There is plenty of evidence to support the many benefits of meditation. How long would you like to meditate? Sometimes we only have time for a quick review, other times we can dive in a little deeper. Meditating every day helps build awareness, builds resilience and reduces stress. Try making meditation a habit by practising with these short meditations from our founding editor Barry Boyce.
Find time to sit once a day for a month and see what you notice. This ancient Buddhist tradition involves sitting upright and following the breath, particularly the way it enters and leaves the belly, and letting the mind "just be". Its aim is to foster a sense of presence and alertness. This technique is similar to focused attention meditation, although instead of focusing on the breath to still the mind, one focuses on a mantra (which can be a syllable, a word or a phrase).
The idea is that the subtle vibrations associated with the repeated mantra can encourage positive change, such as an increase in self-confidence or compassion for others, and help you enter an even deeper state of meditation. This meditation technique aims to keep the energy centres of the body's central chakras open, aligned and flowing. Blocked or unbalanced chakras can lead to uncomfortable physical and mental symptoms, but chakra meditation can help bring them all back into balance. It is an ancient and powerful Chinese practice that involves harnessing the body's energy by allowing the energy pathways called "meridians" to be open and flowing.
It is believed that sending this energy inward during meditation helps the body to heal and function; sending the energy outward can help heal another person. This meditation technique, which has become very popular in the West, is based on the teachings of the Buddha. Mindfulness meditation can be instrumental in helping us to understand how our mind works. This self-knowledge serves as a basis for overcoming dissatisfaction, impatience, intolerance and many other habits that prevent us from living a fuller and happier life.
To be a complete meditation technique, mindfulness combines concentration with awareness. All that is required is a disciplined meditation posture, a straight back and a willingness to be honest with oneself. The best-known focus of mindfulness meditation is breathing; unbiased observation of physical sensations is another common technique. Whenever you find your thoughts wandering, simply observe them without judgement and bring your attention back to the breath.
Mindfulness practice has been shown to reduce depression, stress and anxiety. It also fosters resilience, a timely quality that helps you cope with difficult situations without losing your peace of mind. A traditional type of focused meditation involves drinking a cup of tea. In this case, you train yourself to stop any other activity - not checking your mobile phone, not jumping up to let the cat out, not adding anything to your shopping list - and focus your attention exclusively on drinking your cup of tea.
You can notice the feeling of warmth, the aroma, the weight of the cup in your hands. Every time your mind wanders, you go back to drinking the tea. By practising mindfulness meditation, you observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgement. The idea is that this technique allows you to settle into a deep state of relaxation and rest, with the goal of achieving inner peace without concentration or effort.
Vipassana meditation is an ancient form of Indian meditation that means seeing things as they really are. It was taught in India more than 2,500 years ago. The mindfulness meditation movement in the United States has its roots in this tradition. Vipassana, in this tradition, is typically taught over a 10-day course, and students are expected to follow a series of rules throughout that time, including abstaining from all intoxicants, telling lies, stealing, sexual activity and killing any species.
The superstar's new YouTube series chronicles her journey to lose six kilos and shed her "dad bod". One woman says she received several misdiagnoses over 15 years before she was correctly diagnosed with bipolar disorder. The number of young people with serious mental health problems was growing before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Doctors say the pandemic has exacerbated the situation.