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Meditation, put simply, is the practice of strengthening your ability to control your thoughts and mind to achieve greater peace, calm and enlightenment.

In meditation you are fully awake and alert, allowing the mind to be relaxed and inwardly focused. When the mind is no longer distracting and becomes silent, your mediation practice will deepen.

It seems simple enough, close your eyes, sit comfortably, hold still and focus on your breath while not allowing your thoughts to invade and take over. Like all things, meditation takes great practice and patience.

I believe the best way to begin a meditation practice is to dedicate a small amount of time each day to it. Then as you get more comfortable with it, increase the amount of time you practice it. It is inevitable that you will experience your thoughts drifting in and you may even find that even though you are still sitting there with your eyes closed you have completely drifted off into some thought pattern. When this happens, be patient with yourself and simply re-focus on your breath and try again. Many beginners find it helpful to count with the breath in order to keep the focus on the number and breath simultaneously. Inhale, one…Exhale, two. Inhale, one…Exhale, two. So on and so forth.

When meditating be mindful to inhale fully and exhale completely. This allows your lungs to fully release all the air, allowing for fresh, clean air to enter the lungs each time. When we allow ourselves time for these sessions of meditation it not only strengthens our mind but also begins to train the body to become more comfortable being in a state of calm and relaxation. Who can’t benefit from that?

I invite you to try meditation, go slow, be patient and begin to see how you improve your awareness, loving kindness and positive energy.