Meditation is a major component of yoga that allows mental alertness and calmness. In meditation, it allows you to be conscious of your breathing and thoughts, hence, it automatically coordinates you thinking process and relaxes your whole mind. It is practiced by applying relaxation methods that allows you to control breathing and focus on thought process. This process is establishing the “stilling” of mind, thus, bringing the mind to complete stillness and focus on contemplation.
Meditation, known as Dhyana, travels with us through ages since it was started around 1500 BCE from Hindu traditions of Vedantism. It became popular in the West sometime in 1960’s. The process evolved through time and is now supported with scientific proof, informing us of the benefits of meditation on the body and mental health.
Presently, five methods of meditation remained popular and being practiced because they give us the best results. Each of these methods is done for at least 20 minutes for best results.
Mindfulness helps us to put our focus at the present moment and time. We do not have to pay attention on our spirituality since its primary purpose is to train us about awareness of presence. It allows us to be fully present and see our thoughts as separate entity, which means that we do not have to do with any of them. This will, in time, teach us to watch negative thoughts that pass by without hurting us. This is one of the foundational rule of mindfulness.
Mindfulness was popularized by Jon Kabat-Zinn. It trains us to prevent “secondary suffering.” This “secondary suffering” boosts our pain by thinking about negative ideas and feelings that occurred to us. It replays like a recording again and again. Mindfulness teaches us to remove secondary suffering and our negative thoughts and help us live better, happier, and healthier state.
Maharishi popularized Transcendental Meditation in sometime in 1960 when he met the Beatles and taught this process to them. This meditation method teaches us to silence the mind and transcend to the root of all this present-moment consciousness. This meditation involves repeating a special mantra provided to you by a qualified Transcendental Meditation coach. This mantra is repeated internally – in your mind – and you put your attention completely on your breath and the sounds of the mantra. We allow other thoughts to come in but we do not engage with them.
After a while, you will notice that your thoughts are quiet and peaceful and you feel that you have transcended to your core of being. Only a qualified Transcendental Meditation coach can train you on this method and who knows the right mantra for you. Your coach will teach you the process with full accuracy.
Walking meditation gives us a special experience compared to other meditation methods. It requires slow and mindful walking in nature. We use our surroundings to anchor ourselves in the present time and moment. This method is a good start for beginners to meditation because it is very effective in making our senses more active. We are taught to feel the wind and breeze passing through our face and as our feet touches the ground.
Basically, this meditation practice is done on nature walks as long as you are comfortable with the surroundings. This can even be done in a busy city.
Mantra Meditation is similar to Transcendental Meditation which involves the use of series of words repeated again and again to relax the mind. These mantras can be repeated silently or aloud depending on your surroundings and how comfortable you feel with chanting aloud. There are different mantras with different meanings.
This method is basically done while sitting in a meditative position with slow and relaxing breaths. We use the same principle for most meditation techniques where we allow everything to be in the present time. When distractions and thoughts come, we know that it is ok to allow them. We let everything to be as it is while we focus on our mantra. After sometime of our meditation, we realize that those distractions are removed naturally.
Mala-Bead Meditation uses mala beads made of wood or some precious gemstones. A real mala bead necklace contains 108 beads. We are supposed to count every bead using a mantra. Mantra is repeated on every bead – which means 108 times. This method should be applied with slow and deep breaths. At the end of the beads on the necklace, you will find inner peace and contentment.
Those meditation methods will help us go through our daily lives against challenges and negative experiences that can destroy ourselves. In modern world that involves harsh realities, meditation allows these negative thoughts to be just part of life and of the present moment. We accept them but we do not linger on those negative thoughts.
To deepen your meditation experience, you can look for a qualified meditation coach to guide you.
Enjoy meditating, enjoy life at its best!!!
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