People around the world are known for mind-altering and concentration skills. There are several skills or methods that people do to manipulate their mental states, and these ranges from the use of:
• Psychedelic pharmaceuticals
• Hypnagogic induction
• Binaural Beats
• Bio-feedback, etc.
Though some of these methods may be unhealthy and dangerous like recreational drug use, some others, including hypnosis, biofeedback, and meditation usually positively affect and improve our health and mental state.
Though experts find it quite difficult to define meditation due to different techniques and methods used across different cultural practitioners, it can simply be put that meditation is a consciousness-altering technique that has been shown to have a wide range of benefits on human’s psychological health and development.
What Exactly Is Meditation?
Meditation can thus be defined as a range of techniques designed to induce a finely tuned state of mental awareness and sharpened cognition.
Practitioners of meditation use a common method known as mindfulness; it is focusing the mind on a thought, activity, action or object to train consciousness and awareness, to attain a clear, calm and stable mental and emotional state.
As earlier stated, it is a fact that the original form of meditation is quite difficult to understand because of the different forms, methods, and techniques practiced by different practitioners.
The earliest known documentation of meditation goes back in time as far as the 19th century which was from the Buddhist tradition of Vedantism.
Regardless, meditation had always been a custom or discipline in many cultures and religious cults since classical times primarily as a foundation in the quest towards knowledge, insight, and enlightenment or self-realization.
It has spread from its initial roots to other parts of the world’s civilization where it has become an everyday lifestyle habit amongst both private and business individuals and structures.
Also, meditation is rightfully practiced to reduce stress, depression, worries, pain, anxiety, and stress-related ailments and in exchange transforming the mind, boosting self-esteem, inner peace, perception, insight, and general well-being.
It is still undergoing scientific scrutiny to verify other psychological, physiological, cardiovascular, and neurological effects.
Yes! Meditation transforms peoples mind, the meditation techniques or practice method used in Buddhism Meditation seeks to enforce and build concentration, mind positivity, enlightenment, self-realization, and a clear insight of your immediate environment and beyond.
Consistent effort and persistence would push such a new state of mind intensify to a completely peaceful primed state of mind. These experiences would eventually lead one to achieve self-realization, mental enlightenment, and a keen appreciation of life.
Some key points on meditation:
• Meditation is no stranger to people as it has been regarded by different ethnic
settlement since the days of yore.
• Meditation rituals and customs are used in most known religion, which includes;
Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Islam Hinduism, Sufism, and Bahai.
• Regardless of its religious usage, meditation is also widely practiced by lots of
people autonomous of any spiritual or religious affiliation.
• Meditation is also used as a form of psychotherapeutic skill.
Meditation Steps for Beginners
Here are a few steps to starting a meditation exercise
• First, a meditation chair may be needed for comfortable sitting, or you may lie down.
still, but getting a posture of comfort is the primary necessity.
• Keep your eyes closed.
• Breathe slowly then naturally without any form of control.
• Concentrate now on the breathing and its corresponding body movements. Take note of
the movement of the chest, shoulders, belly, and rib cage all the while putting no
conscious effort to control its rhythm or depth.
• Always ensure to refocus your mind on the breathing if you digress in thoughts.
• Sustain this exercise for about two to three minutes to begin, and then push the time
limit further for a longer duration.
Meditation For Kids
Children learn in an entirely different way from adults learning pattern, hence a different approach to meditation is best mediated.
Facts finding makes us understand that children acquire knowledge and learn by mostly observing and try to practice what they see, be sure to set a good pace or guide by integrating meditation into an everyday routine.
Tips For Kids Meditation
First thing to remember, an exclusive relaxing space should be designed or made.
Being naturally inclined and adept at playing games, it would be wise to start with a little fun by integrating rhythms into breathing exercises.
Teach them the benefit of staying quiet, its perception enhancement, and having a quiet time to reflect on our actions, thoughts, and feelings.
Taking advantage of their patterned lifestyle, it would be best to set a daily specific time integrating meditation practice that they can look forward to.
Start with a minimum of 5 minutes daily, which can then be increased gradually over time. The children will automatically begin anticipating such meditation practice daily as part of their daily lifestyle.
Meditation For Anxiety
Curbing anxiety, worries, stress, and related illnesses are much easier with mindfulness meditation exercise.
Mindfulness meditation exercise helps to slow down negative emotions build-up, relaxes the mind and body, as well as scattered thoughts, it is also a great treatment technique for panic attacks.
Types Of Meditation
Meditation can have severally different kinds, but two of them stand out that the majority of the rest falls under it, and they are:
• Concentrative meditation
• Mindfulness meditation
What Are The Differences Between Two Major Kinds?
In concentrative meditation, your mind is cynosure on a particular reality or matter while blanking out everything else around you.
This action aims to have an intimate experience or exposure to what your mind is fixated on, may it be your breath, a word or a mantra, in a bid to attain self-realization.
Comprehensively, mindfulness meditation requires a conscious state of being of perception to soak up the reality of the environment around you, and while involving in the present moment and making yourself open, enlightened, and accommodative.
Mindfulness meditation is further split into mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT).
Mindfulness meditation practice can help resolve psychological ailments, such as depression, which means that its focal points may be varied from practice to practice.
