Meditation Practice Tips

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Originating as a component of the Eastern religions more than 5,000 years ago, meditation has been proven beneficial in alleviating stress, lowering blood pressure, improving concentration, alleviating insomnia, and creating a heightened state of relaxed awareness. Regular practitioners report an overall increase in happiness and peace of mind as well as a generally more positive outlook. Meditation can also be used to achieve a higher state of spiritual awareness and understanding.

Some individuals have even used meditation to transcend the body’s natural pain thresholds, achieving seemingly superhuman feats of endurance and pain tolerance through intense meditation.

Meditation can be practiced by anyone, regardless of age or physical health. It requires no special equipment or tools. The only thing that meditation requires is time and patience. Beginners may see their attention drift when first attempting meditation and may have problems reaching a relaxed state of focus.  Techniques become easier and more beneficial with practice.


What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice that brings about profound, deep peace and a state of awareness that surpasses what we can achieve strictly at a cognitive level.

How Do I Meditate?

  1. One easy method of meditation centers on breathing.
  2. Find a quiet place.
  3. Sit down in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  4. Close your eyes.
  5. Breathe slowly and rhythmically, inhaling through your nostrils and exhaling through your mouth.
  6. Focus your mind exclusively on the act of inhaling and exhaling.
  7. Expand your attention to other parts of the breathing process, such as the rise and fall of your chest.
  8. Continue until your mind is empty of any thought and only holds the awareness of your breathing.

The previous exercise is an example of concentrated meditation in which the object of mental focus is breathing. This focus can vary by the type of meditation being performed. Some concentrated meditations use visualization to concentrate focus on a real or imagined object, while others use a repetitive sound known as a mantra. These meditations can be done alone or as guided meditations in which an individual or group is walked through a set of instructions by a coach.

Finding the right kind of meditation for you is more art than science and may require some experimentation. Adapting techniques to suit your own personality and style is perfectly acceptable if you are pleased with the result.

What Are Some Other Types Of Meditation?

Another type of meditation is called mindfulness meditation in which the practitioner turns his or her awareness to present thoughts and surroundings. With this technique, the individual acts as a neutral observer.

  1. Find a quiet place.
  2. Sit down in a comfortable position with your back straight.
  3. Keep your eyes open and focused slightly downward a few inches in front of you.
  4. Keep your focus soft, seeing everything but concentrating on nothing.
  5. Breathe slowly and rhythmically, inhaling through your nostrils and exhaling through your mouth.
  6. Keep all your observations in the present.
  7. View all your thoughts from a detached perspective as if they were not yours. Let them come and pass without reflecting upon them.
  8. Continue until your only awareness is an unemotional observation of the present.

Mindfulness meditation can be more difficult for beginners to grasp than concentrated meditation.

An option for those who have trouble sitting still is fluid meditation. Fluid meditation combines physical activity with the mental aspects of meditation and includes yoga, tai chi, and qigong.

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