Traditional meditation means learning how to clear your thoughts and be comfortable with yourself for long expanses of time, and takes decades to practice. Pure forms of meditation even go so far as to say that your body posture and the way you sit is integral to the practice. However, there are other forms of meditation – and you’re probably already doing some of them.
Informal meditation is something everyone already does naturally. The way you sit or the way you clear your mind of thoughts is not as important as achieving a state of bliss. The concept of “bliss” implies that we can be momentarily happy and have complete disregard for all our worries and fears. This is a state which can be achieved in many different ways. Formal meditation is one, but it’s definitely not the only way to achieve similar results – at least in the short term.
So, any activity which promotes the same brain state as meditation could be considered a form of meditation. It could be said that any activity which puts you into the state of being “in the flow” or holds your attention “in a trance” is meditative in nature. If you can get yourself into a “dream-like” state, or get into some day-dreaming while you’re thinking about an upcoming vacation, then you’re in a meditative state.
Anything which holds your attention for long periods of time is a form of meditation. This can include fishing, gardening, working out, painting a picture, singing, listening to music, playing an instrument, knitting, woodworking, hiking in the mountains… these are all forms of meditation. Anything which gets your mind off your worries and into a calm, relaxed state where you feel good about life, if even for just a little while, is a form of meditation.
Directing your attention here
But meditation as a practice isn’t just about phasing out, staring dreamily into space, or working on a hobby. Meditation is about learning how to control where you put your attention. Always paying attention to the here and now is difficult and takes practice. Learning how to pay attention and direct your attention is required to gain control over the bodymind and take command of your life.
Paying attention is about as fundamental as it gets, but for many people, our lives are a non-stop torrent of overwhelming thoughts and events which affords us little opportunity to choose where we place our attention. Thus, paying attention is hard. For people in chronic pain or neuropathic pain, it’s as though we’ve fallen out the boat while white-water rafting and we’re grasping at roots on the bank as it rushes by: the struggle between life-or-death is shoved into our faces more often than not.
However, floating down white-water rapids after falling out of a boat would crystalize our attention on survival like a laser beam, so it’s probably not the perfect metaphor to use. An anxious, overwhelmed mind might be more akin to what it might feel like to tumble inside a giant drying machine: difficult to imagine if we’re not used to feeling this way on a regular basis.
A great definition of mindfulness
Jon Kabbat Zin is generally considered one of the godfathers of mindfulness meditation in the West, having brought it to America over three decades ago.
As reported by Mindful.org, Jon says his definition of mindfulness is: “The awareness that arises through paying attention on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”
So, mindfulness is awareness. Self-awareness is the most fundamental concept held forth by TheBodyIsMind.com. We believe every modality listed within the Ultimate Healing Guide will somehow provide you with an increase in control of self-awareness, whether through body-awareness or mind-awareness.
Real Love: The Art of Mindful Connection
Hardback – June, 2017
by Sharon Salzberg (Author)
Living in a Mindful Universe: A Neurosurgeon’s Journey into the Heart of Consciousness
Paperback – October 17, 2017
by Eben Alexander (Author), Karen Newell (Author)
The Voice of Knowledge: A Practical Guide to Inner Peace
Paperback – April, 2004
by Don Miguel Ruiz (Author), Janet Mills (Author)
Polishing the Mirror: How to Live from Your Spiritual Heart
Paperback – September 1, 2014
by Ram Dass (Author), Rameshwar Das (Contributor)
Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life
Paperback – January 5, 2005
by Jon Kabat-Zinn (Author)
How to Live Well with Chronic Pain and Illness: A Mindful Guide
Paperback – October 6, 2015
by Toni Bernhard (Author)
Out of Your Mind: Tricksters, Interdependence, and the Cosmic Game of Hide and Seek
Paperback – March 1, 2017
by Alan Watts (Author)
The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself
Paperback – October 3, 2007
by Michael A. Singer (Author)
The Art of Forgiveness, Loving-Kindness, and Peace
Paperback – April, 2008
by Jack Kornfield (Author)
Meditation can help alleviate suffering
Great suffering is part of our life’s journey. No one escapes suffering, not even through drugs or alcohol. Indeed, drinking and drugging can worse suffering significantly. There can only be greater or lesser degrees of suffering, but life on Earth doesn’t exist without it. No reason to pretend otherwise.
From the perspective of self-healing, suffering is directly proportional to the degree to which people believe they are living in a meaningless universe. People can either be crushed into non-existence and physical death or find a way to redefine what life means to them so as to alleviate their suffering. Unless one seeks to find personal experience-based evidence that the “self” can be perceived as though it is separate from body and mind, then there is a likelihood that the self will be lost and consumed by the suffering in one’s life.
Meditation is one of the most powerful methods capable of restoring a belief in oneself and meaning in one’s life. This, in turn, can significantly reduce the amount of suffering we perceive ourselves to be experiencing.
