The Art Of Silence: Meditation Techniques
In today's fast-paced world, many people are seeking a way
to get away from it all and relax. Meditation, which is essentially
a method to obtain a level of deep thought and relaxation,
is one way to find inner peace and tranquility. Many people
think of monks or other spiritual types sitting in crossed-leg
position and reaching states of bliss when they think of mediation,
but there are many ways to meditate. While there are many
ways to reach a meditative state, there really are no right
or wrong ways to mediate (this would defeat the purpose),
only practice and finding ways that feel right for you.
Meditation is associated with many religions, but one does
not need to be associated with any particular religion in
order to meditate. You might want to investigate different
methods, however, to find a form of mediation that feels most
comfortable. One common method includes repeating a sound
or word, called a mantra. Other forms of meditation involve
focusing on a visual image, such as the flame of a candle
or a symbol. Other meditative techniques involve breathing
and physical movements, such as yoga or other breathing practices.
No matter what the method, the tools used in meditation are
there to help users reach a state of mental relaxation. Many
mediation techniques help you clear your mind of the constant
thoughts that normally run through the mind. In reducing or
eliminating these thoughts, one can reach a state of deep
thought that is associated with meditation.
There are two primary approaches to meditation, which are
concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation. In concentrative
meditation, the practitioner focuses on breath, an object,
or a sound (mantra). In mindfulness meditation, the practitioner
sits quietly and "observes" everything in the environment,
including thoughts, sounds, smells, and more. In this form
of meditation, the practitioner practices not reacting to
the environment (both internal and external), which can lead
to a greater ability to act in a non-reactive way in daily
life. Both forms of meditation are useful, and one is no better
than the other is. Personal preference may determine which
method you choose, and you can always try both.
Both physical and mental benefits can result from meditation.
This can include increased heart health through relaxation,
lowered cholesterol and blood pressure, and a more youthful
feeling. Mental benefits can be an increased sense of well-being,
decreased anxiety and depression, and emotional stability.
Meditation should not be used as a cure for physical or mental
ailments, however, but it can be a powerful supplement. Those
with physical or mental health conditions should consult with
a health care professional before beginning a mediation practice.
Meditation can be quite physical, such as with some types
of yoga, or seemingly passive, such as in mindfulness types
of mediation. In addition to the types of meditation, there
are different stages as well. Generally speaking, in early
stages of meditation, the practitioner is more aware of the
practice. He or she may have difficulty concentrating on breath
or not reacting to thought. With practice, this moves into
a stage where one is much less aware. This is followed by
a stage of bliss, which is followed by very deep sense of
self, followed by an ability to reach a stage of deep stillness.
There are many resources available on meditation. Those new
to the practice may opt to take part in a class or guide when
beginning. Others may prefer to read up on the various options
and practice on his or her own. Visit the local library for
books and resources or visit a yoga or spiritual center. Meditation
can be an enjoyable experience and provide balance to an otherwise
Meditation Hub is an information site that contains
articles, a directory and other Meditation
Resources. It can be found at: www.meditationhub.com.
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