A variety of books can jumpstart the practice. photo by Kema Clark
A variety of books can jumpstart the practice. photo by Kema Clark
Meditation. It works.

Many people practice meditation and know that it improves their lives mentally and physically. But a lot more people have never tried it and don’t understand how it can help them.

It won’t cost you a lot of money, you can try it on your own time, and you don’t need to be part of group. When you discover it makes you feel happier, decreases your stress, and helps you relax, you will know it was time well spent.

Start simple. You don’t have to go to a class. You don’t have to have an instructor in front of you. You can try it in your backyard, living room, or your car or truck.

Meditation can help you move all that worry and stress out of your mind and bring in the good thoughts that calm you and decrease your anxiety.

Think of it as a fitness routine for your mind. Start with practicing five minutes every day.

Find a quiet place to sit, close your eyes and start breathing in through your nose and out through your mouth. It will help you focus if you do that 8-10 times.

Some experts on meditation will say your next steps should be letting thoughts filter through your mind, just flow in and back out.

Others will tell you to picture mountains, or a lake, or whatever you love to look at. Concentrate your thoughts on the colors, the sound of wind in the trees.

Many of you are thinking “I never have a quiet place to sit! My kids or spouse or friends or relatives are always around and talking.”

All you need is five minutes to start with. You can stop in a parking lot on your way home, set your phone alarm for 5 minutes, put your seat back a little, close your eyes and start the steps.

A good way to relax and get into meditation is to pick up a book on meditation at Paulina Springs Books (242 W. Hood Ave., Sisters).

“Real Happiness,” by Sharon Salzberg, is the No. 1 book on the verywellmind.com website (https://www.verywellmind.com/best-books-on-meditation-4160661) and Paulina Springs Books has it on their shelf waiting for you.

Other excellent choices are: “How to Relax,” by Thich Nhat Hanh; “The Mindful Day,” by Laurie J. Cameron; “Rewilding: Meditations, Practices, and Skills for Awakening in Nature,” by Micah Mortali; and “Dear Universe: 200 Mini-Meditations for Instant Manifestations,” by Sarah Prout.

You can find all of these at Paulina Springs Books, and all carry five-star ratings.

According to Prevention.com, meditation can improve mental health, boost your brain, help you deal with pain and more. Visit https://www.prevention.com/health/a22679621/health-benefits-of-meditation/ for other information to improve your health.

The website “Declutter The Mind” provides some very down-to-earth information for beginners. https://declutterthemind.com/blog/how-to-meditate-guided-walkthrough/. They also have YouTube videos.