Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed
and focused. Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and
concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.
Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds,
and nothing to touch – and try to detach themselves from the commotion around
them. You may now focus on a deep, profound thought if this is your goal. It may
seem deafening at first, since we are all too accustomed to constantly hearing
and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise you will find yourself
becoming more aware of everything around you.
Meditation is most commonly associated with monks, mystics and other spiritual
disciplines. However, you don’t have to be a monk or mystic to enjoy its
benefits. And you don’t even have to be in a special place to practice it. You
could even try it in your own living room!|
Although there are many different approaches to meditation, the fundamental
principles remain the same. The most important among these principles is that of
removing obstructive, negative, and wandering thoughts and fantasies, and
calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and
prepares it for a higher quality of activity.
The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbors, bossy officemates,
that parking ticket you got, and unwanted spam– are said to contribute to the
‘polluting’ of the mind, and shutting them out is allows for the ‘cleansing’ of
the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.
If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening – those
with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions – you need not
worry. The principle here is to be in a comfortable position conducive to
concentration. This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and
If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that would be a good
starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not
tense or tight. In other positions, the only no-no is slouching and falling
Loose, comfortable clothes help a lot in the process since tight fitting clothes
have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.
The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in
your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. You
might want an exercise mat if you plan to take on the more challenging positions
(if you feel more focused doing so, and if the contortionist in you is screaming
for release). You may want to have the place arranged so that it is soothing to
Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated
area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine.
Pleasing scents also help in that regard, so stocking up on aromatic candles
isn’t such a bad idea either.
The monks you see on television making those monotonous sounds are actually
performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound
which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.
You do not need to perform such; however, it would pay to note that focusing on
repeated actions such as breathing, and humming help the practitioner enter a
higher state of consciousness.
The principle here is focus. You could also try focusing on a certain object or
thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.
One sample routine would be to – while in a meditative state – silently name
every part of you body and focusing your consciousness on that part. While doing
this you should be aware of any tension on any part of your body. Mentally
visualize releasing this tension. It works wonders.
In all, meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are well
worth the effort (or non-effort – remember we’re relaxing).
Additional Meditation Resources
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