Meditation isn’t a new practice; it has been around for thousands of years. Interestingly, it’s been a practice in countries that made it routine without knowledge that others all over the world were also meditating in some form. And while the meditation techniques may vary, the purpose behind it doesn’t vary much at all from culture to culture.
Let’s take a look at why different religions and/or cultures have embraced meditation through the ages.
The Buddhist Center states that meditation is “a means of transforming the mind.” Their techniques promote clarity of mind, concentration, focus on the present, positive emotions, and calming. In fact, the principles of Buddhism are center around meditation.
The faith of Baha’l promotes meditation as a way for the individual to connect with the forces of the universe.
Taoism believes that meditation helps establish qi – or nature’s force—within the individual meditating.
Christians have practiced meditation as way of deepening prayer and personal revelation.
Hindus meditate as a way of finding mindfulness and to connect the self with the universal or infinite force.
There are many other religions as well as non-religious practices related to meditation, and all have a singular purpose: for the individual to search inside him/herself for one’s own life force and nature’s forces in the universe.
Ok. Now, so far, reasons to meditate have been spiritually-based. But there are other reasons, too! Outside of the spiritual, what does meditation do?
It can boost the immune system and decrease inflammation (1), According to the Mayo Clinic, “Meditation can give you a sense of calm, peace and balance that can benefit both your emotional well-being and your overall health.” (2) Many practitioners say that it makes them more productive because it improves concentration versus continual scattered thought.
Using positive affirmations during meditation can certainly help self confidence, as well.
Now that we know what it does, how is the best way to do it?
Meditation Techniques – General
(If you are looking for specific techniques to follow, I’ll get into that in some other blog posts, so make sure you follow to get updates on techniques or other posts that might interest you.)
There are many different techniques to use when meditating and the type of meditation that you practice could be as individual as the goal you have for meditating in the first place. And, while there are also a number of different ways you could categorize meditation, there are 2 primary categories: guided meditation, and self-directed meditation.
Guided meditation enables the practitioner to be walked, step-by-step through the process of their meditation. It helps focus thought; it keeps the practitioner on track. This can be a good way to meditate if someone is new to the practice, or if they just want to have their thoughts guided toward the specific goal.
Self-directed meditation requires more discipline to refocus thought, but can be great for a very specific, individualized goal for the session.
Both have their place, and both can be very beneficial.
Are you new to meditation? Are you wanting some tools to help you get started? Here are some tools that might be helpful in getting you the easiest, most enjoyable entrance into the world of meditation. Check them out, and if you do, let me know what you think! I love success stories!