How meditation can help to relax

By John Brant | 11th May 2014
Photo of woman meditating

People just seem to find it hard to relax. The strange thing is, did you know that our natural state is relaxation? If you just stop “doing” for long enough we naturally move back towards relaxation. We use meditation at the retreat to help you to relax and to reconnect with yourself. There is an inner core of peace within all of us – it just takes some awareness and attention to find it.

Wikipedia defines meditation as “a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realise some benefit or as an end in itself.”

Like yoga, meditation is now becoming a serious and mainstream way of developing a sense of relaxation and well-being in everyday life.

Meditation is a journey with no real destination. It has proven to be a very powerful way developing self awareness and managing fear and anxiety. The deepest meditation journey involves moving from unconscious reaction to conscious meditation with life. Everyone’s meditation journey is unique, as we are all unique. To us at La Crisalida, meditation is the silent discovery of your authentic self.

If you are new to meditation there are some things to become aware of:

  • The mind doesn’t really like meditation. This is for two reasons 1. it is hard work to concentrate for long periods of time on something simple like your breath and 2. in deeper meditation work you start to transcend the mind, and certainly the ego doesn’t like this (it wants to remain in charge). In fact the ego will usually try and convince you that with meditation you are wasting precious time!
  • Meditation can bring up difficult emotions. Our emotions routinely get suppressed in life and meditation allows them naturally to emerge and be expressed. Good meditation techniques will allow you to accept these difficult emotions as they arise. You will then naturally be able to move through the emotion and then let it go.
  • There is something more to us than just mind and body. It can be called the invisible, the spirit or the life force. It is subtle, calm and quiet. Through meditation we can really connect with this deeper dimension. We can even tap into a deeper intelligence.
  • Our mental intellect can only go so far. There is no substitute for experiencing something directly. Then the doubt and fear vanish.

If you want to try it at home, there are two ways to meditate. The first is to use the mind. This includes visualisations, some mantras, staring at objects (like a candle) etc and involves focussing or concentrating the mind on a task or a voice. The main benefits of this approach are better concentration, relaxation and a general sense of well-being. The second way to meditate is to transcend the mind and build awareness. Techniques that are grounded in this second type of meditation include breath awareness, body scanning and mindfulness techniques. Transcending the mind and building awareness is a very personal process which leads to a relaxation, however it can lead to a release of deeper repressed limiting beliefs or emotions too.

We suggest you try whichever method resonates with you – the genuine practice of meditation is far more important than the precise methodology you adopt as you will reap the benefit either way. Happy meditating! 🙂

Headshot of John Brant - Retreat Founder at La Crisalida Retreats
John Brant

John is one of the founders of La Crisalida Retreats. He leads our life makeover programme as well as overseeing the retreats.

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