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TECHNIQUES, BENEFITS, AND A BEGINNER'S GUIDE TO MEDITATION


 HOW TO MEDITATE PROPERLY

Meditation is a method of training the mind, similar to how fitness is a training method. However, there are numerous meditation techniques to choose from, so how can you begin to meditate?

“The word ‘meditation' in the Buddhist tradition is akin to a word like ‘sports' in the United States. Richard J. Davidson, PhD, director of the University of Wisconsin neuroscience lab, told The New York Times, "It's a family of behaviours, not a single item." Different meditation techniques necessitate different mental abilities.

For a newbie, sitting for hours and thinking of nothing or having an "empty mind" is exceedingly tough. When you're just learning how to meditate, we have some tools to help you along the way, such as a beginner meditation DVD or a brain-sensing headband. In general, focusing on the breath is the simplest method to begin meditating. Concentration is an example of one of the most frequent ways of meditation.

MEDITATION OF CONCENTRATION


Concentration meditation entails concentrating solely on one point. Following the breath, repeating a single phrase or mantra, staring at a candle flame, listening to a repeated gong, or counting beads on a mala are all examples of meditation techniques. Because focusing the mind is difficult, a beginner may begin by meditating for only a few minutes and gradually increase the length of time.

When you detect your mind wandering in this type of meditation, simply refocus your consciousness on the chosen object of attention. You let go of odd thoughts rather than chasing them. Your ability to concentrate improves as a result of this procedure.


MEDITATION ON MINDFULNESS


The practitioner of mindfulness meditation is encouraged to monitor wandering ideas as they pass through the mind. The goal isn't to become caught up in the thoughts or to pass judgement on them; rather, it's to be aware of each mental note as it arises.

Students in some meditation schools combine concentration and awareness exercises. 
Many disciplines require stillness – to varying degrees, depending on the instructor.


ADDITIONAL MEDITATION METHODS


There are a variety of alternative meditation techniques to choose from. Buddhist monks, for example, focus their daily meditation practice on the cultivation of compassion. This entails visualising unfavourable events and recasting them in a good perspective by using compassion to transform them. Moving meditation techniques such as tai chi, qigong, and walking meditation are also available.




MEDITATION'S 
BENEFITS

Relaxation is often a side effect of meditation, even if it isn't the intention. After performing studies on patients who practised transcendental meditation in the 1970s, Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher at Harvard University Medical School, created the phrase "relaxation response."According to Benson, the relaxation response is "an opposing, instinctive response that promotes a reduction in sympathetic nervous system activity."

Since then, research on the relaxation response has revealed the following short-term nervous system benefits:

Reduce your blood pressure.
Blood circulation is improved.
Reduced heart rate
Perspiration is reduced.
Slower breathing rate
Anxiety is reduced.
Reduced cortisol levels in the blood
More sensations of happiness
Stress is reduced.

Researchers are now looking at whether a regular meditation practice has long-term benefits, and they're finding that meditators have improved brain and immunological function.

The ultimate advantage of meditation, according to Buddhist philosophy, is the freedom of the mind from attachment to things it can't control, such as external situations or powerful interior emotions. 
Instead of following wants or clinging to sensations, the freed or "enlightened" practitioner maintains tranquil mind and sense of inner harmony.