Have you heard or tried meditation?
Many successful people praise it as a staple of their overall wellbeing and a focusing practice which helps getting stuff done, being productive, and produce quality output work.
Moreover, meditation is a good addition to a healthy lifestyle. The health of the mind is as much important as the health of the body.
It can help you get rid of anxiety and even physical pain you experience during your workout routine, caused by some annoyances, pain due to high arches, for example.
If you never tried it, you should definitely give it a go. Consider this your little introduction to the meditation basics and techniques.
This meditation technique involves the focus on one point. Some variations of the concentration meditation are repeating a word or mantra, following the breath pattern, listening to a gong, counting bead on a mala and staring at the flame of the candle.
The goal is to have a long session, but for a beginner, only a few minutes are fine for a start. The point is to keep yourself focused on a chosen object and returning to it each time your mind wanders off. Let go of all thoughts and keep the chosen object in the center of your attention.
It will be a bit difficult at the start, but you will improve over time.
Rather than letting the random thoughts go, this technique involves observing them. You are supposed to let those thoughts go through your mind and simply to be aware of them. You shouldn’t pursue them or judge them, just be aware of what are they and that they exist.
With this type of meditation, you will notice how your thoughts go in a pattern. You will become more aware of how you as a human can judge experiences quickly and label them as good and bad. With practice, you will develop an inner balance.
Some meditation schools teach the students to practice a combo of mindfulness and concentration.
These are the examples of the most common techniques of meditation, but there are much more variations which you can practice. Buddhists, for example, focus on the compassion and cultivation. They search to see the negative events in a positive light, using the compassion to do so.
There are also techniques that don’t require you to be still, like walking meditations and tai chi.
For most of the people the goal of meditation is relaxation, and even if it is not their main goal, it comes as a result. There was even research at the Harvard University Medical School that gave the conclusion that people who practice meditation have an involuntary response to it that reduces the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
Other meditation benefits include:
- Improved blood circulation
- Lower heart rate
- Lower blood pressure
- Less perspiration
- Less anxiety
- Slower respiratory rate
- Lower blood cortisol levels
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
Even though a lot of researches search for the answer does the meditation have long-term benefits, the Far East philosophers say that meditation should have no goal, it should only make you be present.
Buddhist philosophy says that the ultimate reward of meditation is the liberation of the mind from the things it cannot control. Internal emotions and external circumstances for example. The liberated practitioner has no need to follow desires. Instead, it maintains a calm mind and achieves inner harmony.
How to begin meditating
Beginners may need a bit of preparation to start meditating.
You should take these four simple steps to get you started:
- First, you have to make yourself comfortable. It would be a good idea to lie or sit.
- Close your eyes, and let everything go.
- Breathe naturally, let it take its course, don’t try to control it.
- Start focusing on your breathing, and the moves your body makes with each inhalation and exhalation. Don’t control the pace or the intensity, just observe your chest, rib cage, and belly. If your mind starts wandering, bring your focus back to your breath.
Practice this for a couple of minutes, and once you get the hang of it, you can try some other techniques.
Your journey to the liberation of the mind will be slow and calm, and it will improve your overall well-being. Your days will start and finish with a better perspective on the world and the big problems of yesterday will become just a minor obstacle you are ready to overcome.