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Med­i­ta­tion “is a gen­er­al term for a tech­nique in which a per­son emp­ties his mind of extra­ne­ous thought, with the intent of ele­vat­ing the mind to a dif­fer­ent lev­el and tran­scend mun­dane con­cerns”. It is a prac­tice of con­cen­trat­ed focus upon sound, object, breath, or atten­tion itself to feel the present moment and be ful­ly aware. The more you med­i­tate the less chance you will make a mistake. Med­i­ta­tion is an effec­tive way of train­ing our minds to stay present. In this infor­ma­tion age we live in, It’s hard to stay focused. Our minds wan­der around, and we are usu­al­ly dwelling over the past, stress­ing about the future, wor­ry­ing, fan­ta­siz­ing, and day­dream­ing. Med­i­ta­tion can help bring our minds back to the cur­rent moment, by pro­vid­ing us with tech­niques which are required to calm down our thoughts and reduce the stress level. Med­i­ta­tion is a gym work­out for your mind, just as exer­cis­ing for your body. If we don’t retrain the brain it can cause added pain. Learn­ing prop­er tech­niques of med­i­tat­ing is quite straight­for­ward, and its ben­e­fits can be felt imme­di­ate­ly. Let’s explore some basic tips to get you start­ed on the jour­ney of med­i­ta­tion, Here we will offer you some basic tips to get start­ed on a jour­ney that leads to greater equa­nim­i­ty, joy, and acceptance!

Concentration Meditation

Gen­er­al­ly, one of the eas­i­est ways to begin med­i­ta­tion is by con­cen­trat­ing on your breath, which is also one of the com­mon approach­es for med­i­tat­ing, called con­cen­tra­tion meditation. The objec­tive of con­cen­tra­tion med­i­ta­tion is to devel­op a sin­gle-mind­ed atten­tion direct­ed at some object: an image, a breath, a can­dle flame, or a word or phrase. By con­tin­u­al­ly return­ing your atten­tion to this object you will devel­op the abil­i­ty to remain calm, focused, and grounded. This approach involves a per­son focus­ing on one point. This can entail fol­low­ing your breath, star­ing at the flame of a can­dle, repeat­ing a mantra or a sin­gle word, count­ing the beads of a string, or lis­ten­ing to the same song repeatedly. At the begin­ning of your med­i­tat­ing jour­ney, it will be quite chal­leng­ing to focus your mind, thus start with a short dura­tion, 5–10 min­utes, then grad­u­al­ly work up for longer durations. The idea of this tech­nique is to just refo­cus the aware­ness on your select­ed object of con­cen­tra­tion every time you observe your mind is wan­der­ing. Instead of pur­su­ing ran­dom ideas, you sim­ply loosen their hold. Your con­cen­tra­tion abil­i­ty improves through this technique.

Mindfulness Meditation

Mind­ful med­i­ta­tion is anoth­er med­i­ta­tion tech­nique that has become great­ly pop­u­lar over the last few years. The basic con­cept behind this prac­tice is to stay focused on the cur­rent moment with a dis­po­si­tion that is accept­ing and non­judg­men­tal. The aim is not putting a stop to think­ing or emp­ty your mind but, the notion is to stay atten­tive close­ly towards your thoughts, phys­i­cal sen­sa­tions, and emo­tions as they arise with­out get­ting involved, in assump­tions, or make up stories. This is an easy exer­cise that demands you to stay there, at that moment, with­out day­dream­ing. How­ev­er, it can lead to pro­found results with prac­tice, giv­ing you more con­trol over your actions, allow­ing more room for equa­nim­i­ty and kind­ness, even in tough sit­u­a­tions. Also, with time, this can help you bet­ter com­pre­hend the rea­sons behind your stress and what can be done to alle­vi­ate them. Stu­dents fol­low the com­bi­na­tion of mind­ful­ness and con­cen­tra­tion med­i­ta­tion in some med­i­ta­tion schools. Many dis­ci­plines demand still­ness for a less­er or greater degree, rely­ing on the method of the teacher.

Movement Meditation

Move­ment med­i­ta­tion, this prac­tice may include walk­ing through the woods, gar­den­ing, qigong, and oth­er gen­tle forms of motion. It’s an active form of med­i­ta­tion where the move­ment guides you. Move­ment med­i­ta­tion is good for peo­ple who find peace in action and pre­fer to let their minds wander.

