By Eleanor Moresco, M.D.
Hallmark Health Medical Associates
“Just give me a moment.” Many of us have said this from time to time when we’re stressed out at home or frustrated over a complicated project at the office. Sometimes we just need to take a deep breath and find our balance before tackling the issue at hand.
When you take those little moments, what you’re really doing is a form of meditation. You don’t have to learn complicated poses or memorize lengthy mantras to meditate. There are many types of meditation. And the best part? You can’t do meditation wrong!
How does meditation work?
Meditation is any activity that engages us in high vibration (positive) energy. If our energy system is in a high vibration place, we experience wellness and peace, and we are relaxed, happy, and joyful. When our energy system is in a low vibration place, we experience physical and emotional challenges, including sadness, fatigue, anger, and worry.
Meditation helps quiet the mind and focus us in the “now moment.” The now moment is the present, and it’s the only time we truly can affect anything that’s happening to us. The past is the past – it’s the now moment that’s important. Through meditation, we can draw high vibration energy to ourselves, release low vibration energy, and focus on the now moment to manage stress in our lives.
Meditating with intention
You can’t force someone to try or enjoy meditation. As a doctor, I prescribe pills to patients to decrease their blood pressure. But energy work is not as easy as taking a pill. It takes dedication and practice; it’s something you really have to want to engage in to be successful.
Engaging in meditation requires intention, which is how your energy jives with the energy around you. Intention is your message to the universe: “This is where I want my vibration to be. This is what I am trying to accomplish in this moment.”
There is no amount of meditation or high vibration activity that’s too small. For example, I can tell a blood pressure patient, “You need to take 5 milligrams of this blood pressure medication every day.” If the patient takes 1 milligram of the medication for five days in a row, it’s not going to have the same effect. Meditation is different – it’s cumulative.
Even if you plan to meditate for 15 minutes, and for 12 of those minutes your mind is all over the place, those three minutes that you focused with intention were still beneficial.
But let’s talk about those 12 minutes. Engaging with random, obtrusive thoughts – what we call mind chatter – is the opposite of intention. It can feel like a huge barrier, but it happens to all of us.
How to meditate over mind chatter
Even after five years of practicing meditation, I occasionally deal with mind chatter. Did the kids do their homework? How is my struggling patient feeling today? Why can’t I focus?
There are mornings when I push away the mind chatter and it comes right back. But I always finish out my meditation for the day because I know there were a few minutes when I was connecting with the energy of the universe in a meaningful way. Keep in mind that meditation doesn’t have to take five, 10, or even 15 minutes – sometimes 10 seconds is enough to focus, bring some high vibration energy to yourself, and release some low vibration energy.
When mind chatter happens, it’s important to recognize its presence, but not engage with it. Pretend you are a scientist. Observe that the thought is there, then let it pass. Think about placing your distracting thoughts on a cloud and letting them float away, out of your mind. Sometimes the thoughts will float right back, but just let them float away again, and don’t let them keep you from finishing your meditation.
Nothing can spoil a meditation other than your own negative self-talk. If you think to yourself, “Oh, I stink at this,” you’re drawing low vibration energy by being judgmental. That’s really the only thing that can ruin a mediation.
Getting started with meditation
You don’t have to take rigorous courses or join an organization to start practicing meditation. There are a variety of resources at your disposal:
- Exercises: I often direct people to books so they can look over the information on their own. Books make it easy for me to explain what they are trying to accomplish when they do them.
- A book titled “Positive Energy” by Judith Orloff, M.D., a psychiatrist and psychic, includes an excerpt called “The Three Minute Meditation,” which is helpful for beginners.
- Another book titled “Soul Soothers: Mini Meditations for Busy Lives” by Cindy Griffith-Bennett includes simple meditations, along with chapter readings that go with each type of meditation.
- YouTube, CDs, or DVDs: These resources allow you to learn about meditation from your living room or while you’re on the go. If you’re interested in active meditation, such as yoga, there are many videos that can help you learn basic poses.
Meditation is like training for a marathon. You wouldn’t expect to get off the couch and run a marathon – you would train for it. Becoming a master of your energy body is no different. Meditation requires practice to find a mode that speaks to you and helps you release negative energy.
Words of caution
There is no one who shouldn’t use meditation, but there are a few precautions to follow:
- You shouldn’t try guided meditation when you’re driving. Meditation that involves imagery and visualization takes your focus off the road. That said, there are high vibration activities you can do on your commute that are healthier than listening to mind chatter. It is much more productive to practice deep breathing and listen to meditation music than to worry about personal issues or fret over a problem at work.
- Meditation shouldn’t replace medication. As beneficial as meditation can be for your health, you should not stop taking your medications when you start doing energy work. If that’s your goal, talk to your doctor about whether decreasing your dosage or weaning off your medication is a safe option for you.
It doesn’t matter if you’re fidgety, if you can’t sit still, if you cough through the whole meditation, or if the phone rings. As long as you’re able to focus intently – even if just for a few moments – on letting go of negative energy and drawing positive energy to yourself, you’re meditating!
I’ll be offering my meditation workshop in the spring. Watch for details on the Hallmark Health Systems website.