Why Meditation is as important as keeping your house clean

Do you clean your house daily?   Have you meditated before? Do you do it as often as you clean your home? What is meditation exactly? I want to share how you can incorporate simple meditation into your daily life and show you why it’s as important as keeping your house clean.   What is it like to live in a cluttered Home? You can’t find what you’re looking for, you can possibly injure yourself by falling over debris strewn across the floor, and there is mental stress from all of the unending to-do lists to clean the kitchen and organize the closets. But what about a cluttered mind? Your memory is bad and you can’t remember what you were thinking of because you have so many different tracks going on at the same time. There is no system in place to clean out the stress and experiences of the day, and we end up distracting ourselves with more stimulation in the form of sugar, alcohol and television. All of this excess stimulation and stress can eventually lead to long term diseases like Heart disease, which is the number one cause of death in the United States. It’s overwhelming but it’s not too late, even if you have the double duty of cleaning out both your mind and your home.   Physical activity like biking, running, and Yoga can help to relieve some of the stress and mess in the mind, but it can be superficial. It’s like we are wiping off the counters of the kitchen, when our garage is filled with old baggage that we no longer need. When we go from the more gross physical exercises, to the more subtle exercise of meditation, we are moving into cleaning out the garages and closets of the mind. We are unearthing deep set beliefs and patterns that keep us from living that life of abundance, health and peace of mind. Many people feel uncomfortable when they start meditating in silence because there is nothing to distract them from their unwanted feelings and thoughts. It’s like when you pick through that old baggage and find something that reminds you of a lost relative or a bad incident in your past. It’s so much easier to just let that stuff rot in the back of our minds than to face our inner demons.   What is meditation anyways? There are many different techniques but we will focus on the simple technique of bringing our attention to the abdomen and feeling the natural breath expand and contract. Whenever the mind wanders to thinking about other things just return to the feeling of expansion and contraction of the breath. Sometimes I may get lost in a thought chain that goes on for minutes but once I rediscover that my intention is to follow the breath I return, and try not to be hard on myself for being easily distracted. It’s like when we are cleaning our house and all of a sudden we get a phone call and a friend is asking us about an event we have planned so we go to the computer and look up our calendar and tell them the date, then we find we have 7 new emails to read, and all of a sudden an hour goes by and were watching YouTube videos of monkeys juggling coconuts and remember that originally we had the intention of cleaning our house. Hopefully if we have time we will return to cleaning the house or following the breath.   So how will meditation help us?  It allows us to live healthier lives. Numerous studies have shown that stress exacerbates up to 90% of all diseases. With meditation we are teaching our mind to effectively deal with unwanted stress. We learn let go of things we can’t control, and let go of other people’s bad emotions that they try to push onto us.    It allows us to be more present to our everyday life experiences. Have you found that days can go by as you are busy with work, answering the phone and the rush of all of the external stimulation, and then you take a moment and truly look out the window to the mountains. Everything else fades away and all of the sudden you are truly present to the beauty and awe of nature. This presence can be true with all aspects of your life.   It allows us to be more productive. When our mind is clear it is easier to remember things, to focus our mind on projects, and communicate clearly with others. We prevent stress and emotional reactions from draining us, which leaves us with more energy available to work on what we are passionate about.   Why YOU can meditate even if you think you can’t. Concentration – I used to think that meditation was difficult. In our western culture we want to “do things right” and when we’re given the task of meditation, where we are supposed to sit in silence and peace of mind, we feel that we have failed when our mind is flooded with thoughts. It’s called a “Practice” of meditation not a “perfection”. It doesn’t matter if your mind is racing the entire time you are meditating. What matters it that you have the intention of observing your breath and put in the time to practice. As you continue your daily practice your mind will begin to slow down. Just like the seemingly endless piles of boxes in the garage begin to disappear as you work on clearing out the clutter. Time – You don’t need an hour a day to practice meditation. One or two minutes a day is fine. As you continue your daily practice you may find that you want to meditate both in the morning and the evening. Allow that desire for more meditation to come up naturally instead of forcing it with self-discipline. Location – You don’t need a temple or special mediation room in your house. For your daily practice you could just sit in your car for 2 minutes before driving somewhere.

Now you have a better understanding of how simple meditation can be, and yet how necessary it is for our everyday life. Just like you don’t want to live in a cluttered space, you don’t want to live with a cluttered mind. We are healthier, more present, and more productive when we take the time out to meditate, even if at first it is only a couple minutes a day in your car with your mind racing in every direction. Over time your mind will begin to slow down, you’ll clear through the mental clutter of the mind, and you live with peace and joy. 

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