Why should you Meditate?

 meditation music l guided meditation l mindfulness meditation l benefits of meditation Med­i­ta­tion increas­es aware­ness of your­self and your sur­round­ings. It is also an effec­tive way to reduce stress and devel­op con­cen­tra­tion. It also can help in devel­op­ing oth­er ben­e­fi­cial habits and feel­ings, such as a pos­i­tive mood and out­look, self-dis­ci­pline, healthy sleep pat­terns and even increased pain tolerance. When you med­i­tate, you inject long-last­ing ben­e­fits into your life that does not require extra effort or expen­sive mem­ber­ship. Try­ing out a style of medi­a­tion suit­ed to your goals is a great way to improve your qual­i­ty of life, even if you only have a few min­utes to do it each day. Some of the rea­sons to med­i­tate are:
  • Under­stand­ing the pain
  • Reduce your stress
  • Improve focus
  • Con­nect better
  • Low­er brain chatter
Relax­ation is often the result of med­i­ta­tion, even if it isn’t your aim. A researcher named Her­bert Ben­son, at Har­vard Uni­ver­si­ty Med­ical School, con­ceived a term called ‘relax­ation response’ in the 1970s when he researched indi­vid­u­als prac­tic­ing tran­scen­den­tal med­i­ta­tion. Ben­son explained this relax­ation response as an invol­un­tary oppo­site response, which reduces the sym­pa­thet­ic ner­vous system’s activity. Since that time, many stud­ies per­formed on relax­ation response has not­ed short-term advan­tages for your ner­vous sys­tem, which are:
  • Improved cir­cu­la­tion of Blood
  • Low­er­ing of blood pressure
  • Low­er­ing of heart rate
  • Decreased res­pi­ra­to­ry rate
  • Less per­spi­ra­tion
  • Less anx­i­ety
  • Improved sense of wellbeing
  • Decreased cor­ti­sol lev­els in the blood
  • Deep­er relaxation
  • Less stress
Cur­rent researchers are explor­ing now if con­tin­u­ous med­i­ta­tion prac­tice leads to long-term advan­tages and record­ing pos­i­tive impacts on the brain, includ­ing the immune sys­tem among med­i­ta­tors. How­ev­er, it is worth men­tion­ing again here that the aim of med­i­ta­tion isn’t achiev­ing advan­tages. As the East­ern philoso­pher might say, the aim of med­i­tat­ing is no aim, but it is sim­ply to remain present.

Some tips to consider in order to meditate

The way of train­ing your mind through med­i­ta­tion is quite sim­ple (and hard) than many peo­ple think. You can go through the fol­low­ing steps, ensure you are at a place where you could relax into med­i­ta­tion, set a dura­tion, and give this process a try.

1- Select a time

Like any oth­er habit, med­i­tat­ing gets eas­i­er if it becomes a part of the rou­tine. Select a time of doing med­i­ta­tion every day and make sure to hold onto it. Many peo­ple find med­i­ta­tion most con­ve­nient in the day. How­ev­er, whether it is at lunch, before going to bed, or after work, ensure if you could be consistent.

2- Pick a Spot

Sim­i­lar­ly, opt­ing for the same place every day can help in med­i­ta­tion. Although not essen­tial, it can aid in min­i­miz­ing mind wan­der­ing and the like­ly dis­trac­tions. Sit­ting on the floor or fold­ing the legs in a lotus posi­tion, aren’t nec­es­sary at all. Just look for a suit­able posi­tion in which you can remain com­fort­able for some time, and place which feels calm and you could sit upright, and also not get too much distracted.

3- Get your Equipment (or don’t)

Spend­ing a dime isn’t what is need­ed to start med­i­ta­tion. All that is required is a place to sit, and some will pow­er. With that being said, there are many med­i­ta­tion cush­ions, chairs, and some oth­er acces­sories for all those who pre­fer get­ting kit­ted out. How­ev­er, a sat­is­fac­to­ry chair or soft rug at a qui­et place is actu­al­ly all that is needed.

4- Set a Duration

If you are a begin­ner, it can be pret­ty help­ful to you if you pick a short dura­tion, such as 5 or 10 minutes.

