Meditation is an approach to exercising the mind, much like fitness is an approach to exercising the body. It’s a standard process used to train the mind to focus and adjust its thoughts. While there are many techniques one question remains – how to learn to meditate? The popularity of meditation is growing as more and more people discover the benefits of it. You can use it to raise awareness about yourself and those around you. Most people think that this is a way to reduce stress and improve focus. People also use exercises to develop a positive mood and other useful habits and emotions such as vision, self-discipline, healthy sleep patterns and even increased tolerance for pain.
In the Buddhist tradition, the word “meditation” corresponds to terms like sport or exercise in other countries.
It is challenging for a beginner to sit for hours without thinking about anything or having an “empty mind”. The easiest way to start meditation is to focus on breathing or concentration, which is one of the most common methods of meditation.
Meditation Focused on Concentration
Concentration meditation is focusing upon a single object. This can include following your breath, repeating a single word or mantra, looking at a candle flame, listening to a repeating gong, or counting beads on a mala. Because the concentration of the mind is difficult, a beginner can only meditate for a few minutes and then work longer.
In this form of meditation, the only time you need to refocus your awareness on the selected object of attention is when you notice your thoughts wander. Instead of chasing after random thoughts, you just let them go. This process improves your ability to concentrate.
Mindfulness meditation encourages the practitioner to witness wandering thoughts as they drift within the mind. The intention is not to enter into or judge thoughts, but to be aware of each mental note as it arises.
Mindfulness meditation allows you to see your thoughts and feelings move in specific patterns. Over time, you may become more aware of the human tendency to quickly judge an experience as good or bad, pleasant or uncomfortable. With the exercise, an inner balance develops.
In some meditation schools, students practice a combination of concentration and mindfulness. Many disciplines require calm – more or less depending on the teacher.
There are several other meditation techniques. Daily meditation practices among Buddhist monks focus directly on cultivating compassion. It’s about looking at negative events and putting them in a positive light by transforming them through compassion. There are also moving meditation techniques such as tai chi, qigong, and walking meditation. We’ll talk about different types of meditations later.
When relaxation is not the goal of meditation, it is often the result. In the 1970s, Dr. Herbert Benson, a researcher at Harvard University School of Medicine, coined the term “relaxation response” after researching people who meditate transcendentally. The relaxation response is, in Benson’s words, “an opposite, involuntary response” that causes a decrease in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system. “
Since then, relaxation response studies have documented the following short-term benefits to the nervous system:
- Low blood pressure
- Improved blood circulation
- Low heart rate
- Less sweat
- Slower breathing rate
- Less fear
- Lowering the cortisol level in the blood
- Less stress
- Deeper relaxation
Today’s researchers are exploring whether consistent meditation practice provides long-term benefits and find positive effects on the brain and immune function in those who meditate. However, it is worth repeating that the purpose of meditation is not to benefit. To put it this way, as an Eastern philosopher might say, the purpose of meditation is not an end. It’s easy to be present.
Meditation may be an old tradition, but it is still practised in cultures around the world to create a sense of calm and inner harmony. Although the practice refers to many different religious teachings, meditation is more about achieving changing awareness, awareness, and peace than belief.
Meditation is gaining popularity today when the need to reduce stress is growing amid our busy schedules and demanding lives. While there is no right or wrong way to meditate, it is important to find a type that suits your needs and complements your personality.
There are nine popular meditation types:
- Mindfulness meditation
- spiritual meditation
- focused meditation
- Movement meditation
- Mantra meditation
- transcendental meditation
- gradual relaxation
- Kindness meditation
- Visualization meditation
Not all meditation styles are suitable for everyone. These practices require different skills and mentalities. How do you know which type is right for you?
1. Mindfulness meditation
Here are some of the most popular types of meditation.
Mindfulness meditation comes from Buddhist teachings and is the most popular meditation technique in the west.
In mindfulness meditation, pay attention to your thoughts as you move through your mind. They do not judge thoughts and do not engage with them. Just observe and write down all the patterns.
This type combines focus and awareness. Focusing on an object or your breathing can help while observing physical sensations, thoughts or feelings.
This type of meditation is good for people who do not have a teacher to guide, as you can easily practice it yourself.
Spiritual meditation is used in Eastern religions such as Hinduism and Taoism and in the Christian faith.
It is like prayer as you contemplate the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or the universe.
Essential oils are widely used to intensify the spiritual experience. Popular options are incense, myrrh, white sage, sandalwood, etc.
Spiritual meditation can be done at home or at the place of worship. This application is useful for those who develop in silence and seek spiritual growth.
3. Focused meditation
Focused meditation involves concentrating on the five senses.
For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or bring external influences to focus your attention.
Try counting mala beads, looking at a gong din, or a candle flame.
This practice may be simple in theory, but for newcomers, it can be difficult for them to focus beyond the first few minutes.
