What is Meditation?
Do you know what is meditation? There are millions of people practicing meditation every day. Have you tried it yet? Is it good for us?
I will try my best to answer these questions for you. I practice meditation since I was seven years old and I am still doing it. Sometimes I can go into every deep meditation state and sometimes not. With practice, I could always clear my mind of any worry and anxiety.
Many people said they could teach you how to meditate, but I have looked at some of them. They only teach you part of it and doesn’t give you the full picture. You have to do preparation before you start, otherwise, you are wasting your time – you don’t get the full benefit. Also, what is the right posture when doing meditation? They also know only half of the story.
In today’s society, we are pushed to the limit all the time. We are pushed by our boss, our family, our school, our friends and many others. Some of us push ourselves when we are not pushed by others. We want to be the best, the most efficient or the best-looking person. No wonder why life is so stressful. Stress will harm our body and could induce illness onto us. So it is very important to know how to de-stress. One of the best ways to de-stress is practice meditation.
What are the benefits of meditation?
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Reduce anxiety attack
- Improve our immune system
- Remove stress related sickness, such as insomnia, headache, and ulcers, etc.
- Creativity increase
- Have peace of mind
- Happiness increases
- Our brain works better
There are many more benefits, I have listed only some of them.
You can visit The Art of Living if you what to see the other benefits of meditation.
A lot of us when we are stress or tense. We go to bed at night, our body is resting. But our mind is still racing to and fro. We might still be thinking about what happened during the day. We might still be thinking what do we need to do tomorrow, or something upsetting and we cannot push it away.
Here is where meditation comes in. Meditation can give our mind the rest it needed. Before you meditate, you need to prepare yourselves first.
As you might know, when we meditate, our goal is to hold NO thought in our mind. It is not easy to achieve this state of mind, especially when you are a beginner. You have to physically empty your mind first.
How do you empty your mind?
When you are young. Have you been to examination? What do you feel after an exam? Most of us would feel that our minds are empty – all the content we hold in our brain are all empty out.
So this is what you need to do before you meditate. You can do that an hour before you start meditation. Get an exercise book, a diary, computer or iPad – something you can write down your thoughts.
What you need to write:
- what’s your plan for tomorrow or any plan for the future?
- what has happened which upset you today? Your feeling and everything about it.
- any ideas that you have
The aim is to empty your mind onto the pages. So you know you have already written it down and you don’t have to hold them in your mind.
Other preparations before meditation:
Location – find a place somewhere you will not be disturbed. It will be best if there is not much external noise.
Lighting – it is not important. You can do it in broad daylight or in the dark, whichever you prefer.
Posture – you can sit on a chair or in lotus position as shown in the picture above. How you sit is not important, as long as you are comfortable. In fact, you can also lay down on your bed if you want. I had achieved very deep meditation many times laying in bed.
Temperature – if you are cold you can put a blanket over yourself.
Food – do not eat or drink for at least half an hour beforehand.
After you sit down comfortably, you close your eyes and start your meditation session.
Step 1 – tell your body to relax. Slowly breath in and out. Take a few deep breaths first, then breath slow and long. As you are doing this, tell each part of your body to relax. Start with your arms, legs, torso, neck, eyes, and the last one your brain. Repeat this body relaxing routine for 3 times.
Step 2 – there are few methods in this step depends on your level.
- Beginners – think of a nice place or memorable event, hold your thought. Do not go into thinking about the detail, just hold the happy thought. Remember, just hold the happy thought and nothing else.
- Intermediate level – hum a sound. Any sound you can think of, this has to be a single or double tone. Not a melody or a song.
- Advance – don’t think of anything. You mind is empty.
Simple, just 2 steps. If you found that thoughts keep coming into your mind. You can stop and write it down in your notebook and start again. You push out the thought and you just repeat step 1 and 2.
After a while, you would found that your body has totally relaxed and you don’t need to repeat step 1, then you just keep it at step 2.
When you have keep yourself in this state. Something will happen. You might fall asleep, and that is okay. You might be alert and feel like you and the universe is one. Don’t be afraid whatever feeling you have, they are natural.
I will tell you some of my experiences. Sometimes I felt that my spirit had left my body and flying around. Sometimes, I could felt myself expanding into infinity, I felt like I was a rock or a mountain or I was in the deepest part of the ocean. I felt the serenity and peace within myself. Those are really wonderful moments.
I advise you to try it out.
Note: In the picture above where they are doing it in a group session is wrong. Meditation is a solitude practice, it is okay if someone is just teaching you the steps.
I also recommend you read my other article Meaningful Pursues. Together with meditation, you will live a whole new life when you understand what is the meaning of life.