Meditation For Dummies by Stephan Bodian
The great thing about meditation is that it’s actually quite simple. Just sit down, be quiet, turn your attention inward, and focus your awareness. Meditation is simply the practice of focusing your attention on a particular object — generally something simple, like a word or phrase, a candle flame or geometrical figure, or the coming and going of your breath.
In everyday life, your mind is constantly processing a barrage of sensations, visual impressions, emotions, and thoughts.
In general, when you meditate, you narrow your focus, limit the stimuli bombarding your nervous system — and calm your mind in the process.
“Meditation techniques are just different paths up the same mountain.”
Repetition of a meaningful word or phrase, known as a mantra
Mindful awareness of the present moment (for more on mindfulness.
Following or counting your breath.
Paying attention to the flow of sensations in your body.
Cultivation of lovingkindness, compassion, forgiveness, and other healing emotions.
Concentration on a geometric shape or other simple visual object Visualization of a peaceful place or a healing energy or entity.
Reading and reflecting upon inspirational or sacred writings
Gazing at a picture of a holy being or saint Contemplation of nature Chanting praises to the Divine.
Science based benefits of Meditation.
Stronger focus and concentration.
Reduced tension, anxiety, and stress.
Clearer thinking and less emotional turmoil.
Lower blood pressure and cholesterol.
Support in kicking addictions and other self-defeating behaviors.
Greater creativity and enhanced performance in work and play Increased self-understanding and self-acceptance.
More joy, love, and spontaneity.
Greater intimacy with friends and family members.
Enhanced feelings of happiness, contentment, and subjective well-being.
Deeper sense of meaning and purpose.
MEDITATION’S SPIRITUAL ROOTS
Although many ordinary folks are meditating these days (including, no doubt, people you know), the practice wasn’t always so readily available. For centuries, monks, nuns, mystics, and wandering ascetics preserved it in secret, using it to enter higher states of consciousness and ultimately to achieve the pinnacle of their particular paths.
Highly motivated laypeople with time on their hands could always learn a few techniques. But the rigorous practice of meditation remained a sacred pursuit limited to an elite few who were willing to renounce the world and devote their lives to it. for more on the history of meditation.
When you meditate, you get closer to the source of the water and learn how to recognize its taste. (Depending on their personalities and where they are on the mountain, people use different terms to describe the water’s taste, such as calm, peace, well-being, wholeness, clarity, and compassion.
It doesn’t matter where you’re headed or where you stop on your way up the mountain; you still get to dip your hands in the water of being and taste it for yourself. Then you can begin to find the taste of being wherever you go!.
BECOMING AWARE OF YOUR AWARENESS
Most of the time, you probably don’t pay much attention to your awareness. Yet the truth is that it’s crucial to everything you do. When you watch TV, study for an exam, cook a meal, drive your car, listen to music, or talk with a friend, you’re being aware, or paying attention.
Before you begin to meditate in a formal way, you may find it helpful to explore your own awareness.
First, notice what it’s like to be aware. Are there times in your life when you’re not aware of anything? Complete this thought: “I am aware of… .” Do this again and again and notice where your awareness takes you.
Next, pay attention to whether your awareness tends to focus on a particular object or sensation or tends to be more expansive and inclusive. You may find that your awareness resembles a spotlight that flows from object to object. Notice how your awareness flows without trying to change it.
MINDFULNESS: MEDITATION AS A WAY OF LIFE
Based on my years of experience and training, I’ve found that mindfulness, which blends concentration and receptive awareness, is one of the simplest techniques for beginners to learn and also one of the most readily adaptable to the busy schedules most people face. After all, if you’re like me, you’re primarily concerned with living a more harmonious, loving, stress-free life, not lifting off into some disembodied spiritual realm divorced from the people and places you love.
In fact, the beauty, belonging, and love you seek are available right here and now — you only need to clear your mind and open your eyes, which is precisely what the practice of mindfulness is intended to teach! When you pay attention to your experience from moment to moment, you keep waking up from the daydreams and worries your mind fabricates and returning to the clarity, precision, and simplicity of the present, where life actually takes place.
The key to your peace of mind lies not in your circumstances, but in how you respond to them. As the Buddhists say, suffering is wanting what you don’t have and not wanting what you do have, while happiness is precisely the opposite:
Enjoying what you have and not hungering for what you don’t have. This concept doesn’t mean that you must give up your values, dreams, and aspirations — only that you need to balance them with the ability to accept things as they are.
Thanks For Reading Meditation Benefits.