As we know, meditation has been practiced around the world for hundreds if not thousands of years.
It’s a technique used to quiet the mind, body and various meditation techniques have the added benefit of relieving stress.
It can also bring focus and clarity. Many say that after meditating the problems they’ve been struggling with miraculously fade away. It has also been known to inspire people to be more creative as their subconscious thoughts come to light.
The most known form of meditation requires you to sit in a quiet room, on a pillow, cross-legged on the floor or in a comfortable chair. No matter which position you choose it’s important to always make sure your spine is straight. It’s a good idea to use the same place every day, at least in the beginning. The more personalized your spot is the better. You can decorate it with candles, flowers, and pictures of the people you love.
As we have discussed before, the idea is to sit quietly, with your eyes closed, and focus on a point inside of your forehead. Try not to think of anything in particular, allowing your mind to become calm, and peaceful. If you find that your mind is ‘chattering’, don’t try to control it, just let it finish what it is that it is working on, it will eventually quiet down.
If you’re a beginner, you should begin with short ten to twenty minute sessions, each day. After a while, you will start to feel deep relaxation and joy during these sessions and you will be able to meditate longer.
Another technique is almost like a form of self-hypnosis. Begin by sitting in a quiet, comfortable spot, making sure you are facing a wall about eight feet away from you. Pick a spot or object on that wall, and make it your focal point. Looking at your focal point, begin counting backwards from 100, one number for each breath you exhale. As you do this, imagine yourself floating, and feeling very relaxed. You will begin to feel your eyelids getting heavy, and may begin to blink.
Let your eyes slowly close, and as you continue to count backwards, imagine yourself as limp as a ragdoll, totally relaxed, and floating in a safe and comfortable place. Stop counting, and just float in your space. If any disturbing thoughts should come while in your space, just let them flow out again, and allow yourself to continue to feel safe and relaxed. This technique can help you to cope with stress, and discharge the tension that accumulates during stressful situations.
When you are ready to come out of this state of self-hypnosis, you can simply let yourself drift off to sleep, or you can count from one to three and exit. First, count one, and get yourself ready to exit. At two, take a deep breath, and hold for a few seconds. At three, exhale and open your eyes slowly. As you open your eyes, continue to hold on to that relaxed and comfortable feeling.
As you gain experience, you may want to increase the length of your sessions to thirty minutes or more as your schedule allows. In the fast-paced lifestyles of today, it is so important that we take care of ourselves mentally and physically. Including time for meditation is a great way to do that.
Different Techniques Of Meditation
To help broaden your horizons, here are a few of the most commonly practiced methods of meditation you can try.
– Breath watching
Can meditating be as simple as paying attention to your breath for a few minutes? Yes it can! Relax in whatever position works best for you, close your eyes and start to pay attention to your breathing. Breathing through your nose gets your diaphragm involved and gets oxygen all the way to the bottom of your lungs. As your mind wanders, just re-focus your attention on the air going in and out of your nose. Try this for a few minutes or longer and you will begin to feel its effects.
– Empty Mind Meditation
Meditating can create a kind of “awareness without object,” an emptying of all thoughts from your mind. This technique involves sitting still, often in a “full lotus” or cross-legged position, and letting the mind go silent on its own. It can be difficult at first, particularly after a stressful day but with practice it will become easier.
– Walking Meditation
This one gets the body involved. It can be outside or simply walking back and forth in a quiet room. Pay attention to the movement of your legs, body and breathing as you walk. Try concentrating on the feeling of your feet contacting the ground. When your mind wanders, just keep bringing it back to the process of walking and breathing. Meditating outside in this way can be difficult because of the distractions. If you do decide to try it outside, find a quiet place with level ground.
– Mindfulness Meditation
A practice Buddhists call Vipassana or “clear insight” meditation, is the art of becoming deeply aware of what is here right now. You focus on what’s happening in and around you at this very moment, and become aware of all the thoughts and feelings that are taking your energy from moment to moment. You can start by watching your breath, and then move your attention to the thoughts going through your mind, the feelings in your body, and even the sounds and sights around you. The key is to watch without judging or analyzing.
– Mantra Meditation
Many people find it easier to keep their mind from wandering if they concentrate on something specific. A mantra can help. This is a word or phrase that you’ll repeat while meditating. In some cultures, an experienced master chooses it for you. If you are working on this alone, you can use any word or phrase that works for you, and can choose to either repeat it aloud or in your head as you meditate.
– Concept Meditation
Some meditative practices involve the contemplation of an idea or scenario. An example of this is the “meditation on impermanence,” in which you focus on the temporary nature of all things, starting with your thoughts and feelings as they come and go.
There are many other types of meditation, such as the meditation on loving-kindness or object meditation. Each type has its own advantages and benefits.