QUIET THE MIND, AND THE SOUL WILL SPEAK…
Meditation is not an act; it is a quality that naturally manifests if we cultivate the right kind of inner situation. We are taught how to move and behave in the outer world, but we are never taught how to be still and examine what is within ourselves. We learn to do this through meditation, and the joy experienced is immense and everlasting.
Meditation is simple and powerful. Although we may not entirely understand why or how it works, we know that it can enhance our health and well-being. The mind has full control of our being; therefore, having a peaceful mind reflects onto the body and radiates outward on to others. Meditation may seem hard in the begining but once one gets used to it, the peace experienced is indescribable.
ELEMENTS OF MEDITATION :
- Focused meditation – focusing your attention is what helps free your mind from the many distractions that cause stress and worry. You can focus on things such as specific object, an image, a mantra or even your breathing.
- Relaxed breathing – this technique involves deep, even-paced breathing using the diaphragm muscle to expand your lungs. The purpose is to slow your breathing, take in more oxygen and reduce the use of shoulder, neck and upper chest muscles while breathing so that you breathe more efficiently.
- A quiet setting – if you are a beginner, practice meditation in a quiet spot with few distractions including, no televisions, radios or cellphones. As you get more skilled in meditation, you may be able to do it anywhere, especially in high-stress situations such as, a traffic jam, a stressful work meeting or a long line at the grocery store.
- A comfortable position – you can practice meditation whether you are sitting, lying down, walking or in other positions or activities. Aim to keep good posture during meditation.
- Open attitude – let thoughts pass through your mind without judgement.
In meditation, the mind is clear, relaxed and inwardly focused. When you meditate, you are fully awake and alert, but your mind is not focused on the external world or on the events taking place around you. Meditation requires an inner state that is still and one-pointed so that the mind becomes silent. When the mind is silent and no longer distracts you, meditation deepens.
TYPES OF MEDITATION :
- Mindfulness meditation – in it, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns.
- Spiritual meditation – in it, you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or Universe. It can be practiced at homes or in a place of worship. This is beneficial for those who thrive in silence and seek spiritual growth.
- Focused meditation – in it, concentration is involved using any of the five senses. For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breathe or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention. This practice is ideal for anyone who requires additional focus in their life.
- Movement meditation – it includes walking through the woods, gardening and other gentle forms of motion. It is an active form of meditation where the movement guides you. It is good for people who find peace in action and prefer to let their minds wander.
- Mantra meditation – in it, repetitive sound to clear the mind is used. It can be a word, phrase or sound such as the popular “Om”. After chanting the mantra for some time, you will be more alert and in tune with your environment. This allows you to experience deeper levels of awareness.
- Transcendental meditation – it is more customization than mantra meditation, using a mantra or series of words that are specific for each practitioner. It is for those who like structure and are serious about maintaining a meditation practice.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
According to thousands of years of tradition, Buddhists meditate to understand themselves and their connections to all beings. By doing so, they hope to be released from suffering and ultimately gain enlightenment. Meditation affects many aspects of our psychological well-being — improving our mood, increasing positive emotions and decreasing our anxiety, emotional reactivity and job burnout.
- Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations.
- Building skills to manage your stress.
- Increasing self-awareness.
- Focusing on the present.
- Reducing negative emotions.
- Increasing imagination and creativity.
- Increasing aptience and tolerance.
When you meditate, you may clear away the information overload that builds up everyday and contributes to your stress.
HEALTH BENEFITS :
- Chronic Pain
- Heart Disease
- High Blood Pressure
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome
- Sleep Problems
- Tension Headaches.
The goal of meditation is to go beyond the mind and experience our essential nature – which is described as peace , happiness and bliss. But the mind itself is the biggest obstacle standing between ourselves and this awareness. The mind is undisciplined and unruly and it resists any attempts to discipline it or to guide it on a particular path. The mind has a mind of its own. That is why many people sit for meditation and experience only fantasies, daydreams or hallucinations. They never attain the stillness that distinguishes the genuine experience of deep meditation.
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