Meditation is a hot topic in our culture. High-stress environments reveal the importance of mindfulness; therefore, the benefits are immense and applicable to many lifestyles. This form of concentration and healing has been used for thousands of years in countless cultures across the globe. In addition, people find meditation as a valid tool to relieve tension in the mind, body and spirit. With countless options and different styles of meditation, it can be challenging to find the right fit for you. We are going to look at the clear benefits of this ancient practice and discover the styles that best suit your needs.
First off, it’s important to understand why we should meditate. Meditation induces a deep sense of calm, not only for the mind but the nervous system as well. In case studies there have been many proven benefits of meditation. These include stress reduction, decreased anxiety, increased emotional health and stability, enhanced self-awareness and in turn awareness of others. Meditation can lengthen attention span, fight addiction, aid in memory loss, improve sleep, help control pain and reduce blood pressure. The greatest asset of meditation is it requires no special equipment. It is accessible anywhere at any time. In turn, its benefits aren't limited by social or economic status. Meditation can add great value to anyone’s existence.
There are many forms of meditation. The overall goal and underlying power of this practice is to reveal the ability one has to return to homeostasis. Meditation brings you back to your center. It reveals that the center of our beings is intrinsically peaceful. When we focus our attention, we remember that the core of our being is at ease. Therefore, we have the ability in any circumstance to return to our natural state of calm. By reconnecting to self, we can find balance in any situation.
The English word “meditation” stems from meditatum, a Latin word meaning to “ponder.” The earliest records of meditation practice date from approximately 1500 yrs. BCE. It has been an integral component of the earliest forms of the Vedic, schools of India. In turn, Chinese Taoists and Indian Buddhist traditions also developed their own versions of meditation. Next, the west formed their meditation practices as well. Meditation was used by such notable figures as The Desert Fathers of the Middle East, Jesus of Nazareth and Saint Augustine. The art of meditation has been used by many spiritual leaders in the past. It continues its reach into our modern-day culture. Meditation is an ancient practice used today in a similar way as massage therapy or acupuncture.
Originates from Buddhist techniques and is the most popular style of meditation in the West. Not only does this technique teach focus but it brings awareness to the patterns of the mind. You are encouraged to pay attention to the thoughts that pass through the mind without judgment. There is a strong focus on not trying to “fix” anything. Simply become an observer of the mind to enhance connection and awareness. Through this focused observation, it's easier to detach from pesky thoughts. This style is suitable without a teacher and is easiest to practice alone.
This type of meditation is often used in Eastern religions such as Hinduism, Daoism and Christianity. In the Western world, many forms of spiritual paths use meditation as a path to enlightenment. Furthermore, spiritual meditation is used to connect to the Universe or God as interpreted by you. The goal of this kind of meditation is to connect to a higher power and understand that connection through silence and a calming of the mind. Many find that when they quiet the mind and spirit, they are able to access their inner truth and let go of what may trouble them. This practice is an asset to those seeking spiritual growth and is completely unique to the individual.
Enhances concentration and the use of the 5 senses. As a result, this practice is very popular. First, you can focus on something internal like breath or yourheartbeat. Second practice noticing all the sensations you are experiencing. How does the earth under your body feel? Is the air hot or cool? Third, are there sounds in the room? Hyperfocus and awareness can calm down the nervous system and bring you into the present moment. This type of practice is very helpful for people who struggle with anxiety.
It can be useful to find a guide to help you meditate. Consequently, health practitioners and energy workers have found a place in the world of meditation to help others. This type of meditation can include visualization, color therapy and sound therapy. Finding someone you trust to take you into a state of peace is important. Guided meditation is a great option for those wanting to take their meditation practice to a deeper level. With the help of a guide, it may be easier to release deep levels of tension or trauma.
Find a quiet place where you feel comfortable, you may sit or lay down whatever feels best to you. Allow time for yourself without interruptions to explore breath and focused awareness. Make your space beautiful with things that bring you comfort and bring you joy. You might find it easiest to meditate in nature. Nature provides ample resources of natural sounds and sights for the mind to connect to. Remember there is no right or wrong way to meditate. You get to choose how you focus and what brings you back to a deeper sense of self. Likewise, some find movement meditation to be useful. Yoga, earthing, gardening, walking and dancing all fall into this category.
Whatever form of meditation piques your interest is the one you should explore. Equally important is knowing that you have everything you need within you to find peace. Awareness brings about a sense of wellness and connection that enhances your life experience. Remember you are safe in your own body and need not search elsewhere. Lastly, a day at the Spa can also bring you into a state of internal and external peace.