For many of us, when the word 'meditation' is mentioned, we think of a person of sitting crossed legged in the lotus position with hands on the knees, palms up facing up. We imagine that this person is concentrating on not thinking any thoughts at all for extended periods of time (perhaps up to an hour).........
In reality, meditation doesn't necessarily have to be this way. The outcome we want is what determines the type of meditation we choose to practise. Common types of meditation will be specifically be discussed in part 2 of this meditation series.
The online Oxford Dictionary (click Oxford Dictionary for link to original site) defines the word 'meditate' as;
- focus one’s mind for a period of time, in silence or with the aid of chanting, for religious or spiritual purposes or as a method of relaxation:I set aside time every day to write and meditateit was here that the monk spent much of the day reading and meditating on Scripture
- (meditate on/upon) think deeply about (something):he went off to meditate on the new idea
- [with object] plan mentally; consider:they had suffered severely, and they began to meditate retreat
A few of the many benefits of meditation include;
- Stress reduction & clearer thinking
- Feelings of peace and tranquility
- Improvement in self-esteem & quality of relationships & friendships
- Increase in alertness, energy & vitality
- Reduction in moodiness and irritability
- Increased intuition & harmonisation of mind, body & spirit
- Compassion, perception and awareness increases
One thing is for certain, with regards to achieving maximum benefits. Whichever type of meditation you choose, practise it regularly (preferably daily) at a similar time of the day.
- Begin with a short period of time, such a 3 minutes, and slowly build it up over a number of weeks. By doing it this way, you are more likely to establish a routine that is long lasting. Routine and regularity are the key to becoming better at meditation.
- Don't give up, or berate yourself, if you are finding it difficult to keep your thoughts where you want them to be. Over time, you will become more practised and your mind will relax and enjoy the experience.
- To get started, put on some relaxing music without words and sit in a comfortable chair. Use a timer so that you can relax into your practise without worrying about time. Close your eyes and simply focus on any thoughts that enter your head to float by, as if on a cloud, out of your head again. The aim is to not think about or put any importance on your thoughts, but to simply acknowledge them and let them disappear.
You may also like to join a meditation class where a qualified and experienced instructor can lead you through the process. The added benefit of this is that there are no distractions to keep you from your practise.
For the next instalment in this Meditation Series, click Meditation - Part 2 - Types of Common Meditation
What type of meditation have you/do you practise? Which have been the most effective? Which have been harder? Please post your comments and questions below.
Kylie of Complete Vibrational Therapies has a Diploma of Metaphysics and is qualified in meditation.
For information on my various meditation classes click Guided Spiritual Meditation Classes, Crystal Mandala Workshop and Sound Vibration Healing Meditation Circle.