For experts like Steve Ross, meditation helps us access the happiness that's within us all.
When Suze Yalof Schwartz, former executive fashion editor-at-large for Glamour Magazine asked her mother-in-law what she should do about all the stress she was experiencing in her chaotic life, the answer seemed all too simple.
“Meditate,” she was told.
But Schwartz didn’t know how to meditate and she didn’t know how to learn to meditate so she signed up for every meditation retreat in the Los Angeles area. Before long, she knew she was on to something big. She was hooked, blissed out, and ready to say goodbye to fashion and open her own meditation studio. Unplug Meditation was born. Today, Schwartz is convinced that we can all benefit from unplugging our devices and meditating.
Schwartz is also grateful to longtime yoga instructor Steve Ross, known as the "guru of Los Angeles", for helping her along on her journey inward. Ross, author of "Happy Yoga" reminds people of how to find blissful happiness from awareness. Ross contends that happiness comes from meditation because you’re connecting directly to the source of bliss. And you can only be happy in the present moment.
“If you think back in your life to most of the times that you were really happy, you were fully there - sexual experiences, dancing - anything that requires you to be fully present,” says Ross.
The things we often think make us happy are indirect sources of happiness. While you can never get enough of the feeling of happiness, the things we think bring happiness can easily be overdone. Too much chocolate gives you a stomach ache and too much wine makes you drunk, for example.
“Meditation is a balancing technique,” says Ross. “We’re always looking outside ourselves. In the balance, there’s the possibility of transcendence.”
For Charlotte Walter meditation instructor and author of "Allowing Your Fears to Transform You," it’s also a way to cultivate love within you--love for yourself and love for all living beings. [Charlotte Walter, Laura Klein's mother; Laura is Organic Authority's co-founder and editor-in-chief.]
“When I wake up, frequently I may feel down or out of sorts but when I sit for meditation I surrender to divine love until I feel calm and grounded,” says Walter.
Walter says that both love and happiness are our true nature but life sometimes clouds us with negative emotions, namely fear.
“Happiness comes without struggle,” says Walter. “Struggling is the resistance that comes from an inability to let go. Your outer life is produced from your inner life.”
Meditation is key because happiness only happens in the present moment and the only way to learn to be present is through meditation.
Wanna get started meditating? Here are some tips from our experts:
-Start with guided meditations whether in a group setting or using a podcast. (You can download meditations for free at TheDimensionalShift.com to get started.)
-Start with ten minutes and only add on more as you feel ready.
-Follow your breath, watching it on the inhale or exhale. When you lose focus (and you will) come back to the breath.
-Try a mantra.
-Consider guided visualization meditations.
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Image: Tom Hart