Meditation refers to a state where your body and mind are consciously relaxed and focused.
Practitioners of this art report increased awareness, focus, and concentration, as well as a more positive outlook in life.
Although there are many different approaches to meditation, the fundamental principles remain the same. The most important among these principles is that of removing obstructive, negative, and calming the mind with a deep sense of focus. This clears the mind of debris and prepares it for a higher quality of the activity.
The negative thoughts you have – those of noisy neighbors, bossy officemates, that parking ticket you got are said to contribute to the polluting of the mind, and shutting them out is allows for the cleansing of the mind so that it may focus on deeper, more meaningful thoughts.
Some practitioners even shut out all sensory input – no sights, no sounds, and nothing to touch and try to detach themselves from the commotion around them. You may now focus on a deep, profound thought if this is your goal.
If you find the meditating positions you see on television threatening, those with impossibly arched backs, and painful-looking contortions, you need not worry.
The principle here is to be in a comfortable position conducive to concentration.
This may be while sitting cross-legged, standing, lying down, and even walking.
If the position allows you to relax and focus, then that would be a good starting point. While sitting or standing, the back should be straight, but not tense or tight. In other positions, the only no-no is slouching and falling asleep.
Loose, comfortable clothes help a lot in the process since tight fitting clothes have a tendency to choke you up and make you feel tense.
The place you perform meditation should have a soothing atmosphere. It may be in your living room, or bedroom, or any place that you feel comfortable in. You may want to have the place arranged so that it is soothing to your senses.
Silence helps most people relax and meditate, so you may want a quiet, isolated area far from the ringing of the phone or the humming of the washing machine.
Pleasing scents also help in that regard, so stocking up on aromatic candles isn’t such a bad idea either. I usually will have singing bowls as my background noise here is what I usually listen to :
The monks you see on television making those monotonous sounds are actually performing their mantra. This, in simple terms, is a short creed, a simple sound which, for these practitioners, holds a mystic value.
You do not need to perform such; however, it would pay to note that focusing on repeated actions such as breathing and humming helps the practitioner enter a higher state of consciousness.
The principle here is the focus.
You could also try focusing on a certain object or thought, or even, while keeping your eyes open, focus on a single sight.
In all, meditation is a relatively risk-free practice and its benefits are well worth the effort (or non-effort – remember we’re relaxing).
Studies have shown that meditation does bring about beneficial physiologic effects on the body. And there has been a growing consensus in the medical community to further study the effects of such.