Guide To Meditation

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What is Meditation?

Meditation is a way to relax the mind and body, remove stress, and find an inner balance. The basic idea of meditation is to train the mind to achieve an elevated consciousness in order to heal the body, enrich the soul and find spiritual awareness. Millions of people meditate to gain the personal joy, serenity, and healing that would otherwise be lost in their busy and stressful lives.

Although Mantra meditation predates Buddhism (in ancient Vedic India tradition), it was embraced and developed by the Buddhists. The repetition of a mantra in order to obtain an enlightened state is still practiced today. Mantras are usually one word or phrase that resonates with the soul and opens one up to a higher consciousness. There are elements of mantra meditation in many of the Buddhist chants for “loving kindness” and “protection.”

There are countless types of meditations that have been filtered through various religions and cultures:

  • Trakata, or Third Eye, meditation techniques use focus and concentration on an object to see beyond the physical plane of existence.
  • Yoga, also known as “moving meditation,” is a form of meditative physical exercise that may have been developed as a preparation for meditation. Yoga is a key way to increase energy and reduce blood pressure.
  • Tao meditation involves the generation and circulation of inner energy. This flow of energy is a powerful tool for mind, body and spirit. In the mid-1800’s in Japan, Mikao Usui developed Reiki, an advanced energy healing and life force harnessing method that had its root in Tao.
  • Transcendental meditation, introduced to the west in 1958 by the guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, is a simple yet beneficial form of meditation. It involves sitting comfortably in silence to calm the spirit and renew the body.
  • Mindfulness is a form of meditation with Buddhist roots that’s been developed and fine-tuned by the western world. It works well in holistic healing and stress reduction. Often guided meditations and visualization techniques are the least complicated ways to meditate. The teacher uses imagery to describe a calm, peaceful scene and lead others towards it.
  • Guided meditation is when an expert walks you through the practice of what you should be thinking, feeling, and doing while meditating. You can listen to a pre-recorded guide online, or you can have an online psychic walk you through the process, too. Guided meditation usually involves a combination of inspirational language and calming music, and it can target healing, motivation, happiness, or any other issue. There are three types of guided meditation you can try:
    • Mind and Body Relaxation: A guide will show you how to relax by focusing attention on each area of your body. This usually involves imagining a warm feeling spreading across your body to encourage muscle relaxation.
    • Experience Visualization: A guide will have you imagine yourself in various circumstances to create imagined experiences. This will ideally insert positive feelings in your mind to help you when you try new things.
    • Life Goal Motivation: A guide will help you figure out what you want out of life and then give you the motivation to do it. This involves a combination of visualizing your future and figuring out how to get there in real life.

What Are the Benefits of Meditation?

Many people think meditation is solely for the purpose of stress reduction. But there is so much more to meditation that can greatly affect multiple aspects of your life.

What Effect Does Meditation Have on Your Mind?

Your mind holds on to every experience you ever have, whether the experience is good or bad. These experiences shape your reactions to new circumstances when they enter into your life. For instance, if you had difficulty learning a language the first time you tried, then you will remember those negative thoughts. As a result, you may have a harder time trying to learn a language the second time. Meditation can help reverse these negative experiences by placing imaginary good experiences in your mind. The mind does not distinguish between real circumstances and imagined circumstances when it comes to your feelings about an experience.

What Effect Does Meditation Have on Your Body?

Meditation is important to your mind because it gives you motivation, calming, and peace. Every system within your body also benefits from this process, since your mind actually plays a major role in the way your body functions. For instance, if you are stressed, then all of the systems in your body have a difficult time functioning. Meditation improves your health because it makes all of the systems in your body work better.

Eventually you won’t need a guide, and you’ll be effective at meditating on your own.

How Do You Meditate?

Here are some simple tips on how to improve your meditation practices. Try these tips and as you practice meditating, you will find what works best for you.

