Meditation has countless benefits, but are you doing it effectively?
Meditation, a practice through which we can attain a deep peace, can significantly improve ones life. It is a technique that has been around for thousands of years, one that allows a person to accomplish complete awareness and stillness of the mind. Used by many as a means to better concentration and focus, maximum brainpower, increased clarity and over all emotional wellbeing. There are many benefits of meditation so it is really important to ensure you know how to meditate effectively.
Research studies have indicated that the average person can have anywhere from twelve thousand to sixty thousand thoughts per day. These thoughts are not necessarily new thoughts. It has been found that some are in fact replicated thoughts from the previous day. More astonishingly, an estimated 80% of these thoughts tend to be more negative than positive.
Many of us can confirm that we spend a substantial amount of time, more than necessary, worrying about events that never actually occur. So given the fundamental link between the body and mind, isn’t it high time we start to take control of our mind so we can live our life to the fullest?
We can all remember a time, even if only briefly, where we sensed a deep liberating peace, a point in time where we felt in complete harmony with life, a moment where we embraced a thorough understanding for the world around us. Through meditation, we can achieve this again. Meditation can help us manage our restless mind and help us decrease the unnecessary time spent worrying and stressing over things that may never occur.
There are various types of meditation techniques that can aid us in enriching our life. Here we are going to study the four main categories of meditation techniques that are practiced around the world and make sure you know how to meditate effectively. These include concentration meditation, reflective meditation, mindfulness meditation and creative meditation.
Concentration meditation in its simplest form involves focusing completely on a single object at a time, whilst refraining from any distractions. It provides the foundation for all other meditation techniques. In this state of complete concentration we must be free from greed and hate. We must allow the mind to travel freely. Through the ability to concentrate, the mind can acquire greater calm, stability and clarity, so that confusion, anxiety and lack of attention become problems of the past.
To practice concentration meditation, it is useful to find yourself a nice relaxing place to begin. Sit in a comfortable position that will help you attain a state of relaxation. You may find it easier to lay your palms on your knees. Begin breathing deeply, focusing on your slow breaths in and again out. Allowing yourself to become aware of how your body feels as you embrace each deep breath. As thoughts enter your mind, simply acknowledge them without giving them your focus. Be aware that you are having thoughts and bring your focus back to your breathing.
By focusing on how we are breathing we are performing concentration meditation. Others focus on things that are easy to hold their attention on and with clarity that brings them joy. Some people enjoy practicing concentration meditation as they are out on a relaxing walk. During which time they focus on their steps.
Reflective meditation involves us becoming aware of our state of being, allowing us to see things as they are not how we think they should be. Reflective practices can include walking, yoga and Tai chi. These reflective practices allow us to give our attention to what is currently happening in our life. It eliminates what we may think will happen or remember happening. We gain an awareness of how we are feeling in this present moment, be it happy or sad, anxious or at ease, tired or alert. We are simply alive and aware.
By engaging in this disciplined thinking we can choose an idea, situation, or question and focus our thought on it. Should we find our mind wondering, we just simply bring it back to our focus thought.
Mindfulness is a state of awareness of simple being in the present moment, when your mind is relaxed and conscious of your experience, including thoughts and feelings, sensations and breathing, and accepts everything with an attitude of non-resistance and equanimity. Thus, you can experience everything fully without self-criticism or clinging to your personal identity and importance.
The majority of our problems arise from our lack of awareness and mindless actions in life. The practice of mindfulness can help us improve focus and concentration, enhance the quality of our communication, manage stress, increase our efficiency and build self-confidence.
While concentration and mindfulness bring more focus and awareness into our lives, creative meditation helps us to transform and apply the habits of the mind with greater efficiency. Creative meditation can help us with developing and strengthening particular qualities of our nature. It can also invite more possibilities and potentials into our lives.
For example, creative visualisation is one of the most used methods of creative meditation. It can assist us with fulfilling personal desires, such as succeeding in professional life or attracting happiness. Our subconscious mind does not discern between imaginative and real-life stimuli. Although an impression may last only seconds, the subconscious mind can trigger similar emotional, mental, and psychological reactions repeatedly. Thus, by bringing desirable emotionally charged images into our awareness we can exercise productive control over our imagination and influence the positive qualities of our mind.
We all know that we can train our physical body and gradually develop stamina and flexibility by exercising regularly. The same rules are true for the mind; numerous studies have demonstrated that it is possible to develop greater intelligence, creativity, and other mental capacities. With the diligent practice of meditation, your mind will become more clear, composed and powerful, and you will be able to apply it to any task or activity with mindfulness and superior efficiency.