When we hear the word ‘meditation’, we visualise a monk sitting on summit of a hill under a cosmic tree. Isn’t it ? What we don’t realise is that, meditation is connected deeply with each and everyone of us. It is an age old principle for self-awareness. There are several meditation benefits on health as well.
We humans are practising meditation for over five thousand years. In this day and age, when we live in a world crammed with chaos and noise, it is even more relevant.
Why meditation is getting popular day by day ?
“Taking bath cleanses our body. Likewise meditation cleanses our mind”
Since the time we wake up, till we go to bed, we come across tons of events, thoughts and emotions. These further grow inside our mind as the day passes by. Sometimes these multiply to an extreme extent and appear much bigger than life.
Meditation basically clears the clutter inside our mind. It broadens our awareness, simultaneously sharpens our focus. In other words ‘meditation is a simple solution to our immensely complex mind’. Thereby it is widely accepted at present.
Is meditation difficult ?
When initially I tried meditating, it was a great deal of struggle. My mind drifted in every possible direction and I almost backed down. What to do if you face such situation? Well, then be persistent and “Don’t give up”.
Very nature of human mind is to wander. It can travel from one endmost point to another in fraction of seconds. Hence it is obvious for any beginner to fail to concentrate while meditating.
Moreover meditation is something that can not be mastered in a single day. Rather it is a practice. As you exercise it more and more, you get better at it.
Sometimes people force themselves to meditate. Inability to do so incites frustration. So, rather than relaxing you, what it leaves you with is stress. Therefore don’t be in a hurry. Have patience and grant your self some time.
How and when to meditate ?
Here are some basic tips on how to meditate for concentration. Choose a calm and quiet place. Sit with an upright posture. Shut your eyes and put your hands one over the other, on your lap / join in namaste position/ keep on knees as demoed in the figure.
Morning hour is the classic time for meditation. Because your mind is utmost still just after waking up. On top of that, if you pick this particular time, then meditation becomes part of your morning routine.
Few individuals prefer evening hours as well. When you return home after finishing a hectic day at work, your brain is overwhelmed with numerous thoughts, incidents and informations. Meditation untangles your mind and induces sound sleep.
But there is no hard and fast rule for meditation. You can go for sitting, lying or standing position. Along side you can practice mindfulness while pausing at traffic signal, waiting for doctor’s appointment or standing in long grocery queue.
How long should you meditate?
To avail maximal benefit, meditate for at least 20 minutes a day. If you can devote an hour daily, from your schedule it is even better.
How often should someone meditate? Well once a day is enough. But if you are too tied up with work, then meditating only just once a week is fruitful too.
However start with few minutes a day in the very beginning, then successively increase the duration.
Methods of meditation :
With due course of time, a number of methods are discovered for meditation. Certain commonly practiced ways are discussed below.
1. Mindfulness meditation
In this variety of meditation, you just have to observe your mind. You as a third person simply watch your thoughts moving, without actively interfering it. Gradually as you practice, you will notice positive change in state of your mind.
2. Focused meditation
In this sort of meditation, you have to focus on a particular thing, for instance a candle or any other fixed point. Or else you can roll beads of a ‘Mala’ too. Whenever mind is driven to distraction, you consciously bring it back to the point of focus.
3. Breath control meditation
This is one of the excellent meditation tips for beginners. It is said that breath connects ‘body’ and ‘mind’. So, take deep and slow breaths. Observe closely the way you are inhaling and exhaling. Deep inspiration and expiration delivers a signal of calmness and well-being to your mind.
4. Body scan meditation
Here you take your attention to various parts of body, one after the other. You sense tension and stress in each segment and then relax it. First start from feet, then gently move up to rest other parts and in the end shoulder, neck, eyes etc.
5. Mantra meditation
Here you repeatedly recite a word or a phrase i.e. a mantra. You immerse yourself entirely in that mantra.
Always keep it in mind that there is no right or wrong way to meditate. Whatever works best for you is the ideal way for you. Personally for me breath control coupled with body scan meditation is the most suitable technique.
If still you are facing hardship, then join a meditation centre. These days there are apps and videos too, to mentor through the process.
Meditation benefits on health:
Though meditation is practiced for a very brief period, its effect lasts through out. Below are some of meditation benefits on health.
You will certainly notice a transformation in your concentration ability, when you add meditation to your daily routine.
As per my experience, previously what took me an hour to accomplish, post meditation that required half an hour or less.
2. Negative emotions
Meditation fills you with positive vigour. It also keeps negative emotions such as anger, fear, jealousy, lust etc at bay.
Furthermore it calms down your nerves. It stops unnecessary chatters of mind. Subsequently it expands your consciousness and keeps you at peace. Therefore it is pivotal for stress management and maintaining proper mental health.
It helps you achieve hours of undisturbed sleep. Hence it is favourable especially to people suffering from insomnia.
There are proven benefits of meditation in some diseases like hypertension, heart disease, peptic ulcer, tension headache etc. Evidently it also helps to deal with chronic cancer related pain.
It is noticed that meditation is of great support to people, who are willing to quit cigarette.
Though meditation takes care of body, mind and soul ; you should not defer medical treatment if you’re suffering from any ailment.
To sum up :
Many people complain that they are too much occupied with work and are not able to make time for meditation. Two points I want to share with them.
- Firstly you engage in dozens of activities each day for your body, like eating, drinking, working, sleeping etc. If you are not eager to spend few minutes a day for the most important part i.e. your mind then you are at loss.
- Secondly, you don’t need a perfect time, place or posture to meditate. You can carry out it anywhere and anytime, even during a very brief break.
Moreover you need not be accurate at meditation, to incorporate it into your life.
Practice these above mentioned meditation tips for beginners routinely and get better at it day by day.
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