What is meditation?
Meditation has been part of my life for 30 years and yet, I consider myself an eternal beginner. Meditation is an approach that emphasizes being present, not only in sitting meditation, but also in all of our daily activities – washing dishes, sweeping or vacuuming in mindfullness. Eating while being fully present. Being in relationship, fully connected, walking and preparing for sleep in full consciousness.
Meditate: in the beginning is the concentration
Any form of meditation aims first to increase one’s ability to focus on an object, either internal or external. It can be a physical object, a sound, a mantra (phrase meaning something sacred), one’s breathing or one’s sensations. The important thing is to focus our attention on this object in order to allow both a greater anchoring in the present moment and a calming of thoughts. In full awareness, all that our senses capture in our body and mind becomes an object of meditation.
Then comes the wisdom
Vipassana (10 days) is an excellent approach to go within, which develops concentration and then wisdom. According to the teaching of a sage called Buddha, wisdom is acquired by becoming aware of the ever-changing nature of our body and mind, of the events and relationships that are transforming around us, and on which we have no control. By becoming aware of this reality through experience, our attitude changes and a real transformation of our being takes place. Less judgment, anger, fear, obsession with the “I/me” all make it possible to open oneself to reality as it is. We realize that others are not responsible of our happiness or our suffering when one learns to approach it with this wisdom. The situations of our life become a teaching in every moment. The miracle of life is then more apparent and the heart opens to gratitude.
Innumerable benefits then become available: more inner peace, anchoring in reality, developing the wisdom of impermanence, opening the heart, self-empathy and gratitude. If you are in a relationship, meditating together transforms the relationship through better connection to yourself and your beloved.
I encourage you to practice meditation so that you can yourself appreciate the benefits. It is excellent for a healthy brain and a healthy gut too! Meditation is good in preventing Alzheimer’s and in modulating neurotransmitters in the brain as well as increasing the capabilities of self-healing of the body.
True North Insight at Prana Green Center: Address: 4365 Rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, QC H2J 2L2Phone: (514) 523-8717
Kadampa Center (formerly Kankala): Address: 835 Laurier Avenue E, Montreal, QC H2J 1G2Phone: (514) 521-2529
Vipassana Quebec Center / Dhamma Suttama: Address: 810 Côte Azélie, Montebello, QC J0V 1L0