What is meditation; In today’s world of chaos and stress, we all need to relax and inject some peace. Meditation will give us this peace and good feeling.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years in different cultures of the world and almost all religions have a tradition of using meditation. In the past, meditation was often used for religious purposes; But now many people believe in it and practice it independently of any religious or spiritual beliefs. Meditation is used today as a method of psychotherapy. In the continuation of this article from Wironal, we will introduce you to meditation and the benefits and different ways of doing it.
The titles you will read in this article:
- What is meditation?
- How to meditate?
- Types of meditation
- How to do meditation
- Benefits of Meditation
- Morning meditation
- Meditation before bed
- Kundalini Meditation
- Meditation by candlelight
- Audio meditation
What is meditation?
Meditation, introspection is actually the skill of working with the mind. Meditation is a practice in which a person uses a method such as mindfulness or focusing the mind on a particular object, thought, or activity to cultivate attention and awareness and achieve a mental, calm, and emotionally stable state. The main purpose of meditation is to strengthen the conscious mind and increase awareness so that you can use your mind to understand yourself, have better control over your mind and body, and access higher intelligence. All of these will eventually lead to personal growth, increased relaxation, improved quality of life, and interaction with the environment.
The main purpose of meditation is to strengthen the conscious mind and increase awareness so that it can have better control over the mind and body
Meditation is easier than you think. You can meditate in any place, time and situation. The essence of meditation is awareness; Awareness means being aware of your thoughts, feelings, and dreams. It is an awareness that you are reading this article now and are aware of your work. Most people think that meditation is very difficult and to do it we have to stop our thoughts and turn off the sound of our minds; But in principle, this does not need to prevent thoughts and create a special focus; This is a mistake that distracts most of us from meditation. Of course, when we start meditating, different thoughts invade our minds. Over time and practice in meditation the voice of our thoughts diminishes; As we forget, one day this sound was an obstacle for us to meditate. Remember that hearing these sounds is perfectly normal and there is never a reason that meditation was not made for you! For example, one of the basic meditation techniques is the breathing technique. As long as you breathe, you can be aware of your breathing. You do not need a specific place or time to breathe; Therefore, meditation does not depend on a specific time and place. You can pay as much attention to your breathing as you inhale and exhale; This is a one-second and effective meditation.
How to meditate?
We cannot block our thoughts and feelings, and in principle, we need our thoughts and feelings in meditation. What matters in meditation is whether you listen to your “mind monkey” or leave it alone. The monkey of the mind is always wandering, jumping from one branch to another and confusing the mind. To cope with the monkey of the mind that sometimes becomes our boss, we do not need to sit at the foot of his words and obey him or take the path of the war with him. Through meditation, we try to reconcile with the monkey of our mind. To reconcile, giving this monkey “bananas” is not the right thing to do; Rather, the right way is to send it looking for something; But how do you force a monkey to do something? With meditation!
By entrusting work to the monkey of the mind, you create a win-win situation in which you are both happy; Have a monkey at work and you will be happy with the presidency. In this case, you are the employer and the monkey of the worker’s mind, you get rid of it; But never forget the law of slowness and continuity; So first you have to give the monkey the mind small and short-term tasks. One of the simplest tasks and methods of meditation is awareness of breathing; After the monkey, ask your mind to monitor your breathing. Monkey Mind will welcome this offer. Surely during this time, different thoughts will parade in the background of your mind; But these thoughts do not matter until you lose control of your breathing. You do not even need to focus too much to do this, you can pay attention to one or two inhales and exhales. You can easily enter the world of meditation whenever and wherever you want.
Types of meditation
Meditation is practiced in many different ways, many of which have a lot in common. If you are interested in meditation but do not know where to start, first get acquainted with its basic principles and then try the different types to find the right option. Different types of meditation include:
Mindfulness meditation: It is a process during which you should be completely clear with your thoughts, be present at the moment, and do not react to what is going on around you.
Transcendental Meditation (TM): A simple technique in which a person repeats a simple word or sound called a mantra during meditation to concentrate and relax.
