Meditation has been around for thousands of years, it is present in countless religions and has been used for various purposes around the world. Originating in India, meditative practices were originally spread via caravans on the silk road.
Meditation isn’t just mental, it’s physical as well. When meditating, some people may choose to focus on the mental ‘stillness’ aspect of the act, while others may choose to relax their body and experience out of body experiences. The beauty of meditation is that you are under total control of what you do, and more or less in control of what you experience. The good thing is you can always stop at any time.
Mental. Meditation can first be used to calm the mind, get rid of brain chatter, and psychologically relax. It’s all about living in the moment, appreciating life as-is. You feel your lungs being filled with the precious life providing gas. You realize you are billions of cells that function as a whole, and forget all worries. It’s all about being mindful. When meditating, a subject may feel a decrease in restless thinking, an increased ability to stay calm both immediately and in the future, increased creativity, decreased anxiety, decreased depression,enhancement of self confidence, improved self-discipline, increased learning ability and memory, the list is endless.
Physical. The physical part is just as important.During meditation, the body is relaxed, blood pressure changes, and the heart rate decreases. Relief of stress is a big one here, which is a major aspect/benefit of meditation.When meditating, the subject often feels an increase in physical energy, improved flow of air to the lungs, and an improved state of the immune system.These are only some of the benefits that meditation brings.
Both the physical and mental aspects are not independent, they work in tandem.A meditator may first choose to calm his body, and when that is complete he may choose to calm his mind. I started meditating in late 2011 and have done it almost everyday ever since. The highs I get from meditation are incredible, euphoric and I consider it to be a necessary part of my day-to-day life.
Meditation can be done almost anywhere, anytime, and requires virtually no experience. You just have to focus on your breathing. Yes! It’s that simple. When I first started meditating I went on a couple of different sites to try and find a base on which to start. I decided to take ‘Pranayama’ as my starting point, which is heavily focused on breathing. When practicing Pranayama, an individual inhales slowly but fully. Once the lungs are full of air, the practitioner then pauses with full lungs for as long as comfortable and then slowly exhales until the lungs are completely rid of air. Another comfortable pause is taken and the process starts all over. I found this technique to be particularly effective, relaxing my body first and then focusing on the mind afterwards.
My thought is that everybody should meditate at least twice a week, and in many countries it is part of their religion anyways to people do it. Although I think that western and European culture could well benefit from a bit of meditation from time to time.
If you are considering starting meditation, I recommend you do a Google search and find the technique that you think would work best for you. Remember that there are no rules in meditation and that as long as you reach the physical and mental condition that pleases you, it is successful meditation.