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Introduction to Meditation

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1 Introduction to Meditation on Sun Sep 11, 2011 4:01 pm

What is meditation?
Meditation is simply a practice which involves mental exercises which brings a state of very relaxed concentration to the mind. On this page, we will explore the art of meditation in a little more detail and explain why many individuals practice the art of meditation. We will end with a suitable and simple meditation for beginners exercise. Concentration of the mind to bring on a high level of peace and calm is the process known as meditation. The art of meditation involves choosing just one thing to focus the concentration on, and to keep concentrating on the object with such a great focus that they do not allow the mind to become distracted. This act is not as easy as it sounds. Take a moment to think about what usually goes on inside your mind. As you are reading this page, you may also be thinking about the noises around you, a phone call you need to make later, the television show from yesterday evening and more. When you meditate, the mind becomes relaxed and reaches a higher level of calm. And as the mind relaxes, the body will also relax. You may also hear meditation being linked with religion but you do not need to be religious in order to meditate.

Benefits of meditation

The benefits of meditation is much and many. This is why people all over the world meditate and some of the benefits are as follows:

*Helps to promote relaxation and also to reduce tension. More and more doctors are increasingly recommending meditation to patients with stress related symptoms. Regular meditation is known to lower blood pressure and relax the mental state. This will be reflected in the patients every day life. And by relaxing the mind will also help to relax any daily build up of tension in the body.

*Helps to improve concentration. When you meditate, all of the focus of attention is aimed at one particular thing. The focus should be relaxed and not strained. By practicing concentrating like this on a regular basis will help us in other areas of life where we may need to concentrate and focus, whether it be at work or while studying.

*Promotes self awareness. During meditation, the mind is quiet and it is easier to be aware of any inner messages which may usually be overlooked. It is easier to become much more aware of ones mental or physical state. Things that may be noticed are a niggling pain or a low level of stress. Or you may just notice that you really are relaxed. Over a period of time, you’ll notice that this self awareness will be high even when you are not meditating and you will come to be far more in tune with your whole self. A simple meditation technique: This is a simple meditation for beginners starter. To begin with, start your personal preparations. Inform others around you that you wish to be left alone for the next several minutes. Turn off the radio, TV and unplug the phone. Don’t lie down as this may cause you to drift off to sleep rather than meditate. Sit upright on the floor in in a comfortable but firm chair. Next, close your eyes and begin to relax the whole body. Then keep count of the breaths you are taking by counting from ten down to one and keep repeating this action for about five minutes. If any other thoughts enter your mind, push them out and carry on counting in time with your breathing. If you lose your focus, simply start over. When you have been doing this for about five minutes, stop counting. Next, breath calmly for a few moments and slowly open your eyes. Do your best to maintain this peaceful state you have achieved for as long as you can by delaying your return into the hustle and bustle of every day life and capture the feeling.

The one of the meditation tips is this: Remember that the main goal of meditation is to raise our consciousness and make our outlook on life and ourselves more positive. This can all be achieved by meditating. Meditation is a great tool to achieve mental clarity and health. This overview of the various beginner and advanced meditation techniques will help to choose the right meditation style for you. Studies have shown that the many forms of meditation can help with a person’s physical and psychological well being. This happens due to meditation altering the patterns of the brain wave to the alpha state. This is a level of consciousness that helps with the state of healing. There is evidence that meditation reduces blood pressure levels and stress levels.

The physiological benefits of meditation include:

*Deep rest-as measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart.

*Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate-two chemicals associated with stress.

*Reduction of free radicals- unstable oxygen molecules that can cause tissue damage.

*Decreased high blood pressure.

*Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels.

*Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease.

*Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients.

*Decreases the aging process.

*Higher levels of DHEAS in the elderly. An additional sign of youthfulness.

The psychological benefits of meditation are many and include:

*Increased brain wave coherence.

*Greater creativity.

*Decreased anxiety.

*Decreased depression

*Decreased irritability and moodiness

*Improved learning ability and memory.

