When we think about something, we are meditating about it. Human beings actually think all the time because our brain functions never cease until death, processing a lot of thoughts every second which are impossible to stop them. However through meditation one is able to direct his thoughts to other channels say the neutral channel and in so doing is able to experience that there is a place of inner peace inside each and every one of us apart from the chatter and hassle of everyday life.
Below are two basic approaches to Meditation:
Concentrative meditation is when the practitioner sits quietly and focuses his attention on the breath or on an object such as a flower or a candle. As the attention is focused say on the breath, the mind will become absorbed in the rhythm of inhalation and exhalation, resulting in slower and deeper breathing and the mind will become more tranquil and aware.
Mindfulness meditation consists of the practitioner paying attention and becoming aware of the continuous feelings, images, thoughts, smells and so forth without becoming involved in them. The person sits quietly and simply witnesses whatever thoughts are going on in his mind without becoming involved. This will help to gain a more calm, clear and non-reactive mind.
Regardless of what method of meditation one uses, the following are few tips, which one should follow:
- Take a shower before starting meditation.
- Find a special place where to practice.
- Back should be kept straight and whole body should be relaxed. Sitting on a pillow can sometimes help.
- Practice meditation regularly and preferably at the same time. Early morning is preferable.
Benefits of Meditation
Research has shown that meditation can bring about a healthy state of relaxation. This is due to a reduction in physiological and biochemical markers, such as a decrease in heart rate, a decrease in respiration rate and an increase in the alpha level, which is a brainwave, associated with relaxation. During meditation the body gains a state of profound rest. Contrarily the brain and mind become more alert resulting in a state of restful alertness, greater creativity, and faster reactions.
Meditation also reduces activity in the nervous system. The parasympathetic branch of the autonomic nervous system predominates and helps the body to calm.
During meditation the body and mind rests much more than during sleep. This is because blood lactate levels decrease much faster during meditation than during sleep. (Lactate is a substance produced by the metabolism in the skeletal muscles, which is increased during periods of anxiety and tension.
Meditation frees persons from persistent preoccupation with the past and future and allows them to enjoy life’s precious moments. It also helps us to return to the now of our lives and allows us to wake up and discover who we really are.
Meditation encourages deeper understanding of yourself and others. Consequently you will follow your chosen path with more precision. It will be easier for you to stand up for yourself and, therefore, your relationships with others will improve.
Meditation helps us to develop intuition, which gives us the capacity to understand and foresee things. Moreover it will teach us how to remain calm in any situation and will help us to solve problems in a logical way.
Meditation helps to develop physical and mental calmness, concentration, memory, intuition, inner strength and peace of mind.
Meditation helps to ‘remove’ all the wrong concepts that we were influenced from society etc. and come to realize who we really are. It makes us realize that we are not just the physical body, our ego or our thoughts but something more. By delving deep into ourselves, into the I am, we come to know ourselves.
By the regular practice of yoga meditation, you can greatly reduce tension and stress, calming the restless mind. This is why this ancient yoga practice has become so popular in the modern world.