The word “spirit” is often misunderstood
Unfortunately, our language has gotten in the way of preventing many of us from understanding what is meant by the word “spirit”. Like many words in our language, spirit has come to mean so many different things that the core meaning of the word has been watered down and ultimately rejected through cynicism, skepticism, and religious differences.
Everyone has a spirit, but in our context, we refer to the spirit as the self. If you had no spirit, no directed self-awareness at all, then you’d be a vegetable. Without being able to differentiate self, then there would be no possible way that we could ever hope to separate ourselves from the mind. If we just completely ignore the effect the human spirit plays in the role of healing, then how could we ever discover a self-directed healing path?
Thus, contemplation about oneself as separate from body and mind is a desirable belief to adopt. Meanwhile, we simultaneously retain the understanding that self, body and mind together operate as a single system, in the form of a self+bodymind relationship.
The nature of the word spirit is intended to convey a concept inclusive of the unseen universe within ourselves and is something worth contemplating. In fact, to think profoundly and at length is a form of meditation, and so you could lightly meditate just by defining what spirit means to you. What other words could you use to mean the same thing which aligns with your beliefs?
Meditation doesn’t need to challenge your beliefs
Don’t miss out on your opportunity to learn self-mastery just because you don’t like the idea of meditation or are afraid that you might accidentally learn foreign concepts which brush up against your belief system. You can learn meditation without needing to dabble in Hinduism or Buddhism.
If you find yourself on the precipice of hopelessness and despair from a dependency upon prescription painkillers which fog your mind and blur your awareness, your belief system is going to need fundamental adjustments anyway. That’s just a fact, not an accusation or threat. This does not, however, mean you’re going to need to be finding “God” or finding “religion” in order to find “self.”
Get used to the idea that you’re going to need to start changing the way you think about yourself and the world before you can expect to belief self-healing is even possible. You need to have faith in yourself, especially if you don’t have faith in anything bigger than yourself. Until you can feel connected to a strong sense of “self,” then you’re going to continue to feel alone.
Reconnect with yourself through meditation
The way to reconnect with the world when you’re so out-of-touch with yourself is by learning to become more aware, by learning to control where you put your focus and attention. Your internal resources are waiting for you to reach in and use them!
We have new methods and new technology which can facilitate our meditation practice. While you won’t get the advantages which long-term meditation practice can provide without actually practicing, you can get yourself into the same state of mind these days pretty much with relatively little effort.
Several methods can induce near instant-meditation, including Floatation Therapy and Brainwave Entrainment. Medical Cannabis can be combined with these methods to help induce an even deeper sense of self and a connection with life.
Meditation for the purpose of self-healing is a great way to reconnect with your heart and your intuition; it should be something you’re doing regularly to help ease life’s troubles and worries. You will find balance and tranquility through meditation, regardless of how you practice.
A penny in, a penny out
There is no debate about the benefits of mindful meditation. You get out of it what you expect to get out of it, pretty much just like everything else in life.
The fact is, everyone has already meditated in their life without even realizing that’s what they were doing. See, when your state of mind is calm and your body is calm, when you are without tension and feel your most relaxed, we’re in the same state of mind which meditation does for us.
Therefore, purist meditation is no longer necessary to achieve the same calm states of mind, aka mental bliss.
Have some mental bliss, without the side effects
Who wouldn’t want a little mental bliss in their lives?
Afterall, every time folks reach for the prescription painkillers, isn’t the objective of reaching “a state of perfect happiness, so as to be oblivious of everything else,” exactly what they are looking for? Nobody we know with chronic pain wouldn’t want to reach “a state of perfect happiness, so as to be oblivious of everything else,” even if only for five or ten minutes each and every day.
Meditation is one way to achieve mental bliss without the horrifying side effects of synthetic opioids.
Combine therapies for rapid results
Thankfully, today’s technology can help facilitate this state so that meditation is within reach of anyone. When meditation and mindfulness are together combined with other modalities such as floatation therapy, Yoga, contrast hydrotherapy, you’re gonna see results which pharmaceutical pills just can’t touch.
Eastern cultures have been using meditation for self-mastery of mind and thoughts for thousands of years, so why should folks in Western cultures be missing out? Science confirms the benefits of mindfulness, and every advocate for people suffering from chronic illness, PTSD, and anxiety will tout the many reasons why we should all learn to practice.
“Turns out in Asia, Africa and other parts of the world, people have found ways of calming that body down, with things like Qi·Gong and Yoga. To reacquaint yourself with your body helps you to calm your body down, and these things are called ‘alternative therapies.’ To my mind, drugs are alternative therapies, and dealing with your body is real therapy.”
