Alternative Health
Stress-Free Living

The Benefits of Meditation and Waking Up

by Barb Schmidt, author of THE PRACTICE

Waking Up is a daily morning meditation that helps you tap into your inner source of strength and wisdom. These quiet minutes establish your intention to be present and mindful throughout the day. This morning meditation helps to calm, center, and empower you as you establish a peaceful state of mind. It enables you to greet life’s challenges and opportunities from a grounded place. Embrace this simple morning routine and discover its life-changing benefits!

Here are some of the benefits for your physical and emotional health. Meditation…..

Improves concentration

Relieves stress

Deepens relaxation

Slows breathing

Shifts perspective

Helps center energy

Calms the mind

Strengthens ability to let things go

Increases awareness of thoughts

Reduces mental chatter

Eases restlessness

Taps into the innermost self

The Waking Up Meditation practice accommodates a busy lifestyle. If you’re new to a meditation practice, it’s perfectly fine to start with five minutes. After meditating consistently for a week or more, you may feel a desire to lengthen your meditation. For me, the ideal time is 30 minutes. I recommend that you meditate for the length of time that feels right for you. The main purpose is to have a meditation practice that is consistent. You wake up and meditate every morning before beginning your day.

Countless variations for meditating exist. If you already meditate, feel free to use your current method or adapt elements of the Waking Up Meditation below.

1.     Dedicate a quiet place to practice your meditation. Sit on a chair, cushion, or the floor with your head, neck, and spine in a straight line and your back supported. Find a comfortable position, but not so comfortable that you fall asleep.

2.     Close your eyes. Take a few deep, cleansing breaths. Breath is your first and last relationship with your inner self in life. Focusing on your breath calms and connects you with your inner self during meditation.

3.     Breathe normally and release any distractions that come up. Focus on your breath, and then slowly repeat a spiritual text prayer or your Sacred Mantra until your mind quiets. (In my book The Practice, I define a Sacred Mantra as s “a word, phrase, verse, or prayer with a long history of use that is hallowed or considered holy by the tradition or culture from which it originated, which you have personally chosen for your use.”) As thoughts come up, which they will inevitably do throughout the meditation, allow them to pass without engaging them.

4.     As your concentration deepens, your nervous system relaxes. Resist any temptation to sleep by bringing your body away from the wall or chair temporarily. If necessary, open your eyes or stand up for a moment. Be patient; sleep is something that comes to all of us who meditate. The whole aim is to stay awake, let the thoughts in your mind come and go, and stay in your meditation chair or cushion for the length of your time.

5.     You may wish to end your meditation time with a personal prayer, spiritual reading, or some quiet time. Notice how you feel. Establish your intention to carry this thread of peacefulness from your meditation throughout your day.

6.     As you leave your meditation space, call upon your Sacred Mantra, repeating it silently as you walk into the new day.

Barb Schmidt teaches The Practice—a three-part guide to practical spirituality in today’s modern world. Her not-for-profit organization, Peaceful Mind Peaceful Life, has quickly expanded to include an online community via Facebook and through the weekly blog at She is the author of The Practice: Simple Tools for Managing Stress, Finding Inner Peace, and Uncovering Happiness, which can be bought from amazon. For more information about Barb and her work, visit

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