As we live through everyday life, we have stress factors that can affect us at every turn. Work, money, bills, relationships, and children are all factors that can cause us stress in our lives. We can not control whether we have stress, but we can control how we allow the stress to affect us.
I have studied traditional chinese medicine and believe in Ch'i. Ch'i is the life-force which many people call energy, holy spirit, or feelings. Regardless of what you may want to name it, it is the driving force which resides in all of us. Ch'i flows through our body like blood through our bloodstream. It flows along what is called meridians. Meridians are the lines or pathways similar to our veins and arteries. Ch'i can affect our emotional state. It can make us angry, happy, sad as well as many other emotions when it is not flowing properly. Ch'i can also affect our physical bodies. Blockages in our Ch'i can cause sore muscles, illnesses, and many other physical issues. Learning to clear those blockages can also treat many of those illnesses and other issues. There are many ways to treat blockages in our Ch'i, acupuncture being one of the more well known methods, as well as acupressure, massage, herbal remedies, and meditation.
Meditation is also a method of maintaining and controlling our Ch'i. Meditation is used as a way to help us deal with the everyday struggles which affect our physical and mental well-being. There are various forms of meditation that are used by people, and you may use it and not even know it. Have you ever sat and taken five minutes to just relax and breathe? That is a form of mediation. Meditate is defined by Webster's dictionary as the engagement of thought or contemplation. Many people believe that meditation is a religious, fake, or new age farce. Many people that don't understand meditation see it as pointless with no beneficial purpose. People that pray are mediating, sitting to relax and clear your mind is meditating. Whether you do these things to feel better emotionally or to be more focused it is still a form of meditation. Once you can view meditation as a tool used widely and not within the confines of a belief system or far-fetched new age remedy, you can begin to allow the benefits of a balanced Ch'i help with the stresses that affect you everyday.
This will be a three part series, in the next series I will go over meditation principles and practices, methods of mediation, and patterns to help deal with different emotional states.