Meditation is a practical tool that we can adapt into our lives to help us sleep better at night, de-stress and learn how to focus better during the day. It is a way of resting our brain from all the work it has done during the day by focusing on a peaceful thought.
“Some researchers report that those who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress,”
“By meditaing, eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.”
The purpose of meditation is to make our mind calm and peaceful. If our mind is peaceful, we will be free from worries and mental discomfort, and so we will experience true happiness; but if our mind is not peaceful, we will find it very difficult to be happy, even if we are living in the very best conditions. If we train in meditation, our mind will gradually become more and more peaceful, and we will experience a purer and purer form of happiness. Eventually, we will be able to stay happy all the time, even in the most difficult circumstances.
Usually we find it difficult to control our mind. It seems as if our mind is like a balloon in the wind – blown here and there by external circumstances. If things go well, our mind is happy, but if they go badly, it immediately becomes unhappy.
By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind
Such fluctuations of mood arise because we are too closely involved in the external situation. We are like a child making a sandcastle who is excited when it is first made, but who becomes upset when it is destroyed by the incoming tide. By training in meditation, we create an inner space and clarity that enables us to control our mind regardless of the external circumstances. Gradually we develop mental equilibrium, a balanced mind that is happy all the time, rather than an unbalanced mind that oscillates between the extremes of excitement and despondency. If we train in meditation systematically, eventually we will be able to eradicate from our mind the delusions that are the causes of all our problems and suffering. In this way, we will come to experience a permanent inner peace, known as “liberation” or “nirvana”. Then, day and night in life after life, we will experience only peace and happiness.
- Good posture Keep your spine upright and your head up.
- Open eyes Lower your eyes, but don’t close them, as that may distract your thoughts.
- Focus: Wake up “Pay soft attention to whatever you place in the center of awareness.”
- Attentive breathing Let it be natural, but notice the rhythm. Counting breaths may help.
- Be still If a thought comes to mind, focus on your breath. Keep your surroundings silent. Only meditate for as long as you feel comfortable. Enjoy the experience.
Like anything in life, there are different styles of meditation that one can utilize according to ones beliefs, time, experience and life style. Like wearing shoes, not every style of shoe fits everyone that tries it on and it is important that you try all of these techniques to find the style best suited for you. As time goes on and meditation becomes incorporated into ones life, the meditation technique that you had began with may not, over time, suit you in the furture. So be sure to keep an open mind and allow the ebb and flow, as well as the evolution of your soul and its journey, as you become more and more experienced with the process of meditation.
5 Meditation Styles For Beginners
- Mindfulness Meditation: The most well-known type of meditation, mindfulness meditation, is about being aware of the sounds and activities happening around you. It’s almost a flow-like type of meditation, because you literally just let your mind be fluid and flow from one thought to the next, not really focusing on one particular thing. For instance, if you live in a noisy city, you don’t have to block out the outside sirens and screaming children, you let your mind be aware of the sounds without becoming too focused.
- Spiritual Meditation: This type of meditation is for those who regularly participate in prayer, as it’s based on communicating with God. Just like the other styles, you must become calm and quiet and then begin to focus on a question or problem you might have. This style of meditation can feel not only relaxing, but rewarding as well.
- Focused Meditation: If the idea of clearing your mind of all thoughts stresses you out, focused meditation is great because you can focus on a sound, object, mantra, or thought. The key here is to just focus on one of these things and stay committed to that one thought or object. This is when relaxation music comes in handy. Even though you’re essentially using your mind, you’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel afterwards. In our day to day lives, our minds really are in 10 different places at once!
- Movement Meditation: Movement meditation may seem intimidating, but if you’re by yourself and you really get into it, it can be extremely uplifting and relaxing at the same time. Sitting with your eyes closed, simply focus on your breath and try out different gentle, repetitive flowing movements. Rather than focus on a sound, object, or thought, just turn your attention to your movement. I find a slow left and right swaying motion to be therapeutic, or you could try moving your entire upper body in a slow circular motion.
- Mantra Meditation: Mantras are words that are chanted loudly during meditation. It may seem odd to be making loud noises during a meditation session, but it’s actually the sounds that become the object being focused on. In yoga, the mantra Om is regularly used since it delivers a deep vibration that makes it easy for the mind to concentrate on that particular sound.
The following references were used in creating this article: