Meet Joe Lee - yoga teacher and Level 2 Urban Zen Integrative Therapist. We asked him to write a short blog entry about meditation and his upcoming workshop Urban Zen Meditation 101 that is Saturday 1/25/20 2:00-4:00pm.
What is meditation? What is the purpose of meditation? What is the proper way to meditate?
There are countless books, videos, audio recordings, websites, blogs, apps, devoted to answering these questions. Often times, making the process of meditation so complicated and cumbersome that it becomes a chore.
The best answer I have ever heard to the question, “what is meditation?” Is, “a single point of focus.” Meaning, just focus something. Anything! Anything that is going to allow you to clear the clutter in your head and bring you into the present moment. It does not have to be this picturesque full Lotus Pose, sitting super-duper straight, in the woods or inside some temple while in deep contemplation. No, just focus on something. That’s it!
What is the purpose of meditation?
Well…what is the purpose for YOU?
Meditation serves many purposes.
In traditional Yoga, meditation is the practice that leads to the final and 8th limb of Yoga, Samadhi. It is when one achieves connection with the divine. Connection with the Universe and everything within it and beyond it. So, connection to literally everything! It is sometimes said to be a merging of oneself with all that is, all that has ever been and all that every will be. Phew! That seems like a lot of work and pressure to me! If this is your goal, great. You will probably devote your entire life to this practice. And you will, I am sure, experience the greatest form of transcendence and ecstasy.
However, meditation is not relegated as only a pathway to enlightenment. It can easily be something that grounds us when we are frazzled. Something that calms us when we are stressed. Or, something that helps sharpen our focus. If THAT is your goal, then meditation becomes very simple.
In Urban Zen Integrative Therapy®, we utilize breath and body awareness meditation in conjunction with the other healing modalities of Restorative Yoga with props, Essential Oils and Reiki to help focus the mind. The original intention of the UZIT® breath and body awareness meditation, in a clinical setting, was to address what we have defined as common symptoms of illness: Pain, Anxiety, Nausea, Insomnia and Constipation. Or PANIC™. Since its inception, UZIT® has expanded to also address the common symptoms of everyday life like stress and sadness.
Again, there are many forms of mediation; guided visualization, Nidra, water, candle, etc., etc. In my opinion, breath and body awareness is the path of least resistance to the peace, calm and cynosures of our minds.
What I call Meditation 101.
For more info on the workshop, click here.