The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation, which has been practiced since ancient times, is the art of silencing the mind and your surroundings. In this high paced world, meditation can be very beneficial. There is something special about the feeling you get when you meditate. It is hard to explain what it is. It is a kind of inner peace, a level of tranquility. It is like the relaxation of sleep, but it is different because you are fully aware and alert.
In 1500 different studies since the 1930’s, meditation has clearly shown to offer a wide variety of benefits.
Here are a few:
- Improving concentration – Clearing your mind makes you more creative and productive.
- Better Health – Meditation reduces the stress in your life, and stress has been directly linked to poor health.
- Less aggravation – When you meditate, you learn to let the little things go. Little things no longer bother you anymore. Meditation teaches you how to live in the moment and let go of the past and release the worry in your life.
- Know Thyself – When you begin to meditate you begin to learn about yourself. You will find your inner voice, and you will get a better understanding of life.
- Immune System – Meditating has been linked with a stronger immune system.
Meditation allows you to see the whole picture in life, not just the little meaningless aspects. It widens your view. You become aware at a deeper level. You learn about consciousness.
Everyone has the time to spend 15 – 30 minutes a day meditating. There is no excuse not to. You are only benefiting yourself. If you have trouble finding time, wake up 15 minutes early or watch less TV.
How To Meditate
Meditation does take practice, and the first time is always the hardest. Do not less this discourage you. Keep at it, because it only gets easier. Do it everyday for the most benefit. First a few tips:
- Make sure you go somewhere quiet, where you will not be disturbed.
- Sit with a straight back. Do not lay down because you will fall asleep.
- You do not have to sit in the lotus position (famous meditating position). Just sit comfortably with back straight on the floor, or a chair.
- Do not eat before meditating because your body will want to use all it s energy for digestion.
- For greater effect, light a candle or incense.
- The best time to meditate is in the morning.
To clear the mind, concentrate on one thing. Concentrate on a single thought. At first, when you try this, it will be quite difficult, and you will see how fast your mind races. As thoughts come, acknowledge them, and let them pass just as easily as they came.
You can concentrate on things like a candles flame, a flower, or a dot.
When you lose focus (and you will), go back to your flame or dot. Go back to your single thought… Or instead of looking at something, concentrate on your breathing. Breathe through your nostrils, and out of your mouth. Do not force your breathing, just let it go in and out naturally. Listen to the sounds of your breathing.
Another technique people use is a mantra. All you do is repeat a single sacred word like “Ommmm” . When you repeat this several times, it forces your mind to focus on one thing. Once you have mastered this, you can move on to step 2, no thought at all.
This is when things become much more difficult. Separating your thoughts from yourself is not easy and it requires a lot of practice, but when you get it, it is a feeling and experience unlike any other. When thoughts come to your mind, throw them out. Do not let them in.
You are not a collection of your thoughts. You are something far deeper.
Through meditation, you become the master of your thoughts, and not the slave to them. Through meditation, you control your mind, and your level of happiness. When the meditation session is over, you will feel completely rejuvenated and refreshed.