Meditation may be an old custom, but it’s still very much useful, practiced, and in trend among various customs and mores around the globe to create a harmonious mental state and inner tranquility.
Regardless of many affiliations to a host of different religious cults, meditation has little to do with faith and more about altering consciousness, elevated mental states, and achieving enlightenment.
Meditation has seen exponential relevance and approval these current times as a result of the plenary tide of busy workplaces and routines, which causes much stress on humans.
Six Widely Approved Types
The following are the current six widely approved types of meditation practice:
• Mindfulness meditation
• Spiritual meditation
• Focused meditation
• Movement meditation
• Mantra meditation
• Transcendental meditation
Figure Out Which One Works Best For You
It should be noted that not every meditation exercise is fit for everyone depending on individual nature disposition, mental process, and psyche. These make meditation require different techniques, methods, type, and science of the mind to practice.
How then can we figure out what type works best for us? According to Mira Dessy, a meditation author and holistic nutritionist “meditation is what feels comfortable and what you feel encouraged to practice”
The following explanation would help you refine your search for what to choose the best for your individual type.
Mindfulness meditation has its roots from ancient Buddhist discipline and now gained much widespread acclaim in the Western world today as the widely practiced form of meditation.
Mindfulness meditation, as we had mentioned earlier, this type of meditation would require one to regard or acknowledge thoughts that pass through the mind, be it positive or negative without repressing them.
Instead of repressing those thoughts that passing thought your mind, mindfulness meditation wants you to take a third person spectators view to observe those thoughts’ patterns and rhythms.
Because of high concentration needed to perform this kind of meditation, it is best to still your breath while observing breathing motions and thoughts as they come and go.
This is the most simple kind of meditation that only require you and your thoughts, you will not be needing any mentor to help you on this.
Spiritual meditation is a form of meditation that is widely practiced in far Eastern religions; Hinduism and Daoism and also in Christianity.
This kind of meditation is akin to a form of prayer where you muse or ponder on the silence and quiet around you to find a much more discerning connection with your God or The Universe.
Quintessential oils and spices are frequently applied to heighten the spiritual sensitivity.
Some Of The Most Commonly Used Spices For This Meditation
Prominent ones but not limited to the following includes:
• Palo Santo
Spiritual meditation is usually practiced at home or in a temple, church, or worship center. It is beneficial for people who are no stranger to the bliss of silence, peace, and tranquility and wants to experience a more profound spiritual growth or journey.
Focused meditation is simply a focal concentration using one of the five senses expressively by taking the sense to its absolute limit.
For example, you can focus on internal occurrences, like your thoughts or breathe rhythm, or you may bring in external occurrences to help focus your mind.
Some of the starting tips could help you achieve mental calmness sooner. Try counting beads or legume seeds, listening to a bell or clicking sound, or staring at an eye-friendly dim light source.
This practice is quite difficult for beginners to sustain their attention for more than a minute or two, even though it seems simple in theory. However, losing focus a few times should not get you discouraged.
Instead, always make an effort to refocus your mind, and keep practicing as the result or aim is to help one build extra focus in their life.
A lot of people always feel movement meditation is all about yoga, and that is all there is to it.
No! It is instead, this form of meditation could involve walking through breezy grasslands, Chinese qigong, gardening, or other forms of gentle motion that you prefer.
It is the kind of meditation where you have no particular destination in mind, but you just let the movement of your body lead you. Movement meditation is fantastic for people who find peace in action and would rather let their minds roam free.
Mantra meditation holds serious sway or prominence in many disciplines, including Hindu and Buddhist religion and discipline, respectively.
This form of meditation requires or makes use of a recurring sound to focus the mind. It could be a word, phrase, or sound, such as the well-known “Om.”
It does not have any rules on the sound, choose what works the best for you, it can be loud or soft-spoken. After chanting a mantra for some time, you will find yourself more aware, and on the same wavelength with your environment.
This would let you come into contact with deeper levels of consciousness. Several people prefer mantra meditation because of the ease at focusing on a phrase than their breath, and it’s also an excellent meditation practice for people who are void of silence in their life and enjoy replication.
Transcendental meditation is the prevalent or widely held type of meditation around the world, especially the western world, and the one that the most scientific research has been carried out on.
Transcendental meditation is much more personalized than mantra meditation, using a mantra or string of phrases that are unique to each practitioner.
Transcendental meditation is highly recommended for people with a highly structured lifestyle, and is serious about sustaining meditation as a practice.
Benefits Of Meditation
Scientific research done has proven both the physiological and psychological positive effects of meditation on the human body.
The positive physiological effects include a lowered state of physical arousal, reduced respiration rate, decreased heart rate, changes in brain wave patterns, and lowered stress.
The following is a list of some of the other psychological, emotional, and health-related benefits of meditation. It includes:
• Positive changes in various aspects of attention.
• Amplified stress management skills
• Invigorated emotional well-being
• Promotes superior management of symptoms of conditions including anxiety disorders,
depression, sleep disorders, pain issues, and high blood pressure
• Gains in memory retention and bodily fluid mechanics
• Increased self-awareness
• Curtails the blood pressure
• Diminish anxiety and worries
• Decreases pain
• Reduces symptoms of depression
• Improves sleeping habits
Regardless of the benefits being prejudiced or scientifically proven, people who generally observe a daily routine practice of meditation are confident of the benefits in their lives.