What do Jesus, Buddha, Muhammad, Shiva and Lao Tzu have in common? Aside from being holy, what is it that they do that separates them from the crowd? They are flesh and bones just like you and me, but one practice sets them apart. That practice is just one word: meditation.
What is meditation? Is it possible to turn your life around and achieve greater peace and happiness by doing meditation? How does it affect our body? What can it do with our minds? How can you apply its principles so that you may reap its rewards? Let me discuss the answers to these questions one by one.
Feeling unmotivated, uninspired, anxious or restless? Perhaps meditation can work for you. Meditation means to go beyond the limitations of our monkey mind and limited physical body. Meditation is also like a prayer. With prayer, your focus is outward whereas, in meditation, one’s focus is inward.
How to Meditate: Practices for Beginners
Meditate for no more than five minutes during your first weeks. Holding one’s attention without being distracted by your environment’s noise and your mind’s internal chatter is difficult. Start easy by taking at least three to five minutes of your time to do nothing, just observe and feel.
Draw your attention to a sound, an image, thought, an emotion or space. Begin by choosing a method or an object, what matters is you focus and project your awareness to a single item. If your attention wavers or if you are distracted, just go back to your focus and begin again. Meditation takes time and holding one’s focus may take years of practice.
One of the easiest ways to meditate is to begin by counting your breaths. This will also help you to relax your heart rate and bring you into a pleasant meditative state.
You may not have the luxury to sit at the same time at the same place every day. If this is the case, find time to insert it
Sitting upright to stay
Connect and feel every inch of your body as you meditate. Mindfulness starts with observing the rise and fall of your breathing, feeling the beats of your heart and be aware of the tensed state of your muscles. You may begin your meditation by being aware of your skin, beginning with feeling the warmth of on scalp, gradually going downward to the tips of your toes.
MIND AND HEART
Focus on relaxing your mind then gradually transition your focus to your heart. During this time, you might feel how distressed and tired your heart muscles are. Be kind to yourself by allowing your mind to unwind and your heart to relax.
BRINGING IT ALL TOGETHER
If you cannot do meditation at an exact place, bring meditation with you as you go along your daily routine. Pick one activity like walking and focus your awareness to that activity. Do this consistently once daily throughout the whole week. After doing this for at least 21 days, your habit of doing meditation will stick. By that time, meditation will be ingrained into your routine and you will be able to do it easily, without much fuss and effort.
Guided meditation is a type of meditation wherein the person engages in a sensory experience to be able to achieve a certain goal or a preferred state of the mind faster. Guided meditation may be through listening to music or a recorded voice of a teacher, thru watching a certain image, repeating a certain affirmation or by following a series of steps such as yoga or visualization.
To achieve success when doing guided meditation, consider the following factors:
You will improve your meditation outcome if you will find the right location. Ideally, meditate on the same location or setting. Find a place that relaxes you, somewhere you feel most
Pick the time where you feel most relaxed yet alert. This is the time wherein you are at your best, not too tired, hungry or sleepy. Pick a time where there
You might hear some meditators repeatedly chanting “Om”. Repeating a single sound over and over produces
An effective way to meditate is to listen to a type of sound or music that calms you. If you are still beginning to meditate, any type of music where you feel most comfortable may do. Relaxing beats such as mellow music, binaural beats, nature sounds or chill-out tracks can immediate help you to be
Group Guided Meditation
Another way to get the most of our meditation is to find a group or a guide that can help you. Meditating in groups improves the experience. Allowing an instructor to guide your meditation process may also help. Having a support system will keep your meditation habit consistent.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is a subtle practice that affects the body,
What value will you gain out of meditation?
Petty cares and worries will not affect you as much as you progress with your meditation journey. Fear and worry will lessen their grip. Meditation makes your brain calmer, it also makes you see the whole situation objectively. It helps you to take control of your emotions as compared to your emotions controlling you.
- Sharp Mind. Meditation is all about awareness. Meditation trains your mind to focus
youattention on something specific. Your monkey brain may have a hundred thoughts in a minute. Through meditation, you will have the power to choose one thought at a time and to remove thoughts and emotions that will do you no good.
- Meditation helps you connect with yourself and to understand others. Connecting with yourself, you will have an insight on your own weakness and desires. Taking a peek into your own vulnerabilities makes you
understandingof your neighbor’s plight. In this world of fleeting movements and shallow emotions, meditation makes you go deeper into the core. It gives you an understanding of your connectedness with others, becausedespite our differences, you will see that we are all suffering in one way or another.
- Meditation improves our focus and receptiveness. Once we are in-tune of our surroundings and thoughts, we are more receptive to ideas. Creativity is enhanced out of the desire to focus, and meditation will help you to never falter or lose tract.
- Mental Ability. Because meditation makes you more conscious, it will help your brain to be stimulated. The brain may form new connections thru new stimulations. Constant brain stimulations prevents brain decline. Meditation may be helpful on arresting degenerative brain conditions such as dementia because it helps the brain to generate new connections.
Meditation is not easy at first but this is a journey. This is not something you do on a single sitting but a lifestyle and a habit that you must bring with you every day. Find like-minded people that can support you. It may take some time before you begin to see the benefits but it is worth it.