Article by Sandra Jones
Meditation is a practice that has been around for centuries, and for good reason. Not only is meditation a wonderful way to relieve stress, there is medical evidence emerging to show that the practice of meditation can boost a person’ immune system, lower cholesterol, end insomnia, improve circulation, counter anxiety, ease chronic pain and may even allow a person to live a longer life. These are all wonderful reasons to give meditation a try.
There are several different methods of meditation that are not complicated and can easily be incorporated into your regular daily routine. And since there are so many varied ways to meditate, finding one that works well for you should be simple. Here we will discuss two different ways to meditate daily. Each will help you calm your mind and bring your attention to only one thing. For many people, this may be a challenge since multitasking is ingrained in us and seen as a wonderful skill for all kinds of careers and even in our personal lives. But in time, you’ll be able to meditate with ease and realize the extreme benefits that come from this ancient practice.
Basic Breath Mediation is based on the foundation of all meditation techniques – breathing. We are always breathing but we rarely pay any attention to it. Practicing Basic Breath Meditation forces you to become aware of your breathing, each time you inhale and exhale. Observe how you breathe, pay attention to it, feel where your breath moves within your body and eventually you can change your breathing. You can actually use this meditation technique anytime and anywhere. It’s a good idea to start by practicing this technique for about 10 minutes a day and then gradually work your way up 15 then 20 minutes daily.
Here are the steps to performing Basic Breath Meditation
1. You can either sit or lay down for this technique. If you choose to sit, pick a comfortable position with your legs crossed. If you choose to lay, then lay on your and keep your body straight. Put a pillow or a rolled towel under your knees and keep your arms at about 45 degrees from your body.2. Breathe through your nose, in then out. Pay attention to your breath, feel where it goes and how it moves through your torso. 3. Take notice of how your breathing changes once you begin to focus on it.4. If your mind drifts (and it will), refocus it back onto your breathing.5. Try bringing your breath into areas of your body where you feel it doesn’t always reach. Consciously send it to places like the small of your back, your thighs, places that feel dull or empty. Let your breath follow your consciousness.6. When your meditation session is complete, bring yourself back from the session by wiggling your fingers and toes and then stretching your arms and legs before you stand from your seated position. But if you are lying down for your session, roll onto your side before moving into a sitting position. Stand slowly, rolling up your torso and finally raising your head.
If the previous technique doesn’t fit your thoughts of the ideal technique for you to use, then you may want to try Mindfulness Meditation. This technique is aimed at seeing things as they really are and therefore seeing things more clearly. It’s about being fully aware of things. For instance, when you are eating an apple you are aware of the smooth skin, the feeling of your teeth sinking into the apple’s flesh, the sound of your chewing, the sweet or tart flavor in your mouth, the texture of the apple on your tongue. With this type of technique, it’s suggested that you start with five minutes a day, gradually adding a few minutes a day until you reach a full twenty minutes.
Here are the steps to performing Mindfulness Meditation
1. Find a comfortable position where you’re sitting on a pillow, a chair, maybe on the couch or the floor.2. Relax and begin to listen to the sounds around you. Practice letting go of the sounds. Don’t hold onto them, but don’t push them away either.3. As you breathe in think “in” and as you exhale think “out.” 4. I nevitabl y, your mind will wander and thoughts will drift in. Maybe you’ll start thinking of a pain in your neck or the conversation you had with your manager last week that didn’t go quite the way you expected. Don’t be afraid to acknowledge the thoughts or feelings that come to your mind, spend just a moment with it and then return to your thoughts of “in” and “out.” 5. You may find yourself dwelling on that pain in your neck or that ill-fated conversation. These thoughts may continue to pop up. In this case, maybe you’ll want to mentally label them with words like “pain” or “disappointment” and then bring your awareness back to your breathing.6. Traditionally, to end this type of meditation session, dedicate the new energy you’ve created to others. You can do this in a few ways, but try saying “may the merit of this practice be dedicated to all beings everywhere. Stand. You should feel more centered.
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Spirituality and Health Magazine – We report on the people, the practices, and the ideas of the current spiritual renaissance. Spirituality Health is open to all points of view on spiritual questions, drawing on the world’s wisdom traditions as well as science, psychology, sociology and medicine.
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