When one hears the word meditation, one can think of saffron-robed monks or bearded yogis who are bent into contorted positions. Such prevailing image existing, one definitely has to ponder.
Meditation is nothing more than putting one’s mind at ease by controlling the focus of one’s attention. Meditating is a skill that can be learned by anyone, no matter their religious or spiritual point of view.
Properly considered, meditation is indeed a form of attention and awareness training that does involve far more than a simple emphasis on breathing. Literally, any activity that does improve concentration and awareness can be made use of to focus on meditation. As such, meditation could indeed be easily classified as a psychological, kinetic, or hepatic intervention just as easily as a breath-related intervention.
Although meditation has been going on for centuries in Asia, until recently, much of Western civilization has also started practicing meditation.
Contemporary scientific research on the effectiveness of this technique does lead to more widespread acceptance by Western individuals, however. People from all walks of life who are concerned about stress as well as good health now do make meditation an important part of their lives.
In the US people lead a very stressful life and are extremely busy. They do need time off to meditate to relax and feel calm. Meditation does make one very productive. Meditation helps one to focus well on life. It improves one’s memory power. Meditation can also help reduce ones anger and hostility feelings as it teaches one not to pass judgments on others and makes one be more passive when it comes to situations which involve aggressive behavior. It helps us to control our reactions in a given situation and thus indirectly helps us to avoid stress.
In order to develop a non-judgmental attitude, meditation does require learning to notice whatever does appear before us without forming judgments. Meditation does require acknowledging judgments and then letting them go.
How to practice meditation?
- One has to wear comfortable loose-fitting clothing and also sit in a chair on the floor in a comfortable position. Cross one’s legs in a comfortable way.
- Mentally one needs to scan one’s body for tension. If one notices any tension, imagine it draining away and also being replaced by relaxation.
- One needs to begin to breathe slowly through one’s nostrils, from one’s abdomen. One can try imagining a balloon inflating and deflating just beneath one’s belly button as one breathes. One needs to count silently each time one inhales. On the first inhale, count one; then exhale slowly. Then one needs to inhale, count two and so on until one reached ten. If one can become distracted, one needs to simply return to counting. After one has to finish counting to ten, add a word like one or calm or amen as one exhales.
- Keep the focus on one’s breathing, attending to each in-breath and each out-breath for their full duration, as if one were riding the waves of one’s own breathing. Whenever one becomes aware that one’s mind has wandered away from one’s breathing, one notices what it was that took one away and then gently brings one’s attention back to one’s belly and the feeling of the breath coming in and out.
- Become aware of one’s thoughts and feelings at these moments, but observe them without judging them or yourself. At the same time be aware of any changes in the way one is seeing things and feeling about oneself.
- One has to continue the exercise for about 15 minutes. Sit or even lie quietly for a few minutes before one return to other activities.
There are many steps of meditation – 4 Steps To Use Mala Beads For Meditation. One of the oldest forms is referred to as Vipassana or Mindfulness meditation. Mindfulness meditation does involve learning to focus one’s attention on whatever one is doing at a given moment, in the present. When learning mindfulness, it is, of course, easiest to choose a simple activity such as eating a piece of fruit. Here is a mindfulness inspired activity one can try which does help you develop one’s concentration and sensory clarity powers.