SOME TIPS ON MEDITATION AND UNDERSTANDING IT
A person engages in the practice of meditation when they want to train their attention and awareness and reach a mentally clear, emotionally tranquil, and stable state. Techniques like mindfulness or focusing on a specific object thought, or activity can be used in this practice. It may greatly improve calmness, perception, self-concept, and well-being while dramatically reducing stress, anxiety, despair, and pain. The impacts of meditation on health, including psychological, neurological, and cardiovascular health, are still being studied.
The practice of meditation dates back thousands of years. It was first intended to aid in a deeper comprehension of the mystical and divine energies that govern life. Nowadays, meditation is frequently used to unwind and reduce tension. It can result in a profound state of relaxation and a calm mind, making it a sort of complementary medicine that treats the mind and body.
You concentrate during meditation and get rid of the constant stream of disorganized ideas that could be stressing you out. The approach may lead to improved mental and emotional health.
CLASSIFICATIONS OF MEDITATION
In the West, meditation techniques have often been classified into two broad categories, which in actual practice are often combined:
- Focused (or concentrative) meditation (this implies paying attention to breathing, an idea or feeling (such as mettā (loving-kindness)), a kōan, or a mantra(such as in transcendental meditation), and single point meditation.
- Open monitoring meditation (this implies mindfulness, shikantaza and other awareness states
Other possible classification
Another classification divides meditation approaches into concentrative, generative, receptive and reflective practices:
- Concentrative: focused attention, including breath meditation and visualizations
- Generative: developing qualities like loving-kindness and compassion
- Receptive: open monitoring
- Reflective: systematic investigation and contemplation
TYPES OF MEDITATION
Meditation is an umbrella term for the many ways to achieve a relaxed state of being. Many types of meditation and relaxation techniques have meditation components. All share the same goal of achieving inner peace.
Ways to meditate
Ways one can meditate include the following;
Focused meditation involves concentration using any of the five senses. This exercise is perfect for anyone who wishes to improve their focus and attention, as the name suggests. For instance, one can direct their attention to something internal, such as their breath, or they can bring in outside factors to assist them concentrate.
- Counting mala beads
- Listening to a gong
- Staring at a candle flame
- Counting your breaths
- Moon gazing
This practice may be simple in theory, but it can be hard for beginners to hold their focus for longer than a few minutes at first.
With this type of meditation, also known as guided imagery or visualization, one creates mental pictures of settings or circumstances that are soothing to them. You make an effort to engage all of your senses, including smells, sights, sounds, and textures. An instructor or advisor may lead you through this procedure.
In this type of meditation, one silently repeats a calming word, thought, or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts. Numerous teachings, including those of the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, heavily emphasize mantra meditation. To help you focus during this sort of meditation, play a rhythmic sound. It can be a word, phrase, or sound, with “om” being one of the most popular. Because it’s simpler to concentrate on a word than on your breath, some individuals find mantra meditation to be enjoyable. Some people appreciate how the sound makes their bodies vibrate.
Spiritual meditation is used in nearly all religions and spiritual traditions. The various forms of spiritual meditation are as varied as the various spiritual traditions found around the world. The goal of spiritual meditation is to strengthen one’s connection with a higher power and get a deeper knowledge of spiritual and religious meaning. It can be done in a house of worship or at home. For people who are interested in spiritual development and a closer relationship with a higher power or spiritual force, this practice is helpful.
Being attentive, or having a greater awareness and acceptance of existing in the present moment, is the foundation of this style of meditation. It is the most well-known and extensively studied type of meditation used in the West and has its roots in Buddhist teachings. One practices mindfulness meditation by focusing on their thoughts as they come and go. The ideas are merely watched, and their patterns are noted without passing judgment on them.
This type of meditation is sometimes called a body scan. This form of meditation progressive relaxation aims to ease physical tension and encourage relaxation. This type of meditation frequently entails gradually contracting and relaxing each muscle group in turn throughout the body. Before going to bed, people frequently practice this type of meditation to unwind and relieve stress.
EFFECTS OF MEDITATION
In addition to a little drop in blood pressure, meditation reduces heart rate, oxygen consumption, breathing frequency, stress hormones, lactate levels, and sympathetic nervous system activity (related to the fight-or-flight response). Years of meditation practice can cause a person’s respiration rate to drop to three or four breaths per minute and their brain waves to shift from the alpha waves that are associated with typical relaxation to the considerably slower delta and theta waves.
MEDITATION AND EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL WELL-BEING
Meditation helps to clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to stress.
The emotional and physical benefits of meditation can include the following;
- It aids in building skills to manage your stress
- It increases self-awareness
- It helps in reducing negative emotions
- It helps in increasing imagination and creativity
- It aids increase in patience and tolerance
- It aids in lowering the resting heart rate
- It aids in lowering resting blood pressure
- It improves sleep quality
- It enhances better sleep
- It provides improved emotional regulation
- It enhances better mood
- It enhances a greater sense of empathy and connection with others