Meditation, What is it All About?

You are probably reading this article today because of that lingering question you have; Meditation, what is it all about? Well, you may have heard of the phrase “quieting the mind” this is what most people desire to achieve, which can be done while doing meditation.

Let’s start by defining Meditation, a practice by which an individual uses mindfulness and pays strong attention to the present moment that helps to train the mind to achieve a state of calmness. 

Meditation has been here for quite some time, it was believed that it has been practiced for thousands of years with the earliest documented records tackling meditation involving Vedantism (a Hindu tradition in India) around 1500 BCE, historians believe that meditation was practiced even before this time, as early as 3000 BCE.

As time moved forward, Meditation evolved. Different techniques have been improved and are being practiced from one culture to another. Here are six of the most popular and practiced Meditation Techniques:

  • Spiritual Meditation is used across the world by numerous cultures and religions. 

“A spiritual meditation is a meditation practice you partake in with the desire to connect with a higher power, the Universe, God, your Highest Self, etc.,” says Jen Alico, a certified meditation coach.

  • Mindfulness Meditation is a technique that has two parts: Attention and Acceptance. 

Attention is about tuning into what’s happening in the now, the present moment. It usually involves paying more attention to your breathing, your thoughts, what you feel in your body, and the emotions you are experiencing at the moment while the Acceptance part involves feeling those feelings without judgment and instead of responding or reacting to those thoughts or feelings, you aim to acknowledge them and let them go.

  • Focused Meditation is a technique that involves concentration using any of our five senses. This meditation style requires you to focus all your attention on either an object, sensation, or sound. It aims to help you feel calm while using a focal point as opposed to just trying to clear your mind.
  • Movement Meditation is a technique that incorporates slow and practiced bodily movements. Some examples are Tai Chi and Yoga.
  • Chanting Meditation is the practice of meditating while reciting various chants, which are often in the form of mantras.  
  • Visualization Meditation is a style that requires concentrating on a mental image or images to help focus and center the mind and body. Scenarios like picturing waterfalls cleansing your body, inhaling and exhaling rays of light in and out of your body, or visualizing areas of the body where you feel the tension slowly decreasing are simple ways to create a sense of calm and peace.

Here are the short-term benefits of practicing meditation based on studies:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower heart rate
  • Slower respiratory rate
  • Lessens stress and anxiety
  • Lowers blood cortisol levels
  • Improves well-being
  • Deeper relaxation

Now, you may ask “What is the best meditation technique for me?” The answer lies in the type of personality and lifestyle you have, as there is no perfect way to meditate. One glove can not fit all, this means exploration into the different types is key until you find the one that works best. If you want to start exploring make sure to look for a Meditation or Wellness Studio and get connected with a coach.

Francis O'Palick 14/11/2022

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