*Increased self-actualization.

*Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.

*Increased happiness.

*Increased emotional stability.

If meditation is practiced often enough, there is a greater chance that the person’s goals and consistent efforts will begin to lean towards a growth which will be both personal and spiritual. There are a lot of folks who start by learning meditation for the self awareness side and find that the more they get deeper into the meditation, things seem to enter more of the spiritual side. Spiritual does not always mean religious, more like a higher level of peace and calm is attained. As you can see, the benefits of meditation are many.

Daily Meditation

To many people, daily meditation not only serves as a tool to feel better about ones self at that moment in time, it is also used as a type of transformational avenue to a better self. However, the transformation must not be viewed as a passive activity. As an example of this, think of a caterpillar and how it may appear on the outside that it is resting in its cocoon. However, inside the cocoon there are many changes taking place on its transformation to becoming an amazing butterfly. If you take a look at your own life is there any thing missing? Do you feel that it lacks joy and love? Maybe there is illness, aches and pains? What about lack of money? You may be surprised to hear this but in most cases, where you are now is down to choices and decisions you made earlier in your life. A big part of this which makes you believe that you are lacking in your life is a belief system that was sucked in by you in your childhood. Beliefs like this can play havoc with your life. Maybe you were raised in a home where drunkenness and anger dominated. Anyone who has lived through a scenario like this may have a few issues with safety and trust. These are messages that just sit at the very back of your mind which controls a lot of the beliefs you currently hold onto. You don’t take any notice of high good a life is surrounding you right now. You seem to be attracted to certain people and situations which back up your beliefs. But things have changed. Your beliefs may been valid earlier in life and may have acted as a safety mechanism but now you are later on in life and those old long held beliefs maybe trapping you into a life you don’t deserve. Daily meditation will be able to change this. You can make the change by using meditation as an avenue to lose the self defeating thoughts and start to build a fresh new set of beliefs which you can live your life by. Results happen gradually and it may take a little while so this is why daily meditation is the key. You can not expect to tear down your old beliefs overnight as they have been built up in your mind for a number of years. This does not mean it will take the same amount of time to lose them, far from it but it will take a little practice. And once you have started to build up a new system of beliefs, you will be able to use daily meditation to maintain and build on what you have put into place.

Meditation and Relaxation

When people ask about meditation and relaxation, they wish to know what makes meditation different from other ways to relax is that your mind remains alert as you meditate. This is done by concentrating on a single thing or item but what should this be?
The easiest thing to focus on is your own breathing pattern. This provides a basic focal point for the mind. You can choose any simple physical object to focus on as long as it does not make you think of other things which will get in you minds way of your focus. Chose a neutral object and not something which has any emotional attachment to. Whilst focusing on an object, your eyes can be opened or closed as you can still picture the object in your mind. So the object could be real or imaginary. Try to use an object which represents the goal of your meditation. As an example, if you are trying to relax then your point of focus as you meditate should be calm waters or a slow floating cloud. If you are looking for inner strength, then a focal point such as a rock will do the trick. Words or sounds as a point of focus can also be used. By using a word, this is often referred to as a ‘Mantra’. You can choose any word that may have a special meaning or is connected to your goal of meditation. Words such as “peace”, “love”, “one”, or “relax”. Be careful not to choose a word will start a new chain of thoughts that will defer you away from your primary focus. One important part of the meditation process is the part which is linked to the related focus. This is known as the passive frame of mind. A normal mind will normally try and distract you by filling your mind with other thoughts while you meditate. You must try to take control and not let this happen. As you meditate more, your mind will become better at ignoring all other thoughts and maintaining focus. By keeping a passive attitude as you meditate will allow your mind to treat any distraction as nothing and detach it from your focus. If you find your mind beginning to wander and think about the work stuff, just relax and re-focus on your breathing or focal object. The more you practice the better your mind will become. Try not to force this, just focus on the calm. Meditation and relaxation will guide your mind back to your focal point or mantra. Try and meditate daily and you will improve.


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