Meditation is a practice where an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness, either to realize some benefit or for the mind to simply acknowledge its content without becoming identified with that content, or as an end in itself.
The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any life activity.
The word meditation carries different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way and i also used to clear the mind and ease many health concerns, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be donesitting, or in an active way -for instance, Buddhist monks involve awareness in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training.
What meditation does to your brain?
The benefits of meditation are well known, calms the mind, helps focus, reduces stress and can induce sleep, however the benefits of meditation are much deeper and lasting. This seemingly simple exercise of closing the eyes and tuning inwards can actually make lasting physical changes in your body, literally changing your brain! Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of that training.
Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state; such as anger, hatred, etc or cultivating a particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion.
The term "meditation" can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state. Meditation may also involve repeating a mantra and closing the eyes. The mantra is chosen based on its suitability to the individual meditator. Meditation has a calming effect and directs awareness inward until pure awareness is achieved, described as "being awake inside without being aware of anything except awareness itself."
How to Train your Monkey Mind
The steps to meditate couldn't be any easier, and can be introduced as part of any daily routine anywhere, at any time and by anyone with no restrictions or conditions. Meditation is an aid to help people bring peace to mind benefiting not only the mind and body but also your personality; calming effect. peace of mind, rational, concentration, creativity,
(1) Find a place to sit on the floor or on a chair if working in an office or at home. If possible somewhere quiet and peaceful without any chance of being disturbed.
(2) Close your eyes and focus the mind on the breath, breathing deeply and conciously for a few minutes to relax the mind and body.
(3) Let your mind wander, don´t try and control your throughts, just relax.
(4) Now focus your mind on a mantra, an image, for example;
a mantra; choose a word special for you i.e. OM, HUM, or a word personal to you.
a mantra; choose a humming sound special for you i.e. OM, HUM or a letter/word that resonates through you.
an image; choose an image to focus your mind on, special location, place, family member,
(5) Each session should be as long as you can attempt without distraction externally or internally. If at any point you lose track, stop, reset and try again, never try and force yourself to meditate as it can be counter productive.
(6) Try at least a scheduled amount of time, for example; 2 to 5mins, increasing when ready to 15mins, then so on 30mins or more.
(7) Spend time to learn how to meditate with the best technique for you, give yourself the motivation to advance with your own meditation practice.
7 Easy Steps to Meditation
Don´t give yourself any pressure if you cannot meditate straight away, it normally takes months of regular practice.
Don´t fight it, over time you will be able to control and focus your mind to meditate.
Give yourself the self inspiration and credit that you are making progress and its something special and important to you.
Try and meditate in a group to gain more knowledge and experience including different techniques and teachers.
Meditate when you feel the need and/or get yourself into a routine, morning afternoon or evening.
Related Meditation Links
(1) Yoga Nidra explained by Swami Jnaneshvara in great detail, thank you for your inspiration and hard work.
(2) Interesting article on brain activity before and after emditation from a personal point of view.
(3) Yoga Nidra downloads, courtesy of the Yoga Nidra Network.
If you have an interesting article on meditation from a personal or professional point of view, get in touch and we can share your experiences.