Mantra Meditation: Uses a repetitive word, thought, or phrase to avoid distraction and focus on the mantra. One of the most famous mantras is the word “um” which has no special meaning, But some believe that this sound is derived from the sound of the big bang at the beginning of creation and the beginning of worldly life and somehow summoning the ruling power of this world. In addition to the famous and old mantras, you can use any word or phrase that makes you feel better.
Guided Meditation: A meditation technique in which you create mental images or relaxing situations, or use the help of a tutor or listen to podcasts and audio files.
Vipassana Meditation: An ancient Indian form. Vipassana means seeing real things.
Meta meditation or love and kindness meditation: is a meditation that directs good wishes to others.
Chakra Meditation: A set of relaxation techniques focused on creating balance and well-being in the chakras (seven centers of energy and spiritual strength in the body).
Yoga Meditation: An ancient Indian practice in which a series of controlled postures and breathing exercises are performed to enhance flexibility and peace of mind.
The important thing in meditation is that you should never be sensitive to the choice of details or different methods. All kinds of meditations will eventually lead you to awareness and a good mood.
How to do meditation
Those who do not experience meditation may be confused or frustrated by the different methods and types of meditation; But if you know the basics of meditation, you can practice it easily. To clarify the story, do the following simple exercise:
- Raise your left hand and pause for a moment. Then notice how you feel in your hand. Do you feel the heat or cold on your skin? Do you feel pain in your hands? Do you feel anything special?
- Now lower your hand. Do you feel comfortable?
All emotions such as pain, liberation, heat and cold, and even the absence of any emotion fall into the category of consciousness. During meditation you should communicate with your consciousness; It does not matter if the awareness of the feelings and thoughts is positive or negative or even neutral. The above simple exercise is also a kind of meditation that draws your attention to your body and emotions for a moment.
In the following, we will explain one of the official methods of meditation. We assume that you want to do this routinely and reap the benefits; So it is a good idea to know and follow the basics of meditation.
- Choose a quiet place or place you like to start. It is better to make this a special place for you to meditate; But if this is not possible, any quiet place would be fine. Try to wear comfortable and clean clothes so that you do not focus on them while meditating.
- The formal sitting position in meditation is sitting in a lotus or four-legged position, in which each foot is placed on the opposite thigh. The lotus position is an ancient yoga asana. If it is not possible for you to sit in full lily mode, you can try half lily and quarter lily mode. In general, any type of sitting that does not disturb your concentration will be appropriate; You just have to be more discriminating with the help you render toward other people. You do not want to be frustrated if you cannot get the right pitch so invest in a good capo.
- Mudra is said to be more symbolic and ceremonial. There are several modes in meditation that you can choose one at will. The most common mudra is sticking the thumb and pointing at each other, which is said to boost mental function and concentration and help to cope with anger, sadness and grief.
- Close your eyes slowly, just like when you want to sleep. Do not press on your eyelids.
Meditation is an opportunity to be present in front of yourself, to live in the moment, and to understand emotions
- Now you need to relax your body. Start with your head and relax your facial muscles in order. Then relax your neck and shoulders and release any tension you feel in your body. Release your lower limbs from the tension after relaxing your upper limbs. Keep your spine straight. Bend the neck slightly forward so that the weight of the head falls on it; In this way, allow your limbs to relax one after another and release tension.
- Aware your mind of your body and then listen to your feelings and thoughts while your body is at rest and try to be aware of them. Let your feelings and thoughts flow. Do not try to filter them; Awareness of negative emotions is as important as positive emotions. Stay aware of this for a few moments.
- You can now spread your consciousness outside your body. Pay attention to your surroundings for a few moments and listen to the sounds.
- Now expand your awareness. Feel the space around you and above. All the phenomena around us took place in this space, changed it, and eventually returned to this space. Like clouds that form in space, they remain in it and then disappear in the same.
- In the next stage, go beyond the clouds and become aware of the unlimited space in all directions.
- Finally, slowly open your eyes. Be present in the moment, take a deep breath and let your mind rest for a few moments.
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In general, when you want to meditate without a preamble, follow these steps:
- Sit on the floor or in a chair. Keep your body still and your spine straight.
- Close your eyes.
- Breathe naturally and do not try to control your breathing. With each inhale, oxygen enters the lungs through the nose and with each exhale, exhale through the mouth.