As your mind wanders, it’s important to practice and refocus.
As this practice life suggests extra when this type is considered for anyone who needs extra focus.
4. Movement meditation
Movement meditation is usually related to yoga. This practice is every tipe of movement that makes us mindful and concentrated like: walking, gardening, painting, and other forms of gentle movement.It is an active form of contemplation where movement guides you.
Movement meditation is good for people who find peace in action and prefer to let their mind wander.
5. Mantra meditation
Mantra meditation plays an important role in many teachings, including Hindu and Buddhist traditions. This door meditation is the repetitive use of sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase or sound like the popular “Om”.
It doesn’t matter if your mantra is chanted out loud or softly. After chanting the mantra for a while, you will be more alert and adapt to your surroundings. This allows them to experience a deeper consciousness.
Some people like mantra meditation because they find it easier to focus their breath on a brat word. This is also a good practice for people who like silence and self-repetition.
Transcendental meditation is a popular meditation gateway. This practice has been the subject of much research in the scientific community.
A more customizable and practitioner specific mantra or set of words than mantra meditation.
This type is for those who love structure and are serious about storm storms who practice meditation.
7. Gradual relaxation
Gradual relaxation, also known as body sweep meditation, aims to relieve tension in the body and promote relaxation.
In this form of meditation, a group of muscles in the body usually stretch and relax slowly.
In some cases, it can also encourage you to imagine a soft wave flowing through your body to relieve tension.
This type of meditation is often used to relieve stress and relax before going to bed.
8. Kindness Meditation
Loving Kindness Meditation is used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness and acceptance towards yourself and others.
It is usually about opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending a series of good wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances and all living beings.
Because this type of meditation is designed to encourage compassion and kindness, it can be ideal for those with feelings of anger or rage.
9. Visualization meditation
Visualization meditation is a technique that aims to develop a sense of relaxation, calm, and serenity by visualizing positive scenes or images.
In this exercise, it is important to visualize the scene and add as much detail as possible with all five senses.
Another form of visualization meditation is to imagine achieving specific goals to increase focus and motivation.
Many people use visualization meditation to improve their mood, reduce stress and achieve inner peace.
How to get started
The easiest way to start is to sit quietly and focus on your breathing.
“If you are not too busy, you should sit in meditation for 20 minutes every day. Then you should sit for an hour.”An old Zen proverb
Jokes aside, it’s best to start in small moments, even 5 or 10 minutes, and grow from there.” Sit 20 minutes a day and do this for 100 days,” says Pedram Shojai, author of The Urban Monk and founder of Well.org.
“Combine this with another 2 to 5 minutes of meditation during the day to break the confusion, and you will soon feel the benefits.”
Why is it useful?
There is ample evidence of the myriad benefits of meditation. Regardless of whether the benefits are anecdotal or scientifically proven, those who follow a daily meditation practice will be convinced of the benefits in their lives.
Whether you want to relieve stress, find spiritual enlightenment, find peace, or flow through the movement, there is a meditation exercise for you. Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try different genres. It usually takes a bit of trial and error to find the one that suits you.
Meditation Guide for Beginners – My experience
Easy meditation exercise is a great introduction to meditation techniques. Sit or lie down comfortably. You may even want to invest in a meditation chair or pillow. Close your eyes. We recommend that you use one of our refreshing eye masks or restorative eye pillows while lying down. Do not try to control your breathing; Just breathe naturally.
Focus on your breathing and how your body moves each time you breathe in and out. Pay attention to your body movement while breathing. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and stomach. You just need to focus your attention on your breathing, without controlling its speed or intensity. As your mind wanders, focus on your breathing again.
Do this meditation practice for two to three minutes first and then try for a more extended period. The most important habit I have made in the last ten years of habit formation is meditation. No way.
Meditation has helped me develop all my other habits. It helped me to be more peaceful, more focused, less anxious about discomfort, more grateful and more attentive to everything in my life. I’m far from perfect, but it has helped me go a long way.
Probably most importantly, it helped me understand my mind. Before I started meditating, I never thought about what was going on in my head – it would just happen, and I would obey his orders like a vending machine. Everything is still happening these days, but I’m increasingly aware of what’s going on. I can decide whether I want to follow orders or not. I get along better (not quite but better) and that gave me more flexibility and freedom.
So … I highly recommend this habit. And although I didn’t say it’s easy, you can start small and get better and better as you practice. Don’t expect to be good at first – that’s why it’s called “practical”!
- These tips are not intended to help you become an expert. They are designed to help you get started and move forward. You don’t have to implement them all at once – try a few, come back to this article, and try one or two more.
- Just sit for two minutes. It will seem ridiculously easy to meditate for only two minutes. It’s perfect. Start with just two minutes a day for a week. If it goes well, increase it for another two minutes and do so for a week. If all goes well, meditate 10 minutes a day for the 2nd month, adding just a little at a time. It’s amazing! But start small first.
