Meditation can seem like one of the hardest things to undertake. After all, you’re a busy person. Who wants to sit watching disturbing thoughts anyway? In the Eight Limb Path of Yoga, of the eight challenging steps towards liberation, meditation is number seven.

First, you must learn to focus the mind and prepare the body to sit for long periods in Asana (Hatha Yoga). After a few or more years, the lungs are open and strong enough to begin a series of strenuous breathing exercises called Pranayama, which further prepares the mind-body. From this comes Pratyahara, practicing to withdraw the senses . Once this task has been accomplished, the student learns Dharana, a lesson in concentration on a single point of focus in preparation for Dhyana, meditation. As for Samadhi, the final step on the path, those who have experienced liberation say there are no words to describe the experience.

So why even try if it takes so long to achieve liberation? Because just the act of sitting in stillness can teach you how to slow down your thinking and bring calm to your agitated mind. It can help you to find respite from the constant onslaught of our chaotic world. As it teaches you to slow your thoughts, to be fully awake in the moment, the race to go nowhere fast falls away, leaving you with a sense of great peace and well-being. That’s why.

To help establish a practice of sitting in stillness, use the Mindful Mandala cards. Begin by asking a series of questions rather than asking your mind to stop thinking. To clear your mind, you need to work through the emotional concerns that arise in your daily life. The 3-deck set of cards are intended as a guiding light through your day to day struggles. In any situation, there are always Actions you can take, Challenges to overcome, and the inherent human qualities, or Tools, that can assist you in overcoming the Challenges. Questions and situations that arise in your life can be resolved with guidance from the Mindful Mandala cards, followed by sitting in a reflective stillness. Plus, each card can be a visual tool to assist you in concentrating on a single point of focus.

With daily practice, you will be pleasantly surprised to see the benefits show up in every area of your life. You will become calmer, more focused, with more patience for your children and colleagues. Your relationship with your mate will blossom with understanding and acceptance. Most of all, you will savor the joy that occurs with each spontaneous moment. To live in the present is to live your life fully.

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