- Concentrate on your breathing and notice how your body moves with each inhale and exhale. Pay attention to the movement of your chest, shoulders, and abdomen without trying to interfere with or control your breathing. In the meantime, do not fight with the thoughts that come to your mind, and if you lose focus due to them, turn your attention back to your breathing.
It is recommended to start using audio files in which you will be guided step by step through meditation. For best results and habituation, it is best to start your meditation practice from 2 to 5 minutes and increase it over time.
After meditating, you should experience a sense of lightness and relaxation; But if this does not happen to you in the early sessions, do not be hasty and judgmental; Instead, divert your thinking to good things in life.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is the process of training the mind to focus and change the direction of thoughts. The increase in people who have realized the desired effect of meditation has made it more popular. Many studies have been done to prove and find the benefits of meditation, the results of which have shown the following benefits:
Reduce stress: Mental and physical stress increases stress hormone or cortisol levels. Increasing the hormone cortisol causes destructive side effects such as the secretion of inflammatory chemicals called cytokines. These effects can cause sleep disturbances and increase depression, anxiety, high blood pressure, fatigue and dizziness. In an 8-week study, mindfulness meditation was able to reduce the inflammatory response to stress. In addition, research has shown that meditation may improve the symptoms of stress-related conditions including irritable bowel syndrome, post-traumatic stress disorder, and fibromyalgia.
Anxiety control: Following the reduction of stress through meditation, anxiety also decreases. A meta-analysis of about 1,300 adults showed that meditation may reduce anxiety. The higher the level of anxiety in people, the greater the effect of meditation. One study found that eight weeks of mindfulness meditation helped reduce anxiety symptoms in people with generalized anxiety disorder and increased improvement in stress response and coping with anxiety. Another study of 47 people with chronic pain found that completing an 8-week meditation program significantly improved depression, anxiety, and pain.
In addition, some research suggests that a variety of mindfulness and meditation exercises may reduce anxiety levels; Yoga, for example, helps reduce anxiety. Yoga may be helpful in reducing anxiety due to the combination of meditation practice and physical activity.
Pain control: Your perception of pain is related to your mental state; In stressful situations, the pain may be felt more than at other times. Some research shows that using meditation in your daily routine can be helpful in controlling pain. A review of 38 studies in this area showed that mindfulness meditation can reduce pain, improve quality of life and reduce depressive symptoms in people with chronic pain. People who meditate cope better and feel less pain in the same pain situation than people who do not meditate.
Lowering blood pressure: Over time, high blood pressure causes the heart to try harder to pump blood, resulting in poor performance. A meta-analysis of 12 studies in which about 1,000 participants were enrolled showed that meditation helps lower blood pressure. Meditation was more effective for older volunteers and those who had higher blood pressure before the study.
Meditation seems to control blood pressure by relaxing nerve signals that coordinate heart function, blood vessel tension, and the reaction or escape that raises awareness in stressful situations.
Improving Emotional Health: Some types of meditation can increase our positive feelings and actions towards ourselves and others. Meta meditation or love and kindness creates kind thoughts and feelings towards oneself. Through these exercises, people learn to spread this kindness and forgiveness outside of themselves and to share it among their friends, acquaintances, and ultimately their enemies.
Increase Focus: Meditation is like lifting weights for concentration and helps increase strength and endurance. One study found that people who listened to meditation podcasts increased their attention span while doing work. Another similar study found that people who meditate regularly performed better in visual tasks and received more attention than those without meditation experience. Daily meditation can be helpful, even for very short periods of time. One study found that 8 weeks of meditation for 13 minutes a day increased attention and memory.
In addition to the above, meditation helps reduce depression, improve sleep by increasing serotonin (the precursor of melatonin) and melatonin (sleep hormone), reducing heart rate, and so on. It has also been reported that people have been able to eliminate destructive thoughts, including suicide, by turning to meditation.
If you start your day with morning meditation, you can do your work with full awareness, alertness, and wakefulness. With regular morning exercise, we will experience peace of mind and happier relationships. Given the current living conditions, many people may endure a lot of stress and pressure during the day. Meditation can help us to manage our personal and work life more skillfully.
When you find peace and comfort in your morning meditation, your perspective changes and you may feel more positive about yourself and the day ahead.
