What is Meditation?

Meditation is an ancient technique practiced for spiritual, mental, and physical growth. On a psychological level, different styles of meditation have been shown to improve mood, decrease anxiety, lengthen attention span, and enhance feelings of connectedness, gratitude, and compassion. On a physical level, meditation leads to improved immune system functioning, a reduction in blood pressure and mortality from heart disease-, a reduction in fibromyalgia and chronic pain, a decreased hormonal response to stress, a reduction in psoriatic plaques, a decrease in irritable bowel syndrome, and a reduction in inpatient (-54%) and outpatient (-44%) visits to hospitals and clinics. Additionally scientists have recently found that meditation practice changes the structure and function of the brain over time and can lead to increased awareness and compassion (among other benefits). The desired purpose of each meditation technique is to channel our awareness into a more positive direction by totally transforming one’s state of mind. To meditate is to turn inwards, to concentrate on the inner self. The entire process of meditation usually entails the three stages of concentration (dharana), meditation (dhyana) and enlightenment or absorption (samadhi). The individual preparing to meditate usually starts off by harnessing his awareness, such as focusing his mind onto a certain object. Once attention gets engaged, concentration turns into meditation or dhyana. Through continuous meditation, the meditator merges with the object of concentration, which might either be the present moment or the Divine Entity. In some branches of Indian philosopohy, direct perception from the inner self (mana) together with perception that is filtered through the five senses (pancha indriya) form a part of their valid epistemology (pratyaksha jnana). And this self-realization or self-awareness (as popularized by Paramahansa Yogananda), is nothing but the knowledge of the “pure being”—the Self. Humanity is increasingly turning towards various meditative techniques in order to cope with the increasing stress of modern-day lifestyles. Unable to locate stability in the outside world, people have directed their gaze inwards in a bid to attain peace of mind. Modern psychotherapists have begun to discover various therapeutic benefits of meditation practices.

The state of relaxation and the altered state of consciousness—both induced by meditation—are especially effective in psychotherapy. But more than anything else, meditation is being used as a personal growth device these days—for inculcating a more positive attitude towards life at large. Meditation is not necessarily a religious practice, but because of its spiritual element it forms an integral part of most religions. And even though the basic objective of most meditation styles remain the same and are performed in a state of inner and outer stillness, they all vary according to the specific religious framework within which they are placed. Preparation, posture, length of period of meditation, particular verbal or visual elements—all contribute to the various forms of meditation. Some of the more popular methods are, Transcendental Meditation, yoga nidra, vipassana and mindfulness meditation. There’s more to meditation than just closing ones eyes.

We often live without ever truly stopping to examine our feelings and thoughts, much less the expectations and hopes and fears that underlie them. By observing our mental life, we can gain insights into why we do what we do, and we can begin to feel more authentic and present in our daily lives. The unity of your sense of self with your moment-to-moment experience, achieved by constantly pulling your attention and awareness back to the present moment, is at the core of many meditation practices makes us more aware of our neuroses, defenses, and other “stuck” areas in our lives.

Missing from meditation is the experience of working through mental conflicts with another person. When we can openly discuss our experiences with an empathic and genuine teacher or therapist, then our capacity to face the mental challenges that arise during our daily lives is enormously strengthened. So there is a need awareness about MEDITATION.

COME JOIN HANDS TO MEDITATE AND HAVE HEALTHY LIFE.

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One comment on “What is Meditation?

  1. it is a wonderful information. help to understand the actual meaning of meditation.
    like it.

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