Mindfulness meditation has its origins in Buddhist teachings and is the most popular and most researched form of meditation in the West. Benefits of Meditation - Metta Meditation - Mantra Meditation - Meditation Positions Mindfulness meditation has its origins in Buddhist teachings and is the most popular and researched form of meditation in the West. Some people enjoy mantra meditation because they find it easier to concentrate on a word than on the breath. Others enjoy feeling the vibration of the sound in their body.
There is much evidence to support the many benefits of meditation. Educators, spiritual leaders and mental health experts have developed dozens of forms of meditation. The variety suggests that there is a form of meditation that suits most people, regardless of their personality or lifestyle. Of course, both forms of meditation have benefits and here we will look at 5 of the most effective types that you can do at home.
Eilona Ariel described Vipassana meditation and body sensations in this interesting TED talk. Transcendental meditation is a form of concentrative meditation, which uses specific mantras as a point of focus. Developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (1918-200), it has been studied extensively and is widely used in schools, universities, organisations and prison programmes. Bob Roth describes the Transcendental Meditation technique in depth in this introductory video.
The Transcendental Meditation technique is taught in a standardised seven-step course, which takes place over six days, and is led by a certified TM teacher. However, I believe that you can try this form of meditation without the price and the specific training. Using a mantra such as "Om" or a chant that can easily be found on the internet, you can get the same benefits of focusing the mind to achieve relaxation. Reflective meditation could also be called analytical meditation.
It consists of disciplined thinking about any chosen question or topic. Attention is focused on it, and when thoughts wander, they are simply redirected to the subject of contemplation. Thoughtful meditation is also thought to benefit the physical body in other ways, such as reducing pain, headaches, insomnia, anxiety and depression. Studies have suggested that it can lower blood pressure, reduce stress levels and boost the immune system.
Below is a guided reflective meditation, which combines quotes for your mind to focus and analyse, along with soft music, to relax your mind. Heart-centred meditation focuses on kindness and compassion. It focuses on the heart chakra, which is healed and unblocked through the process. It aims to send healing not only to oneself, but also to others.
It fosters feelings of joy, gratitude, appreciation, tenderness and love. Once filled to overflowing with love, the circle of compassion can open to embrace all living beings. The practice combines aspects of other forms of meditation; insight into the true nature of life is required to see the interrelatedness of all beings and their suffering. Visualisation can be helpful in heart-centred meditation.
Imagining a soft white light emanating from the heart, or a pink glow surrounding the body like an aura, can help to focus on this energy centre. You can find what works for you. Moving meditation includes a number of things, such as formal walking, yoga and qigong. It can be uplifting and relaxing, with the mind focused on the movement of the body and the sensations provoked by the actions.
In qigong, body, breath and mind work together. This discipline includes several branches, some of which are kept as closely guarded secrets. There is a choice between using Qigong for a concentrated or open practice, and it can work well for either. It can be used to cultivate an inner feeling of calm and tranquillity, while increasing sensory awareness.
The main benefit is that Qigong is said to improve the flow of energy (or chi) through the body, releasing any blockages and restoring inner balance. Top 100 Health Blogs - Technorati. Yoga Nidra, or yogic sleep, is a well-known and immensely powerful meditation technique for promoting deep rest and relaxation. It begins by lying in savasana (corpse pose) and then leading into a mindful state of meditation.
Simply put, mindfulness meditation is the basic act of being aware or mindful of what you are doing in the present moment. For example, you can practice mindfulness while walking your dog, brushing your teeth or doing the dishes. A common misconception is that mindfulness meditation involves not thinking, but completely erasing all thoughts is impossible. Instead, learning to meditate is about being able to redirect your thoughts when you get distracted, and return to your breath instead of letting distractions take over.
Once you are able to do this while practising mindfulness meditation, the skills can carry over into daily life, and you will be able to stay more fully present in any activity, whether it's walking the dog, doing the dishes or anything else. By improving your ability to focus in the moment, what you are actually doing is training your brain to be less affected by stress. According to the American Psychological Association, mindfulness meditation improves emotional regulation in the brain by decreasing the reactivity of the amygdala. The amygdala is the part of the brain that controls the fight or flight response.
By regulating this stress response, anxiety can be limited, depression reduced and self-control improved. Body scan meditations focus on conscious relaxation of different parts of the body. In addition, body scan meditations are a great way to relieve tense shoulders or a tense neck, which often builds up as a result of stress or anxiety. Like body scan meditation, walking meditation allows you to cultivate a sense of mind-body awareness by focusing on the physical sensations of your body as it moves.
Walking meditation is a great substitute when you find it difficult to sit still, because it allows you to move while remaining focused on an object of awareness. Therefore, transcendental meditation may not be a natural first choice for someone who wants to start practising meditation. However, research has found that transcendental meditation can have similar health benefits to mindfulness meditation, helping to relieve stress and anxiety, and improving overall well-being. It is claimed that this form of meditation helps the individual to reach a very deep level of relaxation, which can have physical and psychological health benefits.
Meditation can help reduce anxiety, stress and depression. Practising meditation can help you concentrate and feel more connected to the present moment. Eight basic techniques combining elements of insight (vipassana) and calm (samatha) meditations are now available in most 10- or 30-day courses. Students are encouraged to practice twice a day, which usually includes morning meditation, with the second session taking place in the mid-afternoon or early evening.
You've heard about all the benefits of meditation, especially when done daily, but the idea of doing it every day seems overwhelming. This is an active form of meditation in which movement guides you into a deeper connection with your body and the present moment. Before you know it, you are voluntarily practising meditation techniques without even thinking about it. Although Zen meditation can be done alone, practitioners of this technique often do it with a teacher, as it involves specific postures and steps through an organised routine.
Scientific studies have found multiple links between neurological health and meditations that focus on breathing. This type of meditation can increase positive emotions and has been linked to a reduction in depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Again, this form of meditation is similar to mindfulness meditation, but requires more discipline and practice.