A 2018 study of 300 successful people found that one of the most important parts of their daily routine was doing a flexible morning routine. Facilities or surroundings are not always under control; Especially when traveling and having unpredictable plans. Morning meditation is something that can be done anywhere. You can do this in bed, in the car, along the way, or while you are waiting for breakfast to be prepared. Morning meditation can be the foundation of your day; An action that you can always trust to bring you physical and mental peace.
Depending on where and when you have it, you can choose your morning meditation. This meditation can focus on breathing, scanning the body, or listening to your thoughts and feelings.
- As always, we start with the same meditation routine. We close our eyes, we become aware of our existence by observing a few breaths and exhales. Then we can count only our breathing and allow negative energies to leave our body with each exhalation and fresh air to enter our body with each breath, or we can listen to our emotions and body sounds. We allow thoughts and feelings to be expressed without filtering and without judgment.
- Finally, we return to breathing and slowly open our eyes.
Note that choosing the type of morning meditation is entirely up to you and up to you. If you like, you can start your morning with a meditation mantra or listen to the surrounding sounds.
One of the most interesting morning meditations is the water shower meditation. You can close your eyes during the morning shower and focus on the sound of water, the water droplets that sit on your skin, and the feeling they create in you.
Meditation before bed
35% to 50% of adults suffer from insomnia. Many people’s sleep problems are related to stress. Stress can cause anxiety and stress and make it harder to fall asleep. Meditation may help you sleep better. Meditation as a relaxation method can calm the mind and body and increase inner peace. Doing meditation before bed can help reduce insomnia and sleep problems by relaxing.
A study published in 2015 examined the effects of mindfulness meditation on 49 adults with moderate sleep problems. Participants were divided into two groups and for 6 weeks, one group was assigned to bedtime meditation and the other to sleep hygiene training. At the end of the study, the meditation group experienced fewer symptoms of insomnia and fatigue per day than the sleep health group.
The best type of meditation before bed is mindfulness meditation or focusing on breathing. You can use any method you like according to your interest.
Kundalini meditation is a way to direct energy and relieve stress. Kundalini in Sanskrit means twisted snake. According to the theory of kundalini meditation, the energy of life is located at the base of the spine, ie in the root chakra, and is wrapped around it like a snake. Kundalini meditation is performed to awaken the kundalini. You can use a combination of the following techniques to awaken this energy:
- Mantra (phrases)
- Deep breathing
- Mudra (hand movements)
- Physical movements
These exercises, which are more than a thousand years old, are said to stimulate the body’s dormant energy and move it along the chakras, which are the body’s energy centers, to eventually release it from the seventh chakra or crown chakra in the head. . This release of energy creates inner balance, awakening and awareness.
Because this meditation and its breathing are more complex than other types of meditation, if you are a beginner, try other meditations or seek help from a mentor. Follow the steps below to do kundalini meditation.
- Wear comfortable clothes and sit in a comfortable place with a straight spine.
2. Squeeze the palms of your hands together in front of your chest and close your eyes so that a ray of light is visible to you.
3. Focus on the sixth or third eye chakra. This chakra is located between the forehead and parallel to the eyebrows. Keep your eyes closed and stare at the center of the forehead.
4. Use the mantra. Mantras that help orient focus are an important component of kundalini meditation. Use the mantra that suits you best and do not get too hard until you are a beginner. Repeat the mantra aloud or whisper it to yourself if you like.
5. Now is the time to use mudra or the position of the hands and fingers. Select and run your desired modra.
6. Divide your breathing into equal parts. Instead of taking a long, 4-second inhale followed by a long exhalation, divide each inhales and exhale into four parts; In other words, breathe 4 times, without exhaling in between. Then exhale in 4 parts. With each inhales and exhales, pull the abdomen toward the spine.
7. When distracted, return to breathing. Even professionals sometimes lose focus. Whenever you notice a decrease in concentration, immediately return your mind to breathing. If any wandering thought arises, acknowledge it and then let it go.
Continue this breathing cycle during meditation. It is best to set a timer to know when to stop it. Complete the meditation with a deep breath, pressing the palms together or raising the arms in the air, then resting and taking deep breaths. Take a deep, deep breath (inhale and exhale). Pull the handles with the tail and raise it above your head. Then relax your body with one exhale and slowly open your eyes.
