Interesting techniques of mediation


Ana Singleton

“Quiet the mind and the soul will speak” -May Jaya

When most people think of Meditation they usually produce an image of someone sitting cross-legged, chanting a song, twisted in an unthinkable contortion. When I asked Frosh. Wesley Judge if he knew what meditation was, he proved this statement by saying, “Isn’t meditation that thing when people sit and sing for like hours?” Though the answer wasn’t completely incorrect, the majority of people who frequently meditate will tell you that meditation is more than just the common stereotype. Yes, there are numerous ways that one person can meditate, it just depends on what works for them. There are many different styles of meditation, but all use meditation as a way the quiet the mind. In other words, clearing the mind from distracting thoughts to focus on the present.

   According to the American Physiological Association, teens have reported their stress levels as a 5.8 on a 10 -point scale. In fact, studies have shown that teens’ stress is higher compared to a rating of 5.1 for adults. Most of that stress is generated by negative thinking. Everyone has thoughts that make us feel down, but clearing the mind through meditation instantly soothes emotions, eliminates negativity, and heels the effects of stress.So why don’t we use it? Frosh. Ernestina Grimaldo answered saying “It takes too much time.”

    Many students like Grimaldo believe that in order to meditate one is required to sit down for an hour in silence. But, that’s not always the case. In fact, that style of mediation never worked for Instructor Kristen Bentley. “My meditation is very different than other people’s. It’s not the usual stuff, and in my opinion, it’s better because its all day long. You don’t have to take special time to do it,” said Bentley. The type of meditation that Bentley practices is becoming fully committed to what you’re doing. Whether you’re making a cup of coffee or out on your daily workout, you can perform meditation by simply being aware of your feelings and thoughts, and the environment you’re in. We are busy people with busy lives. Constantly searching for time throughout our day. Instead of needing time for meditation people can incorporate meditation into daily activities.  

    There is no right way one can meditate, but knowing different types of meditation will help you choose which one you want to pursue and which one works best for you. One way to apply and practice meditation is through exercise. Exercise may not be the most common outlet people turn to for meditation but exercise does challenge people to use the concept of meditation to enhance their performance and overall exercise experience. The quote I often use to explain this idea to others is “Too many mind,” it’s from the popular film “The Last Samurai.”The concept of this quote is about maintaining mental control, and a state free from the distractions. It encompasses the idea of how our performances are influenced by those distractions and the importance of being completely in the moment and focused.

    For one of my teachers, Mrs. Bentley, her favorite way of meditation is by far kickboxing. “When I do something like kickboxing and I’m punching and kicking the bag, that’s my meditation because I’m fully involved,” Bentley said. Meditating through exercise is a great technique used to strengthen awareness and to help you get in touch with your inner body. When we exercise we mind the people around us, we think about the things we can and cannot do. Too many minds! We need to have a clear mind to achieve total focus on our performance. No matter what physical activity you’re doing running, swimming, or kickboxing, exercise naturally incorporate your focus and clear your thoughts and worries. Instead of focusing on negative thoughts, you start to focus on how hard you’re running, how many steps you’re taking, or how fast your swimming and all the baggage from the day disappears.  Though exercise is an excellent way of meditation, it may not always work for everyone. Some people, like Shelly Lanker someone that has recently adopted meditation finds that the best way to meditate is in nature. “Immersing myself in the natural world reinvigorates all my senses and helps me appreciate and see the oneness in all life,” Lanker said. By watching the trees sway in the wind, admiring a flower, or feeling the warmth of the sun you allow nature to become more than just a beautiful scene, it comes alive and so do the people in it. Nature lovers like Lanker unlock the key to meditation, by simply being mindful of the aliveness that nature possesses.

It’s easy to say that one will meditate, but it’s difficult to actually do it. However, when in need of a push to get started, understanding the rewards can be a convincing reminder of why meditation is so powerful. “Meditation has helped me to stay calm, it keeps me out of my thoughts, and it has helped me become a better parent. It’s just helped me in life,” Said Bentley.“ It’s a great way to fight anxiety and depression, because most of the time when people have those issues it’s because they’re stuck in their thoughts.” When something has a negative impact on us whether it’s said or witnessed, we replay that scene in our mind. By having it constantly in the back of our heads we fall into a depressing state. Practicing meditation it allows us to focus on something else to leave the issue aside. Lanker started meditation five years ago and since then has noticed many obstacles that she has overcome. “Meditation has helped me look for answers from within instead of looking to others. In turn, I have gained more confidence in my ability to make wise decisions for my life. I realized the answers that are right for me may not always be the right answers for someone else,” said Lanker.

    School stress. We all know it, whether it’s writing an essay or feeling anxious about a test. Instead of being on a brink of a constant freak out, adopt meditation into your daily life. Allow yourself to get rid of all negativity surrounding your mind, to become fully aware of life. “Quiet the mind and the soul will speak” -May Jaya. It may be easier than you think.