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Practitioners of meditation describe increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook on life. Meditation is usually associated with monks, mystics and other spiritual disciplines. However, you don’t need to be a monk or a mystic to enjoy its benefits. We will talk about meditation benefits later on. And you don’t even need a special place to practice it. You could even begin meditating in your own living room!
Although there are many different approaches when it comes to meditation, the fundamental principles are the same. The most important of these principles is removing obstructive, wandering, and negative thoughts, and calming the mind with deep focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of the activity.
The negative thoughts you might have like noisy neighbors, bossy colleagues, the parking ticket you got, and more unwanted spam are said to contribute to your mind’s pollution, and shutting them out is what allows for the cleansing of the mind so that it is able to focus on deeper and more meaningful thoughts.
Some practitioners even try shutting out all sensory input like sight, sound, touch and try to detach themselves from the noises around them. You can now focus on deep, and profound thoughts if that is your goal. It can seem impossible at first since we are all too used to constantly hearing and seeing things, but as you continue this exercise you will find yourself becoming more aware of everything that is around you.
If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening, like those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking positions you don’t need to worry. The principle here is to be in a comfortable position which would be helpful for concentration. This can be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, or even walking. If the position you chose allows you to relax and focus, then that is a good point to start. If you are sitting or standing, your back should be straight, but not tense or tight.
For other positions, the only restriction is slouching and falling asleep. Loose and comfortable clothes help a lot while meditating since tight fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up after which you feel tense.
The place you perform your meditation should have a calming atmosphere. It could be in your living room, bedroom, or any place that you would feel comfortable in. You might want to get an exercise mat if you plan on taking on more challenging positions (if you feel more focused and able to do so). You may want to have your place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.
Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a more quiet and isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the buzzing of the washing machine. Pleasing scents also help in this case, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t a bad idea.
The monks you see on television that are making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantras. This, simply, is a short creed, a simple sound that holds a mystic value for these practitioners. You do not need to do that; however, it could help to focus on repeated actions such as breathing, and humming can help the practitioner enter a higher state of consciousness.
The principle here is to focus. You could also try focusing on some specific object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a specific sight.
One sample routine could be to while in a meditative state to silently name every part of you body and focusing your consciousness on that part. While doing so you should be aware of any tension of any part of your body. Mentally visualize the release of that tension. This works wonders.
There are also many meditation CDs on the market nowadays that have been scientifically proven to alter the brainwaves in such a way that could help you achieve a deep meditative state.
In all, it is a relatively risk-free practice and the meditation benefits are well worth the effort (or no effort, remember we are relaxing after all).
Studies have shown that meditation does create beneficial physiologic effects to the body. And there has been a growing general agreement in the medical community to further study these effects. So to start cashing in on all the benefits…start meditating today!
If you already meditate, what are some benefits of meditation that you enjoy?
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