So many people talk about meditation and how important it is in helping people maintain a happy and healthy existence. Even the US Marine Corps, which is home to the toughest warriors in the world, began a pilot meditation program in 2013. Medical studies have also shown that meditation is an incredibly effective method to increase learning ability and relieve stress. Stress, as many of us know, leads to many ailments. These include sleeplessness, depression, chest pain, and a rise in blood pressure on the physical side; forgetfulness, inability to focus and changes in appetite on the emotional side. The potential for alleviating stress is exactly why we need to answer the question of what is meditation…
According to Deepak Chopra meditation is:
“….way to get in the space between thoughts.”
According to the Meditation Society meditation is:
“…[a] process that leads to a state of consciousness that brings serenity, clarity and bliss.”
According to the buddhist centre meditation is:
“…a means of transforming the mind.”
Mediation is a “way”, a “process” and a “means.”
Meditation is a tool available to all of us to help relieve stress, which in turn, assists us in living happier, healthier lives. As humans we have the ability to plan for the future, live in the now and remember the past. This is what has allowed us to become very successful inhabitants of Planet Earth. It is these same abilities that are the very foundation of all stress in our lives. There are several schools of meditation that you can practice:
This is a western version of meditation that has been crafted based upon the Buddhist practice from 2500 years ago, Vipassana. It is the practice of being in the moment. Through effective mindfulness meditation practices you will learn to focus your thoughts on one subject, if only the sound of your breath, providing great relaxation – if only for those few minutes.
This type of meditation does not involve focusing on breath or one subject. Transcendental meditation techniques teach us to enter a state of “restful alertness.” You will achieve this through repeating a mantra or phrase of your choosing.
Often called moving meditation, Tai Chi involves specific body movements that are appropriate for all ages.
Kundalini Yoga is a combination of meditation techniques and movements. A quick web search will result in many meditation learning opportunities or you may want to check your local recreation center for group learning opportunities. Keep in mind that no matter what form of meditation you choose, it does take some time to learn; nonetheless, you can expect to feel more relaxed and de-stressed after every session. Do it for you and enjoy the process…