Meditation Made Easy

By · December 4, 2009 · Filed in Balance

Meditation has been practiced for years and is a valued component of several different religions.  More recently though, meditation has been used outside of traditional religions for the psychophysical benefits it offers.  Here we will take a brief look at meditation:  the definition, how it’s used and the benefits.

What is Meditation?

The word meditation is derived from two Latin words:  meditari, which means to think, dwell upon or exercise the mind; and mederi, which means to heal.  It is not, as many believe, simply a prayer or form of worship.  To meditate means to become aware.  Simple activities such as fishing or watching wildlife could be considered meditation as long as these activities are free from any outside or inner mental distraction.

The techniques involved in meditation have become widely popular.  The health benefits associated with meditation have helped spread this popularity.  Through meditation one tries to achieve awareness by ridding the mind of everyday thoughts and focusing on the “here and now.”  The various techniques involved are known to improve concentration and relieve stress, creating a happier and more confident self.

How to Meditate

There are several different forms of meditation, but all of them have the same goal in mind:  to focus on the present moment and improve self-awareness.  Many mediation experts agree that this awareness will come in hierarchal stages as the meditation progresses, but as a beginner it’s best to keep it simple.  You can get started by following these simple steps:

1. Choose a quiet place and sit comfortably.  Remember to keep your back straight.  This will help facilitate breathing and focus.  Place your hands comfortably on your knees or in your lap.

2. Clear your mind and begin taking deep regular breaths.  Breathe deeply, inhaling with your nose and exhaling with your mouth.  Feel the breath fill your stomach activity.

3. Now you are going to focus on your breath and your breath only.  If another thought comes into your mind, recognize it and then get back to your breath.  The goal here is to think about nothing.  Focusing on your breath will help to clear your mind.

4. If you wish, you can use a mantra to help keep your focus.  Different religions use different mantras for this purpose.  For example, Christians often use phrase such as “Jesus is Love,” repeated over and over to help them concentrate only on their breath.

5. Continue this for 10-20 minutes focusing only on your breath.  If you feel distracted, recognize the distraction, and continue your measured breathing.

Meditation Benefits

Meditation allows you to focus on the moment and the moment only.  Regrets about the past and worries for the future can create harmful stress and keep people from maximizing their potential.  Mediation will help quell these worries and help you to become more relaxed and alert.  Below are some of the common and most widely reported benefits of mediation:

Meditation is:

1. Accessible.  Meditation is always accessible.  It can be done at home or the office whenever you wish, and can be done alone.  You need not drive across town and waste half the day at an appointment.

2. Free.  It won’t cost you a thing.

3. Easy to learn.  Just follow the simple steps above.  Every time you engage in mediation you can improve.

4. Healthy.  Meditation is used to help treat a variety of conditions by providing the simple opportunity for focusing on the present.  Among the conditions are:

· Stress

· Anxiety

· Depression

· Insomnia

· Pain

5.  Empowering.  Many people and corporations are using meditation as a way to improve self-esteem, focus and productivity.  By eliminating stress and increasing awareness, individuals are learning to lead fuller lives.

Start today and see if it works for you!

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