5- Feeling your Breath

While med­i­tat­ing, focus your con­cen­tra­tion on your breath and the way your body moves dur­ing every inspi­ra­tion and expi­ra­tion. Observe your shoul­ders, chest, and bel­ly through­out the movement. Just breathe nat­u­ral­ly with­out con­trol­ling the inten­si­ty or pace. In case of mind wan­der­ing, return your con­cen­tra­tion towards the breath.

6- Don’t judge the wandering mind

Be kind towards your wan­dered mind and do not think about the con­tent com­pris­ing your thoughts or judge your­self. Sim­ply come back.

7- Finish with Kindness

If you have closed your eye, open them, or lift the gaze. Take some time and notice the sounds in your envi­ron­ment and how the body is feel­ing right now. That is it; this is the whole prac­tice. You expe­ri­ence going away, then com­ing back, and all of this is done as nice­ly as it can be.

8- Challenges of Meditation

The approach of med­i­ta­tion mere­ly looks sim­ple, but it can turn sur­pris­ing­ly dif­fi­cult. Yet this does not mean by any chance that you are failing.

9- Start with a Good Outlook

Approach­ing new med­i­tat­ing prac­tice requires a healthy atti­tude. Try to remain relaxed, friend­ly, and curi­ous as these qual­i­ties would help you dur­ing inevitable wax and wane of meditation. In case you are strug­gling with med­i­ta­tion or judg­ing your­self, give your­self some time to relax as the pur­pose of this approach is not to get full con­trol over the mind or cease think­ing alto­geth­er, but to bring a calm, accept­ing, and com­pas­sion­ate approach in every situation.

10- Manage Expectations

Remem­ber, med­i­ta­tion is not panaceas. You may expe­ri­ence dif­fi­cult emo­tions, and ran­dom thoughts will not dis­ap­pear com­plete­ly. How­ev­er, with time, focus­ing dur­ing med­i­ta­tion will become easier.

Common Problems

Self-crit­i­cism: Almost every­one has encoun­tered some sort of self-doubt while med­i­tat­ing that I am doing this wrong!  I can­not fol­low my breath! Although this is a nat­ur­al impulse, it isn’t helpful. You should remem­ber that the con­cept of med­i­ta­tion isn’t erad­i­cat­ing think­ing. It is only to remain present with what is hap­pen­ing at the moment right now. Try let going of all sorts of judg­ments and whether you have attained your aims, as we all have the poten­tial for mind­ful­ness and calmness. Sleepi­ness: A lot of peo­ple expe­ri­ence sleepi­ness while med­i­tat­ing. The rea­son can be that the mind is over­stim­u­lat­ed, or the body is very tired and requires some rest. How­ev­er, some ways can wake you up skill­ful­ly for engag­ing in med­i­ta­tion prop­er­ly. Choose walk­ing med­i­ta­tion. You can lis­ten to sounds rather than using breaths to focus your atten­tion. Try straight­en­ing your pos­ture and open­ing your eyes. Rest­less­ness: Our bod­ies are so much used to stay­ing busy that med­i­tat­ing can appear bor­ing ini­tial­ly. If this occurs, try not to be very crit­i­cal on your­self and focus on very par­tic­u­lar sen­sa­tions like your out-breath or try con­trol­ling your breath­ing, such as tak­ing short­er inspi­ra­tion and longer expiration.  Enaam Ela­mas­si (cer­ti­fied high-per­for­mance coach™) has been con­tributed to the article.

At least but not last

Med­i­ta­tion isn’t a rem­e­dy for all diss­es, yet it is backed by much sci­en­tif­ic evi­dence that it can be ben­e­fi­cial to those who per­form it on a reg­u­lar basis. When we prac­tice med­i­ta­tion, our mind learns how to access the wealth of qual­i­ties that already exist with­in us. And when we are able to access our most essen­tial qual­i­ties of good­ness and com­pas­sion, we nat­u­ral­ly give them expres­sion in the world around us because hap­pi­ness starts within. If you find a lit­tle time dur­ing the morn­ing or at night, instead of scrolling down aim­less­ly on your mobile phone, see what it feels like if you strive to calm down the mind or sim­ply con­cen­trate your ran­dom thoughts and release their hold with­out react­ing over them.

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