Defining meditation by its purpose is no easy task for the reason that only the meditator understands it. Peace of mind, understanding the self, strengthening of mind, to overcome stress — the reasons for meditating maybe many. The increasingly fast pace of the modern world means that its occupants find themselves shorn of leisure and a sense of calm. The number of people succumbing to depression and the likes has rocketed. It is no wonder then that proportionally the number of people resorting to meditation has also increased. Recent studies from around the world suggest that this number keeps increasing significantly every year.Even if you do not find yourself among them, starting on meditation would still be a good idea. It has been proved that a healthy mind is the key to a healthy body. It should therefore come as no surprise that meditation has been found to counter physical ailments including heart diseases. Meditation has its own nuances that you need to be aware of even before you plunk yourself for moments of deep reflection.
Techniques Of Meditation
Meditation techniques have evolved along with the perspectives of the practicing community. Different forms of meditation have evolved different techniques. Yet somewhere they are inherently similar. There are certain specificities, which are generally followed in meditation.
Plan Your Objectives And Time
As with anything else, you must make a plan of how to go about the whole thing. List out the reasons why you would like to start on meditation and also the benefits that you would like to derive from it. Choose a particular form of meditation that you find appealing. Then, set aside a particular time of your day for meditation. Since order is an important part of meditation, a planned approach is best.
Choosing The Preferred Form
Meditation techniques have evolved over time with effort from different practitioners around the world. Generally, they have evolved in association with different religions and religious practices. Most statutes of Buddha depict him in a meditative posture. It is also an important feature of religions like Hinduism. While most practices associate meditation with attainment of bliss, other objectives are not discounted either. Your choice of what form of meditation depends on your preferences of ideology, customs and objectives. In any case, select a form that you believe would be ideal for you.
A Comfortable Place To Meditate
It is possible to meditate anywhere, but it would be better if you are able to find a silent and comfortable place. As a beginner, it would be better to choose a place which provides the right ambience. Silence around you can reduce distractions. Even experienced practitioners prefer to meditate in silence. These places can be either indoors or outdoors.
Seating And Position
Meditation can be done in a lot of positions including better-known examples like the lotus and half-lotus positions. There is no harm in meditating sitting in a chair either. All that is demanded is that your back be straight. This allows for better breathing and balances blood flow. Sitting on a level ground is also necessary.
During meditation, it would be most advisable to wear loose fitting clothes. This helps at relaxing the body and is much more comfortable assuming you have to hold the same position for a period.
Mornings Are More Suitable
The belief that mornings are more suitable for meditating is true. This is because of the rest that sleep affords you during the night. After a good night’s rest, your nerves are more likely to be fresh than after a tiring day. It is also far easier to collect your thoughts when they are uncluttered in the morning. Also, the silence of the mornings when others are asleep is not an easily available luxury. However, this is not to say that you should not meditate during the evenings. As a matter of fact, there are practitioners who meditate both in the morning and the evening. Meditations in the evening are believed to prepare you for a better sleep.
Calm Yourself And Be Relaxed
You should relax your body. The position should not bear any discomfort on your body. Relax your arms and legs in most comfortable positions. Change your seating position if you think it is not relaxing enough. Straighten all parts of your body that you think you need to straighten out. Assume the posture that will help keep you relaxed for the time period that you intend to meditate.
Maintaining A Focus
Try to bring your focus on a single thing. This can be done by allowing your senses to concentrate on either physical or virtual objects. Concentrate on the object till all other thoughts are eliminated from your mind. Concentrating on a candle flame, music, a particular thought are all tried and tested methods. You can also innovate by finding your own way of concentrating.
Shutting Your Mind
Once you have succeeded in restraining all thoughts and emptied your mind, close your mind to any more thoughts. This could be done by slowly pushing your object of concentration to the fringes and eventually, completely out of your mind.
A Few Things To Remember
- Remember to maintain a fixed time for meditation. If it is not always possible to meditate for the same period daily, keep a minimum time, which you are able to meet without fail.
- Meditation is to freshen up things in your life, so do not over do things and tire yourself. Always stop before you tire yourself.
- The meditation state is result of a habit born out of constant practice and dedication. Allow your mind to become accustomed to the habit but do not be disheartened by the initial failures. Even if you have crossed the initial hurdles there might be occasions where a few sessions might not go to your satisfaction.
- After a session, try to maintain the feeling of calmness without allowing it to scatter and separate. Maintaining that feeling born out of meditation, more often than not, gives you a clearer perspective of whatever is around you.
Meditation is the best mental exercise. Follow these cues and lose yourself in the bliss of complete mental peace.