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk – How To Detoxify The Body From Trauma, with Dipl. Psych., Dipl. Wi.-Ing. Bernhard Trenkle
At this point in human evolution, outright rejection of meditation due to personal beliefs is the type of ignorance that keeps us chained to our addictions and tight with tension and pain. Ignorance is not bliss; meditation is bliss. To ignore learning mental discipline is to decline one of the most powerful methods to regain self-awareness and the ability to control your attention.
You are already meditating!
Every time you’re mesmerized by a book, a magazine, a video, a movie, or a song, you’re pretty much in a “meditative state.” You meditate whether you want to or not every time you listen intently to a song and connect with its emotional content.
As measured by brain scanning equipment, you would exhibit exactly the same brainwaves as a master meditator after you’ve been mesmerized for about 6-10 minutes, regardless of the method by which you are entranced. Dancing can bring about the same mental state, and so can playing video games or watching your favorite TV show. Meditation is not a big deal; it’s just a state of mind which we all experience. So instead of having it happen accidentally, why not learn to control your thoughts on purpose?
With intention to heal
The reasons why we want to do this on purpose with the intention to heal are all the same reasons which make us pursue a hobby, paint a picture, play an instrument, or write a book: to get a sense of self, separate from our thoughts, and gain a sense of accomplishment. Therefore, meditation can help you restore belief in yourself and help develop mental acuity while rewarding you with positive self-improvement.
Why hobbies are meditative in nature
Folks who have hobbies and pursue activities which require obsessive long-term attention are generally more mentally stable, by reason of having experienced the same calming states of mind which meditation creates. Building a model of a ship or putting together a puzzle might not be done for the purpose of meditation by those who are building models and assembling puzzles, but mental bliss is the result either way.
Make meditation part of a daily routine
Self-awareness = self-control. Mastery of self should be a primary goal of anyone suffering from long-term illness, chronic pain, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and all stress-related illnesses. Meditation is not the only way to achieve this goal, but mindfulness should become a part of your self-care routine in one form or another.
Every reason to try new things
According to the National Institutes for Health, “Mindfulness meditation has been reported to produce positive effects on psychological well-being that extend beyond the time the individual is formally meditating.”
Bottom line, you need to reconnect with yourself, reconnect to your heart, and listen to yourself… then you need to reconnect with the world and the people around you who love you and care for you. You need to find peace with yourself in your heart through self-compassion, mindfulness, and a desire to increase awareness of your self+bodymind relationship.
Find someone else who inspires you and learn from them. SO MANY people are sharing their stories in books worth reading. If you’re not into reading, look for the audio format of the books we recommend. Get something positive feeding into your head and stop soaking up so much of the mainstream media. You must break away your attention and bring to bear your self-awareness upon the body and mind which are yours to control. Do not be controlled by media, gadgets, or the latest breaking headlines.
Intentionally practice meditation
The media has been used to manipulate us for centuries. Just be true to yourself, folks. Be kind to each other. Find that hole inside you and learn to shovel in some love into that hole; it’s a capacity for healing which you already possess. Everyone who has ever defeated death or beat cancer tell the same story: you gotta come to grips with who you are inside, and you can’t do that if you keep avoiding it.
Meditation can help you find a way in. It will help you learn to listen to the signals your body is giving you all the time. You’ll learn self-discipline simply by exercising your free-will to practice where you put your attention. You should be choosing to disconnect your attention from the real world and focus on the thought world inside your head once in a while, with conscoius attention focused upon your mind, in an effort to reclaim intelligence, reclaim space inside, and to reclaim a sense of control over your inner demons.
The reasonable person would choose intentionally to practice meditation in one form or another. Here are a few things you could try that help get your mind off things and settle down the chaos of our brainwaves:
Fishing, sailing, swimming, biking, hiking, riding a horse, writing a poem, jotting down some notes on how you’re feeling, reading a book, finding something new to learn about, woodworking, model railroad building, modeling sports cars, pottery, painting, playing the piano, getting interested in anything other than mindless programs which teach you how to drivel, spending more time taking care of yourself, reading other people’s stories of suffering and awakening, or taking a walk outside barefoot in the grass with the sun on your face and shoulders while listening to your favorite band on some earbuds.
How To Practice Mindfulness: 5 Exercises + The Benefits
76 Scientific Benefits of Meditation You Might Be Missing Out On
How Meditation Changes Your Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains
Everything You Want To Know About Mindfulness Meditation
Mindfulness May Have Been Over-Hyped (Good Info)
The Center for Contemplative Mind in Society
The Valley Insight Meditation Society
founded by Sharon Salzberg
People’s Egos Get Bigger After Meditation and Yoga, Says Study
Calming Your Brain During Conflict
How to Calm Your Amygdala and Get Your Life Back
Can Mindfulness and Compassion Save the World?
Google Search: Amygdala Hijack:
Effects of mindfulness and self-awareness in rest and stress: Biofeedback and neurofeedback measures and training:
Molecules Of Emotion: The Science Behind Mind-Body Medicine
All references are inline.