According to Traditional Chinese Medicine, winter is the phase of ‘condensed Yin’; a time of rest, being rather passive than active, time for purification and regulation.
It is the perfect time to address life issues such as thinking about one’s life direction or purpose, ambition or stamina, to re-assess the choices we made or are about to make, to listen to the power of silence and what is said between words.
The corresponding element is Water, which stands for flow and change and while this naturally – and historically – is a time where people are most prone to fear and anxiety, which at the same time gives us the opportunity to respond to crises with courage, audacity or bravery.
The perfect tools to match and utilise the energy of winter are deep relaxation and meditation. Several studies and clinical research have confirmed that meditation helps to lower blood pressure, reduces the risk of heart attack or stroke, boosts intelligence, stimulates stem cell growth, relieves depression and anxiety, and even aids weight loss, eases chronic pain, decreases substance abuse or reduces hyperactivity in children.
While some people equate meditation with sitting cross legged in a corner in front of a Buddha, meditation can be performed in many ways, which can be categorised in different categories:
A passive meditation is where you actually sit or lie down and are in some way guided through a meditation in form of a story, metaphor, analogy or very clear instructions.
The participants follow the instructions or the story, which can be specifically tailored to a life issue or a certain purpose, like stress management, focus and concentration, goal achievement, self-awareness or personal growth or to address emotional imbalances.
Passive meditation can be beneficial if a person is in an acute state of pain or overwhelm, because it allows the participant to physically and mentally relax almost instantly, just by simply sitting or lying down.
An active meditation is generally rather self-generated and requires a bit more responsibility, which is the very reason why it usually is also more beneficial and effective.
There are many ways to meditate actively, including writing, active imagination, visualisation or mindful exercises like Qi Gong, Tai Chi or Yoga.
The benefits of meditation are manifold, sustainable and long-term. Whether you intent to release pain, improve your overall health, increase your energy, better manage emotions or generally balance them, boost your confidence, courage, memory or concentration skills or use meditation to attract success, manifest goals or the quality of your personal or professional relationships, there is always a meditation that supports your objective, no matter how ‘big or small’.
Meditation is an inexpensive, efficient and natural tool to relax and even heal
When Chinese tradition mentions Wu Wei – the path to relaxation – they suggest the following approach:
- Do not try to relax, simply perform those techniques which lead to relaxation.
- Decide what your objective is. Select techniques of action that should achieve your objective, then forget the objective and focus on experiencing the techniques.
- Don’t worry about expectations or outcomes, have total awareness of what you are doing and feeling when you perform the techniques.
- During the doing, enjoy and be aware of doing only. Be there, experience the moment.
- Periodically seek feedback to assure you have selected the right techniques.
Meditation is one technique to reduce, cope with or eliminate stress and increase your enerCHI.