Although many forms of meditation can be found in ancient religious traditions around the world, the practice as a formal component of a spiritual path is probably most closely associated with Buddhism.
The Buddha founded an experiential path that inspired generations of practitioners to sit in mindful awareness and breathe their way to lasting peace. Meditation can be defined as a set of techniques that are intended to encourage a heightened state of consciousness and focused attention. For thousands of years now meditation has been a pronounced custom in cultures all over the world.
Unlike what some people believe, you don’t need to have exceptional spiritual abilities to practice meditation, it will only require a little bit of effort and a lot of conviction to bring about definite rewards, there are times when the results of meditation will be instant, but more often you will need lots of patience to experience long-term benefits.
Different forms of meditation
Meditation can take on many different forms including;
Metta mediation also known as loving-kindness meditation, while breathing deeply the practitioners open their minds to receiving loving kindness and then send messages of loving kindness to others. Its goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness towards everything by repeating the message many times until one feels an attitude of loving-kindness, this form of meditation can help those affected by resentment, frustrations anger or interpersonal conflict.
Another form of meditation is Kundalini yoga, it is learned from a teacher or a class and it is a physically active form of meditation that blends movements with deep breathing. Kundalini yoga can improve physical strength, reduce pain and improve mental health by reducing anxiety and depression. Body scan or progressive relaxation is another form of meditation whose goal is for one to notice tension and to allow it to release, during a body scan session, practitioners start at one end of their body, usually their feet and work through the whole, this helps to promote generalized feelings of calmness and relaxation and it may also help with chronic pain.
Mindfulness meditation is a main form of meditation that people can engage in almost anywhere. Mindfulness meditation urges those practicing it to remain aware and present at the moment – here and now, it encourages awareness of the person’s existing surroundings rather than dwelling on the past or dreading the future without any judgment. Mindfulness can help improve focus, improve memory, reduce fixation on negative emotions and improve relationship satisfaction.
Concentrative meditation is another main form of meditation where all your attention is focused on a specific object while everything else around you is tuned out. The goal is to really experience whatever you are focusing on in order to reach a higher state of being, whether it’s a specific word or your breath.
Breath awareness meditation is another type of meditation that encourages mindful breathing where one breathes slowly and deeply counting their breaths, the aim is to focus on breathing and ignore other thought that enters the mind; benefits include improved concentration and reduced anxiety.
Benefits of meditation
Benefits of meditation include; reduction of stress by affecting your nervous system, meditation reduces the production of stress-related hormones like cortisol and increases the production of good chemicals like serotonin. Less stress means more happiness; you will live a happier and healthier life through meditation.
Practicing meditation also makes you become a calmer person and there will be a mental serenity in every task you perform as meditation gives you focus on the present and not of what is gone nor what will come. Improved concentration is a result of meditation, you also learn to live a disciplined life and cultivate on goods habits.
Meditation enhances energy gain from inner resources, slows aging and provides emotional stability. It will help you learn about yourself as well as the mysteries of life and give meaning to your life.
Meditation can be thought of a form of brain exercise, through it we can constitute areas in our brain and actually rewire it to enhance positive traits like focus and improve the mental capacity for quality decision making and reduce the less positive ones like anxiety and stress which means there will be an overall improvement in both our physical and mental health.