What is meditation?
Meditation has become very popular in the Western world since the 70’s, but very few people knows what exactly is meditation. The Buddhist describe meditation as “A means of transforming the mind. Buddhist meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things.” Meditation is empowering and liberating. By regularly practicing meditation, the energy of mind and body can be liberated, to expand the level of consciousness.
Benefits of meditation
People who meditate regularly, often have a calm mind, their concentration skills improve, their thoughts become clearer, show better communication skills, their energy level raise, and, in general, they experience a feeling of well being, relaxation, and rejuvenation.
Five Easy Steps to Begging Meditation:
- Find a quiet location. Avoid distractions in a peaceful spot. It can be a separate room, the house, a garage, a garden, an outdoors spot like a park, beach, mountain, etc.
- Set up 5-15 minutes every day. As you practice more and become more experienced, you can increase you practice to reach a 30-45 minutes level. The only person who determines the time is you, as you become more comfortable, you can see how long your mind and body can stay still.
- Wear comfortable clothes. Since breathing is the most important part of your meditation, wear loose clothes, preferably no shoes, or nothing that gives the body pressure and affects your breathing.
- Sit in a comfortable position. Sit in any way you want, some people sit with extended legs, crossed legs, in lotus position, with folded legs, it doesn’t matter, as long as you feel comfortable in the same position for the entire time of you meditation practice. Keep the head and spine straight, to avoid falling asleep. Some people keep their backs straight against the wall, which is fine. To sit in meditation you can sit in a cushion, in a chair, you may use a stool or meditation bench. Remember, you will be in the same position for the entire meditation period, and you don’t want to be distracted by moving your legs, experiencing cramps, pain or joint stiffness.
- Focus on your breath. Stop any mental chatter, focus all your attention to your breath, take 3 deep slow breaths, fill your lungs with air and hold it for few seconds, then let it go slowly. Allow your breath to become natural, Keep a mental count of your inhales and exhales from 1-10, counting inhale as one, exhale as two, etc. and after 10 start over the count, as soon as you notice your mind wandering, go back to focus on you breathing, until you get used to meditate.
As you become more experienced in meditation, you will bring more awareness to your breath over time, and decrease your mind wandering and judging. You will notice an improvement on your mental skills, and will experience a general sense of mind clarity and well being.
There are some optional items and props you can use, to have more mindful meditation experience, such as, ear plugs, guided meditation videos and CD’s, meditation music and nature sounds, incense, essential oils, malas (meditation rosary) and bracelets, a meditation clock, etc.