What Is Meditation?
Meditation is a means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and the practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being.
Why Should You Meditate?
Many people feel stressed and overworked with the hectic pace and demands of modern life. Our society is conditioned to be stuck in a constant go-go-go mindset. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can also go so far as to affect our health. We may feel like there isn’t enough time in the day to meditate, but meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused. A simple five, ten, or fifteen minute breathing meditation can help you to overcome your stress and find balance and inner peace. Meditation can also help us to understand ourselves. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from distraught to peaceful, and from unhappy to happy.
Benefits Of Meditation
Health Benefits of Meditation
- Lowers blood pressure
- Decreases tension-related pain, such as tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Increases serotonin production and improves mood and behavior
- Improves the immune system
- Balances stress hormones
Mental Benefits of Meditation
- Decreased stress and anxiety
- Emotional stability improves
- Creativity increases
- Happiness increases
- Intuition develops
- Promotes a calm mind
- Improves concentration
- Better clarity
- Improves communication
- Relaxation and rejuvenation of the mind
To experience the benefits of meditation, regular practice is necessary. It takes only a few minutes every day. Once it becomes a part of your daily routine, you will start to see the many benefits.
My Favourite Types Of Meditation
Many people think that they can’t meditate because they just can’t sit still for more than 2 minutes. The good news is there are several types of meditation. Here are my favourites!
Guided visualization is a newer technique that can be used for spiritual healing, stress relief, or personal development. The inspiration comes from Buddha, “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” The emphasis on one specific goal is defining. By imagining relaxing and positive experiences, the body will respond by releasing chemicals that generate feelings of positivity. This method can be done casually by imagining a certain situation in the brain. However, to achieve a more powerful experience, a guided visualization experience is key. Audio and video clips are available for guided visualization.
When you think of doing yoga, your first association might be with the physical practice. But the act of focusing your mind is also part of a well-rounded yoga experience, and is a form of meditation. Learning to meditate in yoga involves more than sitting still for a few moments each day. The more you’re able to quiet your thoughts through yoga meditation, the more you experience a sense of true presence. Being in the moment helps create that beneficial mind-body connection that yoga is known for.
Guided meditation is a process by which one or more participants meditate in response to the guidance provided by a trained practitioner or teacher, either in person or via a written text, sound recording, or video. This is a great way to start out if you are new to mediation. Searching “Guided Meditation” online will give you plenty of different resources.
Conjuring mindfulness is essential in overcoming suffering and understanding natural wisdom. It is all about acknowledging reality by letting the mind wander, accepting any thoughts that come up, and understanding the present. The practice is done by sitting with eyes close, crossed legs, the back straight, and attention placed on breathing in and out. For the period of meditation the individual focuses on his or her breathing, and when wandering thoughts emerge, one returns to focusing on the object of meditation, breathing. Research has found that a regimen of mindfulness can reduce anxiety, depression, and perceived distress.
The best thing to do would be to try out different types of meditation to see which resonates best with you. You want to choose a style that you enjoy so that you stick to your practice!