Is your life chaotic? Are there a million things pulling at you from the time you arise to the time you go to sleep. When you lie down to get a nights rest so you can begin again, does the chaos keep pulling at you? Do thoughts about what must get done, what can go wrong, how to cope with this or that family problem just keep running through you mind? Do you wake feeling as tired as when you went to sleep? The chaos of our lives produces stress. Of course there are pills. And everyday we hear about the sometimes fatal side effects of pills that were at first touted as seemingly safe solutions to this or that malady including high stress levels and insomnia.
What if you don’t have to take a pill? What if finding 10 to 20 minutes of quiet time a day can assist you to find more balance in your chaotic life. Numerous studies are resulting in findings that suggest that meditation in its many forms is a safe, effective method of bringing order to the chaos.
Meditation takes many forms including just focusing on your breathing, listening to a guided meditation tape, focusing on an object like a candle or flower. There are active meditations such as writing, walking a labyrinth, dance meditations and many forms of yoga. In almost all them attention to your breath is key. Some Buddhist traditions suggest just sitting zazen or sitting and noticing what your mind does. In this practice you become the witness to whatever “noise” your mind may make.
Candle flame meditations are relaxing as well. Sit comfortably on a cushion, chair or on the floor with your spine straight and a lighted candle in front of you. Just watch the flame. Allow yourself to become absorbed in the movements of the flame as it dances to and fro. Start by taking a few deep breaths and then just begin to breathe easily and normally. Feel the relaxation flow through you as you watch the flame in its effortless dance. This may be the way man discovered meditation – watching the flames of the campfire at the end of the day.