  1. Create a special space for you to practice meditation. Meditation is a tool you can practice daily to help to bring about positive changes in your life. Meditation can help you combat stress, feel happier, experience more peace, and be more present. When you start meditating, you will learn just how active the mind is and that it takes practice to quiet the mind. Be easy on yourself and recognize that practicing meditation takes time to learn. Be patient with yourself and in time you will find that meditation will bring you clarity and a greater sense of peace.
  2. Breathe. Pay attention to your breathing to settle into meditation. There is no need to regulate your breathing; just focus on it and let it happen naturally. If you find you are experiencing rapid thoughts or strong emotions while meditating, let the thoughts and feelings flow and continue to focus on your breathing. Acknowledge their presence and then allow them to leave, while you keep your attention on your breathing and learn to stay present.
  3. Meditate with a Purpose. Meditation is about focusing all of your attention on a single purpose. Focusing on your breathing is a great place to start, but to stick to meditating in the long-term, recognize that focusing your attention on a single point is hard work. Engage in your meditation with a purpose, and notice you may experience frustration, but when you do, just breathe, let it go, and continue to focus purposefully! Connecting with a spiritual counselor or intuitive Advisor is another great way to find a purpose for you to focus on.
  4. Experiment. There are no rules when it comes to meditating. Find what best works for you by experimenting with different approaches. Try sitting, lying down, keeping your eyes open, keeping them closed, sitting with your legs crossed or sitting with them under you. Meditate in whatever way you feel most comfortable.
  5. Create Your Space. Create a special place to sit when you practice meditation. Follow the principles of feng shui when designing your space. According to feng shui, your home mirrors what is happening inside of you. Create a space that allows the energy to flow freely and is an inviting space for you to focus on your daily meditation and relax.
  6. Enjoy. Most importantly, it's important to enjoy meditation. Start sitting for a short, manageable amount of time, such as five or ten minutes, and slowly work your way up to sitting for longer periods of time. It might help to set aside a time each day for meditation. Be kind to yourself, know that meditation takes time, and allow yourself to smile.

Meditation can help you calm your soul and ease your mind. Follow these tips to improve your meditation practice and find more happiness along the way. With a little practice, you will find that you're well on your way to achieving that inner peace.

How to Meditate With a Partner

Meditation doesn't have to be a solitary practice. Inviting your partner to meditate with you can have many benefits, including a more connected relationship. Here, you'll find some of the benefits you'll enjoy when meditating with your partner.

  • More Time to Connect Taking the time to meditate as a couple on a daily basis—if even for as short as ten minutes—gives the two of you more time together by giving you both the opportunity to connect mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically.
  • Improved Intimacy Touching brings two people closer together than any other form of communication, as it even allows for emotional intimacy. It is through that touching that you move past the solo nature of meditation and instead create an awareness of each other. Meditating as a couple promotes touch and can build and keep intimacy in your relationship consistent.
  • Mutual Calm Meditation calms the limbic system by the predictable pattern of in-and-out breathing. This mutual focus on calm and stability can carry over into thoughtful dialogues and help couples avoid escalated emotions of fear and anger during high stress moments. Focusing deeply on your partner during meditation can essentially carry over and become a form of regular reciprocal relational practice in all aspects of your relationship.
  • Open Communication Meditation holds many benefits for individuals, including increased empathy and heightened brain activity. Relational meditation can allow couples to feel more vulnerable in each other's presence, leading to more open communication, increased honesty, and a less frantic approach to life for couples who meditate.
  • Fewer Distractions Work, money, and health are all distractions in our personal lives that can be stressful for us to deal with. They are also things that we can remove from our minds with proper meditation. In the same way those issues can be obstacles in our personal lives, they can also be major obstacles in our relationships. Being able to do so creates stress-free clarity and calm for us individually and as a couple.
  • Individual and Relationship Growth According to neuroscience expert Dan Siegel, meditation holds a slew of benefits referred to as the "Magic Nine:" attuned communication, emotional balance, fear modulation, response flexibility, insight, empathy, body regulation, moral judgment, and intuition. These personal improvements offer clear benefits to oneself but also to relationship health when both partners are practicing meditation.

When meditating with your partner, find a quiet place where you can meditate together without interruption. Wear comfortable clothing, sit facing one another, look into one another's eyes, focus on one another, breathe together, and touch. Start with short increments, such as five minutes, and increase your meditation time together as you continue your daily practice to reap the long-term benefits of meditating together.

Follow these steps to advance your own self-improvement and clarity through meditation. Take them to the next level to create a deeper and lasting bond with your partner.