- Do it first thing in the morning. It is easy to say that you will meditate, but you can easily forget it. Instead, set a reminder for each morning when you get up and add a note that says “Meditate” where you see it.
- Don’t get caught up in the how just do it. Most people wonder where to sit, how to sit, which pillow to use. It’s okay, but it’s not that important to start. Just start by sitting down on a chair or your couch. Or on your bed. When you are comfortable on the floor, sit cross-legged. It’s only two minutes at the start anyway, so sit down. Later, you can think about optimizing it to make you feel comfortable for longer. However, at first, it doesn’t matter; just sit in a quiet and relaxing place.
- Check how you feel. At the start of your meditation session, just check how you are feeling. How does your body feel How good is your mind? Employee? Tired? Scared? See what you bring to this meditation session as perfectly good.
- Count your breaths. Once installed, focus your attention on your breathing. Just pay attention to your breath as it comes in and follows it through your nose to your lungs. Try to count “one” when you breathe in and count “two” when you breathe out. Repeat this process for up to 10, then start over at one.
- Come back when you take a walk. Your mind will go astray. It is almost an absolute certainty. There is no problem with that. Suppose you notice that your mind is wandering, smile and gently catch your breath. Count “one” again and start over. You might be a little frustrated, but it’s perfectly okay not to stay focused. We all do. It’s practice, and you won’t be suitable for a while.
- Develop a loving attitude. If you notice any thoughts and feelings that arise during meditation, look at them with a caring attitude. See them as friends, not intruders or enemies. They are part of you, but not all of them. Be kind and not harsh.
- Don’t worry about getting it wrong. They will fear that you are wrong. That’s good, we all do. You don’t do it wrong. There is no perfect way to do it. Just be glad you did.
- Don’t worry about clearing your mind. Many people think of meditation as cleaning the mind or stopping all thoughts. It’s not. It can happen sometimes, but it is not the “goal” of meditation. If you have any ideas, that’s okay. We all do this. Our brain is a thought factory, and we can’t just stop it. Instead, just try to focus your attention and practice more when your mind wanders.
- Stick to whatever comes up. If thoughts or feelings come up and do, you can try sticking with them for a while. After practising this for a week, you can also try to stick to a thought or feeling that arises. We tend to avoid emotions like frustration, anger, fear … but one incredibly useful meditation practice is to stick with that feeling for a while. Just stay and be curious. Get to know yourself. This exercise is not just about focusing your attention; it is also about learning how your mind works. What’s going on in there? It’s cloudy, but as you watch your mind wander, get frustrated, avoid difficult emotions … you can begin to understand yourself.
- Make friends with you. When you do get to know each other, do so with a friendly rather than critical attitude. You get to know a friend. Smile and give yourself love.
- Take a body scan. Another thing that you can do, once you become a little better at your breathing is to focus your attention on one part of your body at a time. Start with the soles of your feet – how are you feeling? Slowly move down to your toes, toes, ankles, and head.
- Notice the light, the sound, the energy. Another place to regain your attention after practising with your breath for at least a week is the light around you. Just keep an eye on a point and notice the light in the room you are in. Another day just focuses on the sounds. On another day, try to notice the energy (including light and sound) in the room around you.
- Get involved. Don’t just say, “Sure, I’ll try for a few days.” Commit to it. Stay locked in your head for at least a month.
- You can do it anywhere. If you are travelling or something happens in the morning, you can meditate in your office. In the park. During your trip. By going somewhere. Sitting meditation is the best place to start, but the truth is that you will practice this type of mindfulness all your life.
- Follow the guided meditation. If that helps, you can try doing guided meditations to get started. My wife uses Tara Brach’s guided meditations and finds them very useful.
- Check-in with friends. Although I like to meditate on my own, you can do this with your spouse, child, or a friend. Or, simply commit to checking in with a friend every morning after meditating. It might help you stay there longer.
- Find a community. Better still, find a community of people who meditate and join them. It could be a Zen or Tibetan community near you (for example) where you meditate with them. Or find a group online and join them and ask questions, get help, encourage others. My Sea Change Program has a community like this.
- Smile when you’re done. When you have finished your two minutes, smile, be grateful that you had this time to yourself, that you kept your commitment, that you proved yourself to be trustworthy, and that you took the time to get to know and befriend each other. It is two amazing minutes of your life.
- Meditation is not always easy or even peaceful. But it has some amazing benefits, and you can start today and go on for the rest of your life.
Meditation is not a necessary thing.When we challenge, it becomes a chore. The soft, regular exercise eventually becomes permanent, supportive, and fun. Open up to opportunities. There are so many different forms of meditation that you can try a new one if you’re not working or feeling uncomfortable.
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