What is Meditation?
There are many meditation techniques and an equal number of explanations of what meditation is. Ask a person what they think of Meditation and they might imagine a robed monk sitting on a mountain, or another mystical scene. This is an easy idea to get, considering that the practice of Meditation is common in Eastern religions, such as Hinduism and Buddhism (hence the connection to Chakra). The act of meditation is an innately human process, and gaining popularity throughout the Western world for its many benefits (Meditation for Beginners). It can be done for itself, not as required by a spiritual or religious practice.
In its simplest form, Meditation clears and relaxes the mind, reducing the usual chatter of thoughts, leaving clear mental focus. It is easy to describe, but not always easy to achieve, especially for the novice meditator. The mind is like a wild animal. Meditation brings the animal to rest.
There are many ways to achieve the meditative state and an equal number of methods for achieving the desired outcome from a session.
How to do it?
First on the list is preparation:
Find yourself a quiet distraction-free place, for the duration of the Meditation session. On a personal note, where I live in Hong Kong is a tough place to find peace – two building sites, busy road, many people, tram line… Sometimes listening to meditative music with headphones (especially, the noise reducing variety) can help to improve the experience. Switch off or mute your smartphone, or any digital device likely to demand your attention.
Being interrupted during Meditation is frustrating, so let family or anyone likely to interrupt you, know you’ll be busy for a while.
How much time?
If you’ve seen the movie or read the book “Eat Pray Love,” you’ll be forgiven for thinking successful Meditation requires sitting in an Ashram for hours on end. This is not true. And a major reason to give up Meditation. I recommend starting off with short sessions – 10-20 minutes each time, morning and evening. The shorter sessions are easier to schedule. Try to keep up this routine for 21 days or one month, make it a habit. If you want to increase session time, go ahead, but integrate Meditation into your life before doing so.
Next is posture and sitting position:
Keep a straight back, seated in a chair with feet flat on the floor, cross-legged on the floor or sitting on a Meditation cushion. It is possible to meditate lying down, but may be difficult to remain focused and stay awake.
Seated on the floor in lotus or half lotus position is a favorite Meditation posture, especially for Zen Buddhist Zazen meditation. However, the cross-legged position may be painful for those lacking flexibility. It is acceptable to adopt a seated position for Zazen Meditation. See Meditation Posture: Choose the Best and Most Comfortable Posture for more information and pictures.
The Best Meditation Techniques for Beginners
Here is a brief list of Meditation techniques, click on the link to read a more detailed post. There are many more but these are the most popular.
As a Western version of Eastern Meditation and philosophy, it gets a lot of attention. Search for Mindfulness Meditation on the Internet, and you’ll think it is the latest and greatest technique for self-fulfillment, but in reality it has been practiced for 1000’s or years. Such is marketing! But don’t be put discouraged. Given correct instruction and diligent practice, the mindfulness will make a meaningful difference in your life.
Zazen meaning “seated Meditation,” is a Zen Buddhist practice used to calm the body/mind and to enable the practitioner to experience the nature of existence and gain enlightenment.
Helpful Links and Resources:
Top 5 meditation tips â€“ make it a daily habit – Modern practitioners of meditation face the same age-old question that meditators have asked themselves and each other for thousands of years: how can I motivate myself to meditate every day?