend but not break. Power is found through maintaining a relaxed, alert, and aware attitude towards life.


The Relaxation Mini-Meditation 1996 Dagali Graphics, All rights reserved


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