So you want to learn to meditate or to follow a guided meditation? We hear about meditation in the news, read about it on the internet, and some of us may even have a friend or two that do it themselves. Nowadays, the stress is so overwhelming in so many people's lives that they are going back to a centuries old practice that is meditation. Meditation is not a religion nor a culture. Though it is practiced by Buddhists, you do not have to be a Buddhist to meditate.
In fact, millions of people meditate on a regular basis and don't have a the first clue about Buddhism. Yet, a lot of people out there still have the misconception that in order to meditate, you've got to be a Buddhist and have to meditate in a monastery somewhere up in a mountain in Asia. This could not be further from the truth.
So, what exactly is meditation you might ask? Well, according to Wikipedia, meditation is "a mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive, 'thinking' mind into a deeper state of relaxation or awareness." What does that mean? In plain English, meditation is about becoming better aware of yourself, and thereby developing a clearer and more focused mind.
These are some common benefits that you can expect from meditating:
1) Those who learn to meditate become aware of their intelligence. This is a means of objectively interacting with the world without bias. 2) Those who learn to meditate develop an awareness of self that allows us to focus on the present and not worry about the past or present (in a stressful manner). 3) Those who learn to meditate develop insight of the connections between the mind and body, and establish a better control over them. 4) Those who learn to meditate become more appreciative of life. Those small moments will bring as much or more joy as grand ones. 5) Those who learn to meditate learn to accept what life offers, and not to be concerned about what we want it to be. Jealousy and frustration will begin to fade.
It really is true. Those that learn to meditate place themselves in a position of realizing a much healthier and productive lifestyle. After all, who doesn't want to feel better about themselves? The obvious question is... This sounds great, but can I learn to meditate? The fact that you are reading this article points to the two requirements that are necessary to begin the process of meditation: 1) you can read and 2) you can grasp what you read. That's all you need to be able to do in order to learn to meditate. It's really that simple to begin. Now you have an idea of what meditation is and how it benefits you; you ready to get started? Great!
First of all, there are a whole lot of meditation techniques that are available to pursue. Each one has different methods to achieve the benefit we have been talking about. Mantra Meditation, for example, uses chanting and mantras, while Vipassana concentrates on breathing. Those who want to learn to meditate will have to choose a method that best suits them.
Anyway, there are basic techniques that can be applied to meditation regardless of the specific method one chooses. These are a few things that one should keep in mind as they begin their meditation journey:
1) Find the perfect spot to meditate - find a clean, quiet and secluded spot to meditate. 2) Ensure that no one bothers you 3) Make sure you reach a good posture 4) Practice and learn the 3 yoga meditation aides of deep contraction, deep relaxation, and deep breathing. 5) Be patient. Mastering a meditation practice is a process that takes time and consistent effort. 6) Relax. Remember that meditation is enjoyable and not a religious ritual of any sort. 7) Be consistent and practice your meditation techniques regularly. Make meditation a habit in your life.
As you begin to learn to meditate, you will begin to experience all of the benefits that meditation offers. Start today. Those who learn to meditate will not be disappointed with the results.
Are you ready to get started? Sign up for our Free 5 Day Meditation Course and start meditating today. You'll learn specific instructions and techniques to make your meditation more effective and learn how to overcome common obstacles.
Sonia Gallagher is a recovering lawyer who now publishes information on meditation in an easy to understand, "plain English" manner for busy professionals, parents, and business owners. After practicing in one of the most stressful professions in the US, she now shares information with others on how to meditate, benefits of meditation, and meditation techniques. Make sure to sign up for the TheGarden Newsletter to learn tips.