I may have blogged about this before, but I feel it is so important, that I am going to repeat this message once again.

Meditation can take many forms. Basically it is sitting quietly for twenty minutes to an hour once or twice a day. This cleansing of the mind is not a religion and you don’t have to ‘believe’ anything to meditate.

Many people say they don’t have the time for this. Simply get up twenty minutes earlier than you normally would and meditate then. It is said that twenty minutes of meditation gives your body the same amount of rest as two hours of sleep.

I know this to be true. I have been meditating for nearly forty years and have only missed a day or two here or there. On those days, I was reminded by the fact that around four in the afternoon, I was ‘nodding’ off.

There are classes you can take to learn to do this and that is what I did. Some people can pick it up from a book, but I think you would have to be pretty motivated to do that.

The type of meditaion I have done for nearly forty years is called Transcendental Meditation. In this type, you are given a mantra, which is a meaningless two syllable phrase  to help your mind to think of nothing else.

At first it is hard not to think of chores, and what you could be doing, but if you keep repeating the mantra in your head, you will soon find that your mind will dive down to a calmer place and the time will pass very quickly.

It is important not to be interrupted during this private time. Best if the room is dark, save a candle. It is a good idea to silence your phones and find a comfortable place to sit. Also ask other family members not to disturb you and put a Do Not Disturb sign on your door.

At first you may share this new relaxation system with others. Most of them will poo poo this and try to make you feel like an idiot. Some will actually say they would like to learn too.

Don’t bother trying to convert anyone or teach anyone to do this. It they pay for their lessons and take the time to do so, great. Otherwise, skip it. In forty years, I have only one friend who also meditates. And he was doing this way before I ever met him.

You are supposed to sit upright in a chair or on the floor with no back support. I don’t do this. I just sit up in bed and lean against a pile of pillows.

Also it is a good idea to have a clock in sight, so you can glance up and see when your time is up. Some people set their iPhone alarms to a soothing sound to signal the end of their time.

For the past few months I have added the burning of a stick of incense to my routine. I enjoy the fragrance and it is relaxing. I use a type of Tibetan incense, which I ordered on Amazon through Tom’s Incense. It is about $10 for a pack of 19 sticks. I break these in half and they are more than enough for a twenty minute session.

When my children were teenagers I got them into this also. My daughters felt it calmed them and helped clear their minds for their studies.

My seventeen year old son was very reluctant, but agreed to try it. I told him it would help him in his pole vaulting skills. He thought that was a lot of bunk, but after two weeks of meditating, he reached heights he had never before been able to achieve.

Whatever your motivation, it can’t hurt. I think it gives your brain and your nervous system a ‘rest’. Think of the turbulence of the ocean on the surface. Then when you ‘dive’ down, the water is calm and peaceful.

It is like that. Try it. You might like it.

Oh, by the way, results are cumulative.