Techniques of Meditation - Concentration, meditation and lastly enlightenment are the three stages of meditation. Transcendental or concentrative meditation and Zen based meditation are the two techniques of meditation.
Meditation has been recognized as the most powerful spiritual practice with numerous benefits and a life enhancing experience. There are many types of meditation and there is no wrong way of doing it, making meditation an intensely personal experience. The purpose of meditation is to channelize our active thoughts and consciousness to a positive direction by training our mind to do so. The state of mind needs to be controlled and completely transformed to achieve a positive direction. Meditation is to know about yourself, the inner self.
Meditation is a three stage process which starts with concentration followed by meditation and lastly enlightenment. Meditation is not something which you experience at the very first go at it; it needs practice and perseverance to even reach the first stage. A person who wants to start the practice of meditation has to first rein in his awakened consciousness and focusing his mind onto a certain object or thought. Once the mind gets concentrated upon an object or thought completely, concentration turns to meditation. Through continued meditation practice an individual can reach eventually the last stage which is enlightenment. Enlightenment is becoming one with the divine being and merging into it. Meditation detaches the mind from sensory perceptions like touch, sight, hearing etc- this helps quite the restless mind and favor inner contemplation. As the mind starts focusing inwards, knowledge about self is understood which brings you closer to divinity.
Meditation is quickly gaining ground at this point of time due to modern-day lifestyle changes and accruing stress levels. Due to the fast paced life and constant movement people are losing the stability factor, meditation serves as a ‘rooting’ element to them. The personal insight and self-awareness makes them look inside themselves to experience peace and tranquil. This altered consciousness brought about by meditation has many benefits for the mind and body. Meditation not only helps in dealing with stress better but also builds a positive outlook towards life in general. Meditation is not a religious practice instead it is spiritual in nature but it may be customized as per an individual’s beliefs and faith. The duration of meditation, posture, practice and the object of contemplation all play important roles individually. There are many techniques of meditation to choose from, they are all correct as the basic rule is inner contemplation or self-awareness. Transcendental meditation, vipassana, yog nidra are all equally effective and popular.
Techniques of meditation
Due to the growing popularity and holistic approach of meditation there are many variations to practicing it, however all the existing techniques can be broadly categorized in two sections
- Transcendental or concentrative meditation: This technique of meditation is about concentrating on a particular sound or mantra, even an image or focusing on the rhythm of breathing works. A quiet place to sit while you focus on something is all it takes to bring about awareness to self and peace. The hectic modern life leaves one with no time to focus or contemplate. The mind plays games with random thoughts and pressure of everyday life. Mediation helps in controlling the mind by making it focus on a specific thought. Rhythmic breathing is an effective technique of meditation as breathing is a reflection of the mind’s state of being. While a stressed out person will breath in an uneven, shallow and rapid way. A person with a composed mind will breathe in deeply and in a slow paced rhythmic manner. As you meditate on your breath you consciously pay attention to breathing properly, afterwards focusing on this rhythmic cycle on inhalation and exhalation makes you aware and at peace.
- Zen-based meditation:
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