Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of awareness and focused attention. Meditation is also a consciousness-changing technique that has been shown to have a wide number of benefits on psychological well-being.1
Some key things to note about meditation:
Meditation has been practiced in cultures all over the world for thousands of years.
Nearly every religion, including Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam, has a tradition of using meditative practices.
While meditation is often used for religious purposes, many people practice it independently of any religious or spiritual beliefs or practices.
Meditation can also be used as a psychotherapeutic technique.
There are many different types of meditation.
Meditation can take on many different forms, but there are two main types: concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation:2
Concentrative meditation - involves focusing all of your attention on a specific thing while tuning out everything else around you. The goal is to really experience whatever you are focusing on, whether it's your breath, a specific word, or a mantra in order to reach a higher state of being.
Mindfulness meditation includes, among others, both mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT). Mindfulness can target different issues, such as depression, which means that its focus may be different from practice to practice. Overall, it involves the state of being aware of and involved in the present moment and making yourself open, aware, and accepting.
Impact of Meditation
Consciousness is often likened to a stream, shifting and changing smoothly as it passes over the terrain. Meditation is one deliberate means of changing the course of this stream, and in turn, altering how you perceive and respond to the world around you.
Research has shown that meditation can have both physiological and psychological effects. Some of the positive physiological effects include a lowered state of physical arousal, reduced respiration rate, decreased heart rate, changes in brain wave patterns, and lowered stress.
Some of the other psychological, emotional, and health-related benefits of meditation include:
Better management of symptoms related to anxiety disorders, depression, sleep disorders, pain issues, and high blood pressure
Better stress management skills
Changes in different aspects of attention and mindfulness
Improved emotional well-being
Improved working memory and fluid intelligence
Greater empathy for yourself and others
Tips for Meditating
If you are interested in trying meditation, there are some tips and tricks that will help you get started on a beneficial meditation practice.
Start slow. Begin by doing short sessions of around 5 to 10 minutes a day, and then work your way up progressively to longer sessions.
Set a schedule. Try meditating at the same time each day—for a few minutes first thing in the morning, for example.
Get comfortable. Sitting cross-legged on the floor is one option, but comfort is the real key. You need to be in a position where you can sit for several minutes without getting uncomfortable, stiff, or restless.
Focus on what you're feeling. Breathe naturally and notice the feelings and sensations that you experience as you breathe in and out.
Don't try to suppress feelings. Your mind is bound to wander as you meditate—and sometimes this can lead to thoughts and feelings and are uncomfortable or even distressing. The goal isn't to clear your mind of such thoughts. Instead, acknowledge these thoughts without judging them, and then gently guide your focus back toward your breathing.
Top meditation links to help you start your journey:
Meditation Expert - On this website, you will find non-denominational information on various guided meditation methods, transpersonal psychology, consciousness studies, Zen, Christian meditation, Buddhist contemplation, vipassana, Japa, kundalini awakening, yoga, chakra balancing, mantra, comparative religion, and the common stages of spiritual progress.
BioEnergy Free Ebook - Download the "BioEnergy Affirmations Code" for FREE and start practicing the affirmations to truly help you experience powerful & positive transformation in your life. THIS EBOOK IS 100% FREE!
Meditation Supply Kits - Learn how to meditate easily in 5 steps! You will be able to use a short daily guided meditation that will help you relax in your busy life.
3 Minute Meditation - It’ll take just a few minutes of your day… You can practice it anywhere… And best of all, you’ll be able to meditate like a pro and feel true inner peace in just 21 days. But, before I tell you more about the proven meditation method that has changed thousands of lives in 40 countries.
Spirited Meditation - By Discovering The Principles Found In This Program, You Can Experience The Enlightenment That So Many Around The World Have Used To Gain Crystal Clear Focus.
Ennora Binaural Beats - Ennora Binaural Beats are special meditation music recordings that entrain your brain for better health and wellbeing, helping to reduce stress and anxiety, increase focus and productivity, improve sleep, heighten spiritual consciousness, and more. Simply listen through headphones and relax. It's that easy.
Relax your Mind - Easy to learn relaxation meditation that combines all of the meditation techniques taught in the book. Daily practice will help you not only to reduce the effects of stress, but it will help you to relax more and feel at peace.
FeminEssence - Meditation has been practiced since ancient times. For thousands of years, people have experienced the physical, mental and spiritual benefits of meditation. Many scientific studies have proven that meditation enhances brain function, lowers blood pressure and heart rate, reduces anxiety, and improves our overall health. The power of the mind to influence the body is quite remarkable. Meditation is a discipline for your mind, just like walking or swimming are exercises for your body.
Sacred Sound Healing - A website devoted to the sounds of meditation. Offering guides, tools, instructionals, and instruments to help you achieve and productive and relaxing meditation experiences.
7 Minute Mindfulness - A simple, fast, and doesn't require any cognitive effort. A system where you don't have to "Learn" and where you're not at the mercy of what a former monk once described to me as "MEDITATION RESISTANCE".