Meditation! Have you ever thought of trying meditation? If you are already practicing, that’s great! You already know all the good effects of meditation, and it’s a no secret. But those who have never tried meditation before and think of giving it a try but hardly find the time, or hesitate begin because you think it’s hard to close your eyes and sit still for long periods or find it difficult to keep the mind from wandering. Here’s the truth, meditation takes time to perfect, however, it’s the easiest and most available tool on the planet for personal development. Think of meditation as a way to strengthen your mind just like going to a gym to build your physical stamina. Strengthening your mind through meditation has positive outcomes on every aspect of your life be it your mental and emotional health, your physical health, your relationships, your work productivity, your discipline, and your overall happiness.
Moreover, there are dozens of meditation styles and techniques, each of them simply different from the other. It can involve focusing on breathing, mantras, meditation with yoga, chanting words, rituals and more. The world (of mediation) is your oyster! Let’s find out more about meditation.
Meditation, in simple terms, is a means of transforming the mind. It is a form of mental exercise where an individual can train his mind to focus, relax and create self-awareness. Meditation is not necessarily spiritual or religious, although it shares a long history with religion and offers important spiritual content for practitioners. Meditation is hard work and it takes time to master just like any other skill. The more you practice it the easier it becomes to stay focused.
The Origin of Meditation
Meditation is a really old and broad form of art. And, it started to become mainstream only around the 20th century and got developed in different parts of the world.
Meditation is said to have originated in ancient India and the oldest written records can be found in the old texts - Vedas dating 1500 BCE. During that time, meditation was a practice for religious people and wandering ascetics who sought to connect with divine universal forces and transcendental reality.
Later in the 6th century, Lord Buddha’s enlightenment and over the next several centuries, the spread of Buddhism led to their own approaches to meditation. Some of the popular Buddhist meditation techniques include Vipassana, Loving-Kindness, Mindfulness, which have grown to be highly popular in the West.
Besides, there are other forms of meditation around the world although they might not be as popular as Buddhist and Yogic traditions and are limited to their regions. Among them are Jain meditation (India), Chinese meditation, Christian meditation, Sufi meditation, Jewish meditation among others.
Meditation leads to an overall improvement in our physical and mental condition. Buddhist and Hindu monks have been meditating for thousands of years. And the positive effects are not unfamiliar. And in today’s world, technological advances have paved the way for science to observe how meditation strengthens the brain. Researchers have shown that meditation causes the brain to go through physical changes, which are largely beneficial. It has the potential for more than just stress relief.
Do you know there are hundreds of types of meditation? Some will work for you better than the others, just like different diets. There’s no cookie-cutter approach to meditation, you have to find the right type for you, and practice with the right approach. And the only way to find out which works the best for you is to try them.
There are meditation types that have several subtypes as well. Let's focus on two popular types of meditation practices - the Hindu and Buddhist meditation traditions.
Hindu Meditation Techniques (Vedic and Yogic)
Buddhist Meditation Techniques
There are dozens of meditation benefits . From health gains to psychological benefits, meditation yields a surprising number of health benefits. A practice of 20 minutes a day is all that is required to experience significant improvement. Find out some of the significant health
benefits of meditating.
Having understood about the benefits of meditation , it’s also imperative to know that the experience of meditation may depend and differ from case to case. You must be willing to experiment with different methods and stick with it to discover a meditation style that suits you best.