What is Meditation?
Noun: Meditation-the action or practice of meditating.
Contemplation, thought, musing, pondering, thinking, reflection, prayer, consideration, study, deliberation, rumination, cogitation, brooding, concentration, speculation. The word meditation is extracted from the Latin word, Meditari (means to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind) and another Latin word Mederi (to heal). Its Sanskrit derivation 'medha' means wisdom. Meditation is not a worship or a prayer. Meditation means awareness, whatever you do with awareness is meditation. If you listen to your breath, the sea or the wind in the trees this is meditation. Being free from any other distractions to your mind is meditation. If you practise meditation you can take responsibility for your own state of mind. Life is full of stress, worry and distraction meditation can help to free your mind from scattered thoughts. Countless meditation practices have been developed in the Buddhist tradition. All of the meditation practices are mind-training but are approached in different ways. The foundation of all of them is to improve and calm and the mind. Buddhism changes from country to country due to customs and culture.There are so many different types but they all share the teaching of Dhamma or truth. Buddhism is a religion, its origins date back 2,500 years ago when Siddhartha Gotama, (Buddha) was himself awakened (enlightened) at the age of 35. Budda (Siddhartha Gotama) was born into a royal family, he realised that wealth and luxury did not guarantee happiness. Buddha wanted to find the key to human happiness so he explored different teachings, religions and philosophies. After studying for 6 years he found 'the middle path' and was spiritually aware. Buddha then spent the rest of his life teaching the principles of Buddhism until his death at the age of 80. Meditation practice will encourage and develop your concentration bringing clarity and emotional positivity. Train and calm your mind and you will see the true nature of things.You will learn the patterns and habits of your mind, and find more positive ways of being. With regular practice and patience, you will nourish your mind deepening into a profoundly peaceful and energised state. You may not notice the benefits right away, but the more you practice the easier it will become. Even for just 5 minutes a day, this will guarantee you stay on track. Choose a nice quiet room in your house that is free from distractions with minimal electronics. It helps to calm the atmosphere by having soft lights or darkness and burning some candles. I like to burn a little bit of incense using some calming essential oils (such as lavender) this helps your mind and body to feel more relaxed. Make the people you live with aware that you will be busy for a little while and ask them not to disturb you, put your phone on silent.
Practice for 5 minutes a day, to begin with, when you start to get the hang of it and feel more comfortable you can increase the time. The typical yogi, “lotus” position, sitting cross-legged with each foot on the opposite thigh is my favourite position to meditate. If you prefer you can sit on a chair, with your palms facing up or you can lay down, whatever makes you feel comfortable. You will find a position that works best for you. I love to lay down, but It makes me too sleepy, this position is far too comfortable for me so I find it better to sit up.
Practice by breathing deeply and slowly inhaling and then exhaling focusing solely on your breath. Focus on your breath and mentally feel each body part without physically touching it. Start with your feet and work your way up to your ankles, calves and so on. This is a great technique to put you in the zone. It is completely natural and normal to feel frustrated while learning to meditate. Try not to hold onto these thoughts, and don’t try to stop them. Just let them float on by and go back to focusing on your breath. If you still have trouble clearing your mind try listening to a guided meditation CD this can help by giving you something to listen to and focus on so that the mind can just take in the instructions. I use YouTube sounds that are free and like to listen to the sea, birds or rain. Find what you prefer!
What do you like to listen to that helps calm your mind?
How do you find calm?
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Thankyou so much for taking time to read. I hope this has helped you understand what meditation is!