Article by Arlene Myers
Meditation is a universally-accepted process of cleansing, healing and restoring the mind, body and the spirit practiced not just in today’s modern world, but in ancient cultures. Yogis, or people trained with the ancient art of meditating, proclaim meditation as the highest state of mind, where clarity and self-awareness is achieved, producing a kind of mystical peace and tranquility.
Meditation and yoga, which is a highly structured mental and physical meditation, are propagated by many schools of thoughts. As such, there are various meditation and yoga principles from the Eastern to the Western cultures and from spiritually-evolved cultures like Oriental, Indian, Tibetan and Grecian. Though they have different names for the types of meditation and yoga they are propagating, these techniques often possess similar objectives and steps.
Here are a few different and important types of yoga and meditation which was practiced in the ancient world but still survives and given some modern twists today.Prayer Meditation is considered one of the oldest and most effective types of yoga or meditation, not to mention the most basic process of connecting within one’s inner self as well as the surrounding, and the relationship between the two. This is not surprising since all religions in the world have embraced some form of meditation as a major process in the understanding and attaining of their spiritual goals. Whether it is a simple prayer, a chant or a mantra, prayer is the simplest, easiest and most accessible yoga and meditation one can perform at any time.
One of the most popular types of meditation and yoga is Mindfulness Meditation. It is a meditation technique where one focuses on the field or background and embrace all the perception around that field. In mindfulness meditation, the person is trained to have an open focus of all the inter-related senses coming from the immediate environment while concentrating on a unifying object or a foundation from which to channel all t he other senses that is being absorbed or experienced.
In contrast to mindfulness meditation is Concentration Meditation, where one channels all the energy and focus on one specific object or subject, blocking all distractions around. In concentration meditation, the person holds attention on a single specific focus of thought, which could be a prayer bead, or a thought-based anchor for concentration like a mantra or repetitive prayer.
While concentration meditation trains the mind to withdraw all attachment beyond the self to develop full self-awareness, mindfulness meditation encourages the mind to recognize elements beyond the self to be able to know the whole self as a constitution of all the other elements.
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