Meditation by candlelight
Most meditations are performed with the eyes closed and draw attention inward. Terataka is a kind of meditation in which you keep your eyes open and focus your gaze on a point or a small object. Trataka meditation is often performed with a candle and focuses attention on the candle flame. Meditation with a candle or meditation Staring at a candle helps to absorb energy in the third spring and increases concentration and improves memory.
Candle meditation is suitable for people who have difficulty controlling their thoughts
Because this meditation is done with the eyes open, it is a good option for people who have difficulty controlling their wandering minds. Focusing on a physical object seems easier; So if you are not comfortable with other types of meditation, it is better to try candle meditation. When you look at the candle flame, you see nothing else. This will keep your mind completely focused on the candle and everything else in the room away from your consciousness, and at the same time, remove any aggressive thoughts or distractions. Follow these steps to start meditating:
- Choose a quiet and dark space. To see the candle flame, it is better to have low light in the room; So if it is daytime, cover the windows with curtains. Turn off distractions, such as cell phones and cell phones.
2. For candles, choose a level that is level with your eyes. Place it on the surface and turn it on. Make sure there are no flammable materials next to the candle.
3. Sit at the desired location two steps away from the candle. Try to relax and sit in such a way that you can maintain your stability and alertness during meditation.
4. Stare at the candle and let it be the main focus of your mind. Keep your eyes still, even if you feel distracted or tired. After a while, your eyes may become tired and watery; You can blink, but you have to stay still to get rid of this feeling. If distracted, return your attention to the flame.
5. Breathe as you look at the candle. Focus on the trail of light flowing toward you with each breath. Over time, the room around you will disappear; To the extent that you are only aware of the existence of a candle flame.
6. When the meditation is over, lie down for 5 minutes and close your eyes. This will allow your mind and body to return to full consciousness before the day continues.
You can do this meditation every day for 5 seconds or more. The benefits of candle meditation include the following:
- This method will help you calm your mind.
- It is a great exercise to train your mind to focus on a single subject or thought according to your will.
- Improving concentration can help you in many ways.
- Candle meditation, like any other meditation, brings physical and mental relaxation. By doing this, you will experience inner peace and sometimes even a kind of change of consciousness.
Audio meditation or auditory meditation is a great way to practice mindfulness with greater awareness of everyday sounds in the environment. Mindfulness is moment-focused consciousness that includes a consciousness of the five senses such as sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Practicing voice meditation is easy to do and quickly increases concentration and attention to the surroundings. To do this, follow these steps:
- As always, you should follow a meditation routine. Sit in a stable, flat place. If you like, close your eyes so that you are not distracted by seeing around.
- Now listen to the surrounding sounds. Try to memorize or write down everything you hear.
- Listen to all voices without judgment and try not to comment on whether they are good or bad.
- Finally, open your eyes.
By doing this, you will become aware of the sounds that are around you. Most people believe that you should go to a very quiet place to meditate, But the truth is that you do not need any special conditions for meditation and all these are rituals. Sound, light, and the kinds of hustle and bustle around us are an integral part of our lives that we have to deal with; Not to run away from them or run away from them. Meditation is a way to help us cope with and manage these disorders. We need to make the current situation more ideal with meditation; Not to bother to do a perfect meditation and eventually regret and despair of it.
You do not have to wait for a specific time or place to meditate. Now that you have read this article, you can decide and get started. In the busy world, we live in, meditation is perhaps the best and least costly thing we can do to improve our quality of life and spirit. Meditation comes from your attention to your being. Spending two minutes a day doing meditation exercises is a saving for your present and future. By knowing real thoughts and feelings, one can have a better understanding of oneself and reach self-knowledge and mindfulness. Rest assured that all these things will lead to satisfaction and satisfaction for you and those around you.
Finally, I emphasize again that due to the lack of appropriate clothing, finding the sitting position and the desired mudra and mantra, do not make the lack of a quiet and silent place of meditation hard and big in your mind. The existence of these ceremonies is not bad, But meditation is an exercise that only needs you and your presence.