Ever Thought of Trying Meditation?

12 Feb 2021
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The word meditation comes from the Latin word ‘meditatum’ which means ‘to ponder’.

This is something that for most of us we rarely do. In today’s technological, inter-connected world, typical ways of relaxing might be catching up with friends on social media or watching our favourite series. It’s rare to sit and simply sit and contemplate.

People have been meditating for centuries and the practice of meditation spans world religions from Hinduism to Taoist China and Buddhist India. However, you don’t need to take up any new beliefs to start meditating. There are numerous benefits to taking up a consistent and regular meditation practice simply for yourself.

Reported benefits are for both body and mind from feeling calmer and reducing stress to lowering blood pressure and improving concentration. Meditation is said to increase mental strength and focus, improve decision-making and problem solving, as well as helping you develop better cognitive and creative thinking skills*. 

Some people go on a ‘retreat’ to try meditation, many of these practice ‘noble silence’ in which you don’t speak to anyone for the entire time you are there! 

Fena who has recently been visiting Koh Phangan and did a three day silent mediation retreat on Koh Samui said this about her experience………..

"I found it quite tricky at first to clear my mind even though I have done meditation before, I hadn’t done it in quite a while. The first day and a half was quite challenging. It’s silent so you have so much stuff going through your mind. At the end of the second day, I got into it and it all clicked but then it was over the next morning!

I think three days was good for someone like myself who’s relatively new to meditation. If you’ve done it before or you want more of a challenge I’d do a seven day one.

It was super interesting. It was from a Buddhist perspective meaning the idea is that if you want to get something out of it, you’ve missed the point. You can’t try to achieve anything out of it. You need to go into it as a sort of experiment”

 

What did you learn?

I learnt a lot of buddhist concepts that I didn’t know about before. One being about desire and that our want for thing causes pain in the long-term. Like if we have desire for something and we get it, we instantly have desire for something else. If you want to have peace of mind then you have to stop desiring things and free your mind! Free yourself from materialism.

I wouldn’t say I was totally buddhist, or that I’m a buddhist. I’d say I’m quite sceptical but the guy who led the meditation spoke so wisely. I think I’ll definitely take on some of the things on that he said. Even if you’re just making a coffee and you’re more mindful, doing it without thinking about doing something else, that’s the key to being satisfied in your life. Also, not holding onto anger. If someone has wronged you, you need to just wish them happiness or you’re only hurting yourself. Let yourself feel your emotions, like anger, but be a spectator to them rather than getting completely immersed.

I’m not a buddhist, I don’t abstain from drinking or smoking but getting a break for your phone is great. Often we're just talking nonsense to get away from silence. The silence was actually quite nice.

Local temple, Wat Kow Tahm temple in Baan Tai has silent meditation retreats where you can learn how to meditate and practice daily for seven days.

If you are staying on Koh Phangan longer term, it’s something you could consider if you're thinking of getting into meditation.

However, there are also numerous online resources to help you start meditating at home. From apps that work on your phone to youtube video guides, you really can meditate in a way that suits you. Some people prefer to integrate meditation into their life rather than going away to a special place to try it….

Louise who has recently started a daily practice of just 15 minutes a day, said this about her experience...

“I’ve started by trying to create a habit rather than worrying about meditating for a long time.I meditate 15 minutes a day. It doesn’t sound like a lot but it’s been good for getting off to a good start at the beginning of the day. Rather than quickly having something to eat and dashing out the door, I sit down and meditate....

I’ve been meditating daily now for around 6 weeks now. In terms of benefits, the main benefit I’ve found is that my thinking is generally more positive. I think it’s changed my perspective

I’m definitely going to keep going with it. Eventually I’d like to increase the amount of time I’m meditating each day. I’m interested to see how I will feel”.

So, if you're on Koh Phangan right now and you're thinking of trying meditation, it could be just the time. 

 

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