What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a state of mental/emotional balance in which you are able to maintain a clear, focused, and high-functioning mind, free from unintentional fluctuations/distractions, disturbance, and/or “noise.” This clarity and focus facilitates and maintains a tranquil state of overall wellbeing, greater inner-strength, and increased capacity to think effectively, and, therefore, supports you to develop a greater capacity to experience joy and to behave ethically, humanely, and intelligently in life/in the world (rising above any easily triggered aggressive animal expressions that you may possess, or any ignorant ego body-mind overidentification that you may hold).

In this article, we will briefly explore the history and benefits of meditation, and I will provide you with 5 useful tips to safely get started–even if you have never meditated before.

Why You Should Be Meditating

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, anxious, or struggling to quiet your mind and find inner peace, meditation might be the practice that you need to restore your mental balance and focus.

Balance and focus are not only important for reducing your stress levels and ability to manage and handle stress in life, but, these skills will also make you more resilient to stress and distraction overall and more effective at accomplishing the things that you set out to achieve.

Inner peace, mental fortitude, and focus, which meditation helps you to manifest/facilitate, are keys to long-term success. These skills cultivate greater clarity and control over your mind, and they will also support you to better concentrate on what matters most in your day-to-day experiences, so that you do not waste your time on frivolous worries or unnecessary/unimportant things.

How Long Has Meditation Been Around As A Practice?

Meditation practice dates back thousands of years, with evidence of meditation being found in ancient Indian scriptures, Taoist texts, Christian writings, and numerous Buddhist teachings. In recent years, however, meditation has gained popularity within mainstream societies all across the world due to the numerous anecdotal and scientific physical, mental, and emotional benefits that have been reported. Studies have shown that regular meditation practice can reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, improve sleep, boost immunity, and increase feelings of wellbeing and happiness in individuals, young and old.

How Can You Start Meditating?

Here are some simple tips to get you started:

  1. Find a quiet and comfortable space: Find a place where you can sit comfortably without distractions. You can use a cushion or a chair, but make sure your back is straight and your posture is relaxed.
  2. Choose a meditation preparation technique: There are many different types of meditation preparation techniques (that include a wide range of mindfulness and concentration practices), so choose one that resonates with you. Some popular techniques include loving-kindness contemplation, mantra recitation, and guided visualization practices. You can try different techniques and see what works best for you.
  3. Set a timer: Start with just a few minutes of meditation preparation per day and gradually increase the duration of your practice time as you feel more comfortable. Use a timer to keep track of your meditation preparation session if you have limited scheduling capacities and simply focus on not becoming distracted during these times.
  4. Focus on your breath, a thought that is uplifting, a point off in the distance, etc: One of the simplest and most effective meditation techniques is to focus on your breath. Close your eyes if you feel inspired to do so, or simply soften your gaze onto “nothing,” and take deep, slow breaths, focusing on the sensation of air moving in and out of your nostrils.
  5. Be patient and non-judgmental: Meditation preparation (or even meditation itself) is not about achieving a certain state of mind or getting rid of your thoughts. The practice is about being present and observing your thoughts and emotions without judgment. Be patient and kind to yourself, and remember that meditation is a practice that requires time and training.
Gaiam Meditation Collection

Once you have developed enough inner regulation, focus, and concentration through meditation preparation, you can then graduate to true meditation practice, which is directing/allowing your mind to fully settle into deep stillness/silence so that you can simply be in a state of tranquility for extended periods of time (with or without your eyes being closed or open, or with or without you sitting in one place).

In addition to these tips, this website provides numerous resources to help you get started on your meditation journey. You can find guided meditations, tips, and classes here in our community.

Whatever method of meditation you choose, please remember that the most important thing when setting out to start a mediation practice is to meditate regularly as a part of your daily routine and to enjoy your journey to greater clarity and inner peace.

Meditation is a powerful practice that can transform your life and help you to create greater success and joy. By following the simple tips that were provided here, and committing to a regular meditation practice, you can unlock the power of your mind and gain greater connection to who you are in/as unbounded Spirit. So, take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let the journey begin!

Want To Explore In-Depth Meditation Lessons, And Learn Useful Tips For Creating The Best Personal Practice For You? Join My Class!


Suggested Science Reading:

Meditation: In Depth.” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health. https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation-in-depth

Thank you for reading.

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