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Nourish your Spirit
By: Diane Joswick, L.Ac., MSOM

The word "meditation" comes from the Greek word that means "to be mindful." The practice of meditation is a proven stress reducer, and can help you tame your mind and overcome anxieties, agitation, and habitual thought patterns. The regular practice of meditation creates a continuing sense of well being, leaving us feeling confident and calm.

How to Meditate

Create a quiet, relaxing environment, with comforting items (candles, incense, art that has a spiritual importance to you, etc.) around you.

Sit upright on a cushion with legs folded, or in a chair with your feet firmly planted on the ground, allowing for free and easy breathing. Relax your shoulders and gently place your hands on your knees or in your lap.

Tuck your chin in slightly and keep your eyes half open, your gaze softly focusing downward about four to six feet in front, and your mouth slightly open.

Observe your breath. Try belly-breathing – not breathing with the chest, but from the navel. Don't accentuate or alter the way you are breathing, just let your attention rest on the flow of your breath.

The goal is to allow the "chattering" in your mind to gradually fade away. If you're distracted by a thought, gently bring your mind back to your breathing.

Continue to focus on your breathing for 10 or 15 minutes. Stay relaxed, yet awake and attentive. Finding your balance there is not easy!

Eventually as your body understands what you are doing, meditating will become easier to enter into. Remember to be gentle and patient with yourself. Meditating for even 5 or 10 minutes can have a powerful effect on your day.