Meditation

MEDITATION

Meditation is the art of focusing the mind, restraining the thoughts and looking deep into yourself. Practicing meditation can give you a better understanding of your purpose in life and of the universe, as well as provide you with certain physical and mental health benefits. But how exactly does Meditation work?

How to do it?

First of all, you need to know that focusing your mind is a lot easier said than done. It may be simple enough to empty your mind of thoughts but to prevent them from comingback is a lot harder than you’d expect. Here are a few tips that might help you get started:

  1. Practice in a clean, quiet place and stick to the same time every day.
  2. Make sure that you are comfortable, from the clothes you are wearing to the way you position yourself.
  3. Warm up and stretch a little bit by doing some Asanas. Doing Pranayama calms down the mind.
  4. Empty your mind of all thoughts.
  5. Now here’s the hard part: prevent other thoughts from coming into your mind. To do this, it might help to concentrate on a single object such as a candle. Look at the candle and just focus on it. As some would say, be one with the flame. This will take a considerable amount of practice to master, so be patient.

Once your mind is finally clear of thought, you will feel calm yet aware; a feeling that most experts say cannot be described by words. Only experiencing it will give you a clear idea of how it feels.

 Benefits of Meditation

As you go along with your meditation, you will feel the positive effect on your physical and mental health. According to some studies, this is manifested by a generalized reduction in multiple physiological and biochemical markers, such as decreased heart rate, decreased respiration rate, decreased plasma cortisol (the major stress hormone), decreased pulse rate, and increased EEG alpha (brain wave associated with relaxation). During Meditation, one goes through a state of deep relaxation, while the mind’s awareness level is increased. This results in faster reactions, greater creativity and improved comprehension.

Other benefits are:

  1. increased lung capacity
  2. improved immune system
  3. recharged nervous system
  4. reduced stress
  5. improved memory
  6. aids in the treatment of some diseases like asthma
  7. open-mindedness
  8. virtues such as patience, selfless love and compassion
  9. increased faith in one’s life

Meditation requires discipline, determination and patience. You won’t get it on the first try, but constant practice will help you go a long way. All of your efforts will pay off someday when you attain the physical and mental health benefits mentioned above and even more.

Recommended Readings

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation
  2. Meditation and Its Practice

Photography Credits:

David Passerat de La Chapelle / www.david-chapelle.com