Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Mind and body

Put your mind at ease with meditation

Ever notice how driving a car over the same patch of grass leaves a track? When you continue to drive over the same spot, the track gets more pronounced, deeper, perhaps even destroying the grass beneath it. Your brain, which is soft and spongy, works much the same way. When we teach our minds to react in a certain manner, conjure the same emotions and live the same life, we create those tracks. We teach ourselves every single day how to react, how to be treated and how to move forward. So how do you fill in the tracks on your lawn? You stop driving over them so new growth can happen, life can return and traces of the past disappear. How can meditation heal your mind from old habits and repetitions? Keep reading.

Recognize the presence of fear and worry: Quite often, we hear that nagging voice that talks to us about the future, spinning tales of failure and defeat. We listen to this voice, playing the game of "what if" for longer than we ever intended. We might even find ourselves immersed in the scenarios our mind creates, keeping us from experiencing the moments we are in, where reality exists. Sitting in silence keeps us focused on here and now, instead of when and maybe.

Negate the effects of fear and worry: Emotions can wreak havoc on our bodies over time. Turning on our stress response over and over puts it into overtime and breeds chronic stress that taxes the body so completely the adrenal glands may fail. Seventy percent of our immune system lives in our digestive tract and chronic stress compromises our defenses. You know that knot in your stomach? It's trying to tell you something.

Choose the counter of fear and worry: Meditation practice gives us tools to combat the effects of stress. There is much to be said for the power of being present to cultivate an environment of healing that begins with and in our mind and resonates throughout our entire body. Making conscious choices to think differently takes time and perseverance, but we are all teachable.

Let go of fear and worry: As we progress with our meditation, we begin to connect to another voice within, one that guides us unconditionally — the voice that reminds us we are okay right now, and that no matter what is placed in our path, we can find a way through. Winston Churchill once said, "If you're going through hell, keep going."

Move into love and trust: When we connect to our internal guidance system, our intuition, our knowing, over and over again, we fill in the trenches we've created in our minds that compel us into the same reasoning. Just like breaking a habit, or learning a language, our minds have the innate ability to unlearn and relearn. Teach your mind every single day to stay present, connect to your higher self and move forward with love and trust.

Diana Reed is a yoga teacher, writer and co-owner of Gaya Jyoti Yoga in Hernando County. She can be reached at or (352) 610-1083.

Put your mind at ease with meditation 05/27/14 [Last modified: Tuesday, May 27, 2014 4:56pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Told not to look, Donald Trump looks at the solar eclipse


    Of course he looked.

    Monday's solar eclipse — life-giving, eye-threatening, ostensibly apolitical — summoned the nation's First Viewer to the Truman Balcony of the White House around 2:38 p.m. Eastern time.

    The executive metaphor came quickly.

    President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump view the solar eclipse from the Truman balcony of the White House, in Washington, Aug. 21, 2017. [Al Drago | New York Times]
  2. Secret Service says it will run out of money to protect Trump and his family Sept. 30


    WASHINGTON — The Secret Service said Monday that it has enough money to cover the cost of protecting President Donald Trump and his family through the end of September, but after that the agency will hit a federally mandated cap on salaries and overtime unless Congress intervenes.

    Secret service agents walk with President Donald Trump after a ceremony to welcome the 2016 NCAA Football National Champions the Clemson Tigers on the South Lawn of the White House on June 12, 2017. [Olivier Douliery | Sipa USA via TNS]
  3. After fraught debate, Trump to disclose new Afghanistan plan


    WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump will unveil his updated Afghanistan policy Monday night in a rare, prime-time address to a nation that broadly shares his pessimism about American involvement in the 16-year conflict. Although he may send a few thousand more troops, there are no signs of a major shift in …

    U.S. soldiers patrol the perimeter of a weapons cache near the U.S. military base in Bagram, Afghanistan in 2003. Sixteen years of U.S. warfare in Afghanistan have left the insurgents as strong as ever and the nation's future precarious. Facing a quagmire, President Donald Trump on Monday will outline his strategy for a country that has historically snared great powers and defied easy solutions.  [Associated Press (2003)]
  4. Trial begins for man accused of threatening to kill Tampa federal judge


    TAMPA — Jason Jerome Springer was in jail awaiting trial on a firearms charge when he heard inmates talking about a case that had made the news.

    His attorney said Jason Jerome Springer, 39, just talked, and there was “no true threat.”

  5. Editorial: Tampa Electric customers should not pay for utility's fatal misjudgments


    There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers. Monetary considerations will not begin to …

    LUIS SANTANA   |   Times
There will be financial fallout from the terrible miscalculations that resulted in five workers being killed in June at Tampa Electric's Big Bend Power Station. State and federal regulators should ensure those costs are borne by the company's shareholders, not its customers.