What exactly is meditation? When most people hear this question, they immediately jump to the notion of sitting cross-legged and allowing their thoughts to float through their minds like bubble balls in a calm lake. In this article, however, we will explore the concept of meditation in a much more holistic fashion. It is important that we first understand what meditation really is. Then, we can examine different types of meditation and discover how it may benefit our own lives.
Meditation for Clearing your Mind
Meditation is an extremely useful practice in which an individual utilizes a specific technique — including mindfulness, or just focusing the mind on one thing, idea, or activity — to train focus and attention, and attain a physically calm and mentally relaxed state. This practice helps an individual to become aware of his or her body, sensations, breath, and world all at once. Meditation can be very helpful in reducing stress, anxiety, depression, and other types of mental ailments. Many people who meditate find that they have increased mental clarity, improved self-esteem, improved physical health, and better work and relationships. Others have come to realize that regular meditation practice helps them to eliminate fear, gain better attention, and even slow the aging process down to a level that might be able to be turned back around.
The whole idea behind what is meditation is that the individual puts his or her complete focus and attention on a single thing for a period of time. Different individuals have different methods of focusing their mind and achieving this state, but many of the different types of meditation share some common aspects. For example, some forms of meditation focus the mind solely on breathing. Others concentrate on the body and sensations, while still others go through the experience of being completely present in the moment. Whatever type of meditation you choose to focus your mind on, the important thing to remember is to go with the flow, and allow your mind to naturally follow along with you.
If you are just beginning to learn about what meditation is, it can be easy to get lost in the fact that it is something that you must do to open yourself up to new possibilities in life. This is completely true; however, if you just let your mind wander once in a while, you can actually use meditation to do things that would have seemed impossible a short time ago. For example, when you first start out meditating, it is easy to think about what you want to do. However, you should never think more than ten minutes at a time. Think about the things that you wish to accomplish, but don’t let your mind take you there. Your goal should always be to let your mind wander and come back to reality.
If you are interested in what is meditation, but not sure whether or not it will have any effect on you, try asking a friend or loved one to accompany you. They can help keep your mind sharp and focused while helping you to relax and gain perspective. One of the best ways to relax and gain perspective is through meditation. Different types of meditation require different amounts of concentration. Don’t expect to gain anything from meditation if you can’t concentrate.
In general, there are three main types of meditation: relaxation meditation, imagery meditation, and cognitive meditation. The first type, relaxation meditation, is simply getting yourself to a state where you are completely at ease, free of tension and stress. You can practice this by taking deep, relaxing breaths. Next, you can focus on feeling your muscles loosen as you exhale. Last, you can allow your mind to wander and bring it back to being fully aware.
The second type, imagery meditation, allows you to create an image in your mind in order to clear it and focus on it. You may visualize sailing off into the sunset. You can also imagine riding a motorcycle through the beautiful countryside. Other images you can conjure up include beaches and water. Getting yourself into an open, relaxed state like this can help you focus on the task at hand, which is learning to calm your mind.
Finally, a third type of meditation is called cognitive meditation, which involves using your mind to really think about and reflect on things that are causing you stress or other negative emotions. This may include thinking about past complaints or unpleasant experiences you’ve had at work. It may also mean looking at things you’ve done well and trying to appreciate them, appreciating your strengths and weaknesses, and so forth. Regardless of how you choose to do it, though, focusing your attention on all things that make you happy and healthy, as well as those that aggravate you, will help you keep your concentration open and clear.