Meditation offers you a rare opportunity to escape your thoughts. In essence, it is the ultimate mind-body experience. There are many definitions when it comes to meditation, but it is essentially the practice you engage in to relax your mind and body. Meditation is a state of consciousness, one that helps you slow your brainwave frequencies down and it has some incredible benefits.
Meditation is essentially the absence of thoughts, and it helps you escape the rigorous demands of life. There are many different types of mediation, and they are all beneficial. Meditation helps you tune out and turn off your mind, which can be very healing and restorative.
The History of Meditation
People have been using meditation for thousands of years and there are many schools of thought as to the history of it. Some trace the history of meditative practices back to the ancient practice of staring into the flames of a fire. Meditation has been used for hundreds of years by many ancient cultures to appease the Gods and tap into a higher spiritual power.
Ancient civilizations used meditative practices like chanting to connect to a higher power and the earliest records of meditation go as far back as 1500BC. The Buddhists and the Taoist Chinese developed meditative practices dating back as far as 500-600 BC.
Meditation can be considered one of the oldest forms of health and wellness practices in existence and it is just as valid today as it was hundreds of years ago.
The origin of Buddhist meditation is debatable with some early written records going as far back as the 1st century BCE. The Silk Road was used to help introduce meditation to other countries and it definitely helped the practice become more widely known.
Meditation is a beautiful spiritual experience and it can help you calm your mind and ease your stress. Meditations can even help you heal the mind and body, similar to hypnosis and other mind-body techniques.
Meditation works in a number of ways on the spiritual, physical and psychological level.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What exactly is meditation?
Meditation is a vehicle that connects you to your higher self and to spiritual realms. Meditation helps nourish your spirit and connect you to the divine. It can help you relax, help you ease away stress and tension and it can even help you heal.
2. What kind of benefits does meditation bring?
Meditation can help you relieve headaches, develop your intuition, help in post-operative healing, enhance your energy and even boost your self-confidence. It increases the blood flow and slows the heart rate and it can enhance your serotonin levels which can help you better manage anxiety and depression. Meditation helps you be present in the moment and it can even help you increase your creativity and imagination.
Meditation has all of the benefits of hypnosis because both methods help you tap into the Alpha brainwave state, where changes are more easily made.
3. How long should I meditate for?
As a general rule, 15 minutes is a good place to start, especially if you are new to meditation. The more you meditate, the easier and faster you can achieve the relaxation response, so practice makes perfect. Guided meditations will most likely last longer as they take your mind on a journey.
4. Do I have to sit in a cross-legged position?
There are many ways to meditate, and it is not necessary to sit in the classic cross-legged position. Any position that is comfortable will suffice, because the most important thing is to be comfortable. If you are not comfortable, you will not be able to relax as easily. Just be sure you are not too comfortable, that you fall asleep.
5. Should I listen to music while meditating?
This is a personal choice. Some people find music distracting while others find it very relaxing. Personally I enjoy soft music while meditating because it helps my mind focus.
6. How do I turn my mind off?
There are many meditative techniques that can help you do this from focusing on your breathing to repeating a simple mantra like peace or love. Guided meditations are a wonderful way to start because they give your mind something to focus on. Staring at a candle flame or an object works well too, because it gives your mind something to do.
7. Can meditation help you make lifestyle changes?
Yes, yes, a resounding yes. Meditation is a wonderful way to make changes in your life and it works the same as more complex processes like hypnosis. Anything that you put energy into on a continual basis helps you move closer to the desired change, whether that is hypnosis or meditation. Both methods help you achieve the relaxation state and help your mind tap into the Alpha brainwave state.
8. How long does it take to make lifestyle changes with something like meditation?
The rule of thumb is that most changes take at least 21-30 days to overcome, because you are changing your thought processes at a very deep level of the mind. Meditation can have some immediate effects in terms of relaxation and stress relief and some may notice changes right away. Everyone has different levels of stress and anxiety and some people find meditation easier than others, so results will vary.
9. Do I need to have a certain religious belief to use meditation?
No because meditation is not a religion, it is about getting in touch with your spirituality, whatever that means to you. Meditation is not actually affiliated with any particular belief system or religion, so anyone can partake and reap the benefits.