Mind and Meditation

The word meditation sounds heavy to many of us. Often we are not sure what to do in mediation or why one should meditate at all. So, before learning meditation, we need to understand the role of our mind.  The mind’s job is to think. It thinks constantly. We have approximately 36,000 thoughts per day. That makes it 20 to 25 thoughts per minute and many times we do not even realize it.

Our mind creates many different types of thoughts. When we start paying close attention, we realize that very many of them are wasteful thoughts. Each thought uses energy and, with so many thoughts per day, we use up a lot of energy. When the energy is drained, it leaves us tired and distressed and soon prone to be upset, angry, or annoyed. It not only disturbs our own mood, but also the moods of others.

This is where meditation helps.

Meditation trains us to guide our mind in what we think rather than allowing the mind to control us. Meditation increases concentration power, it helps us make the right decisions at the right time and gives us more clarity. The most important journey we can take is the journey within. This is a journey to the truth of who we really are. This is the place, just beyond every day consciousness, where spiritual empowerment begins. Spiritual power gives us the power to choose creative thinking rather than automated thinking; response rather than reaction; peace, love and harmony rather than stress, conflict and chaos.

Like any skill, meditation requires practice to achieve satisfying results. More and more people are adding some kind of meditation to their daily routine either as an effective antidote to stress, or as a simple method of relaxation. By doing a little meditation every day, it soon becomes a natural and easy habit which generously rewards us for the effort it involves.

The library has some options to help you get started:

Many branches of the Mercer County Library System have programming which includes meditation.  One example is the Lawrence Branch’s weekly meditation circle (every Friday afternoon at 2:30 pm).  Please take a look at our system calendar to see everything that is offered.


The Power of Meditation by Christopher Titmuss is a book for beginners with many illustrations and practical tips for integrating meditation into a busy schedule.

Guided Mindfulness Meditation by Jon Kabat-Zinn is a series on CD guiding the listener through exercises with an emphasis on reducing stress.

For those that want visual examples, Meditation for Beginners by Rodney Yee is a DVD that starts right from the basics.

--Leena Iyengar


  1. The term 'meditation' does confound many, including me. You have truly explained it simply and beautifully!

    - Radhika


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