What is Meditation?
Meditation is a practice that includes focusing and clearing the mind with integrated mental and physical level techniques. It is one of the old practices which dates to millions of years, back. Irrespective of the era of modern technology, meditation is still regarded as the only way to connect back to ourselves. Researchers have been constantly expanding their understanding of it and results show the same.
With the interdependence of the kind of meditation to be chosen, one can meditate for relaxation, lowering the levels of stress, anxiety, and more. Some people even use meditation for the improvement of health. Health challenges such as quitting the addictions of tobacco or excessive drinking.
Meditation practice comes thousands of years back and in various forms from around the world. However, modern science has begun research regarding meditation only in the last few decades. One of the greatest leaps in science’s understanding of meditation was possible through modern technology.
On the outskirts, a person who meditates may not be doing anything else than breathing or repetition of a sound or phrase again and again. However, in the brain, the story is completely different. Modern diagnostics and imaging techniques such as EEG which is also called electroencephalography and FMRI which is also called functional magnetic resonance imaging scans showcase that meditation can positively stimulate the brain and lead to better mental health.
Meditation – A Religious Practice
Physically, if we watch a person meditating, we would notice him doing just repetition of some phrases (mantras) or breathing over and over again. The same thing again and again. At the same time, inside the brain of the same person the story is far away than that.
Meditation is a religious practice. Meditation is not a religious practice. Sounds weird?
Oh, not too much.
The foundation of meditation comes from the oldest of philosophies and various world religions. Having said that, it does not mean you need to be religious for the same.
Let us take a look at some of the instances of religious and non-religious forms of meditation.
- Buddhism: A lot of meditations originate from Buddhism which is regarded as a religion and a philosophy, both depending upon the nature of the origin. In most parts of Southeast Asia, Theravadan meditation is followed. It is followed in Thailand and India, as well.
The meditation called Zen Buddhist took birth in China and various of the same evolved in different areas of places such as Japanese Zen Buddhist meditation.
Another meditation comes from the older area of Tibet, known as the Tibetan Buddhist tantric meditation which is currently an autonomous area of China.
- Christian: Constant scrutiny, when we continuously focus on an idea or a praying concept. This is a basic practice in the Christian religion. Praying is referred to as meditation when it takes that kind of form.
- Guided: This is a basic technique in counseling, group support, and therapies. The non-religious form of meditation can take place with many people in a group or for one on one purposes.
- Osho: This is called a dynamic meditation that originates from India and has the roots of Hinduism. Here the breathing exercises are performed deliberately and the form is forceful.
- Taoist: Just like Buddhists, Taoism is regarded as a philosophy and religion, both. It took birth in China and is called by the writings of the founder Laozi which is also spelled as “Lao Tzu”.
- Sufi: Sufism is a branch of Islamic religion and meditations of their own are followed as a practice amongst people who follow the religion.
- Transcendental: This is a meditation that comes from India and there is no religion involved in the same. It has inclusions of mantras phrases, and words people concentrate on and repeats several times out loud or in the mind itself.
- Yoga: Yoga is a physical kind of meditation of the body. The more you get inside your body, the better you know your body. This comes from India, again. The activity can take on religious or non-religious forms.
How Is Meditation Done?
There is no specific way for meditating as meditation may have different types forms and formats. As for experienced people who have meditated a lot, there are basic processes that are undertaken along various forms of meditation.
Some of which are:
- Body-based Meditation: This special meditation is called self-scanning. Doing the same includes concentrating on the physical sensations which can be felt throughout the entire body.
- Emotion-Based Meditation: This type of meditation has a different aspect. It takes a look at the meditation process through a particular emotion. For instance, concentrating on how can one be kind to others, what makes you satisfied in life?
- Contemplation: This type of meditation brings light to a question in your mind or a kind of conflict without letting the mind wander, at all.
- Mantra Meditation: This is a meditation that includes the repetition of particular mantras or phrases in Sanskrit and Hindi or a sound. It can either be in your mind or chanted aloud.
- Moving Meditation: This kind of meditation involves a focus on the breath. Holding the breath or performing particular body movements. It also includes walking while concentrating on any specific thing to observe around you.
- Mindful Meditation: This is a wonderful meditation that is about staying aware of what is happening at the present moment. It is a meditation where you do not have to worry about the future or past, but rather focus on the present.
It also includes a related approach of a body-centered meditation where the use of the feeling that you feel throughout the entire body is taken place as a foundation. It is the main aspect of the awareness of the world that is around you.
- Visual-Based Meditation: This is a meditation that involves concentration on a specific thing that you see around you. You keep focusing attention on the same visual for a certain time, no matter what.
From the core, spiritual meditation is a form of mindful practice of connecting to a greater power. A power that is greater, deeper, farther, closer, and vast than any individual self. There are a lot of paradoxical thoughts about it. However, the road to that divine connection passes through authentic self-reflection.
Since various meditation techniques look out for raising spiritual awareness, all of which require authenticity and integrity whenever looking out for self as an individual and how the world is viewed. Different religions practice meditation in different manners. Mindful practice is not just limited to a specific religion or faith, it can be practiced or followed by anyone out there as a guided spiritual meditation.
Spiritual meditation offers ripple effects of blessings with the rise in spiritual confidence and awareness.
With the same, an individual’s ability and desire get benefit others.
Since humans have been embracing the spiritual journey, there has been a lot of trust in the guidance of spiritual teachers.
The benchmark of authentic and genuine spiritual teachers is kindness, humility, wisdom, and spiritual power. The self-styled gurus who brag about their so-called “spiritual enlightenment” are the ones who are misguided and further misguide others by leaving everyone astray, let alone their intentions being good or not.
The journey of spiritual awareness through the process of meditation takes time. Progress cannot be achieved overnight. Success is not some quick fix. A requirement of consistent practice and discipline for the achievement of spiritual realization is a must. The associated long-term benefits of the same are incomparable. The ones who feel their spiritual life is essential, then there is not much worthy effort.
Meditation Offers Spiritual Power
Mistakenly, a lot of people presume that the point of doing spiritual meditation is an achievement of “superpowers” like telepathy, the potential of healing self and others.
The knowledge of past incarnations and visions of the future. On top of that, there is a highly confident malicious guru who promises to help them achieve all of that through their vision.
Often, the attraction of wonderful spiritual powers overlaps the simple keen beauty of the meditations. The practice of meditation starts with honesty to the self and becoming a kind plus committed individual in mankind. A huge desire for miracles and magic leads to difficulty in the recognition and appreciation of our aliveness in the world and every other simple beauty.
Magic is the air we breathe in, the daily sunshine we sink in, the simple actions of kindness, interconnectedness, and everyday blessings we receive from God. A mild appreciation of the present moment and an attitude of gratitude can lead to surreal happiness of spiritual awakening.
Successful Energy Healing Meditation
The first step of meditation is “knowing thyself”. Major chances are turning zero in terms of a lot of things you would want to change about yourself such as everyone else out there who gets committed to the knowledge of self. With the help of spiritual meditation, acknowledgment and acceptance of self are the best way to be friends with yourself.
One of the beautiful quotes by Pema Chodron, a meditation expert, states
“Unconditional compassion for ourselves leads to natural unconditional compassion for others, as well”
If you are willing to stand completely in your shoes and never give up on yourself, then, consequently, you can put yourself in the shoes of others as well and never give up on them, too. Acceptance of ourselves makes it possible to accept others as they are. Giving up turns never an option when you have a divine connection to yourself.
Do not worry about having a spiritual experience during meditations or gaining spiritual powers, rather work on just being yourself in the present moment. Here are a few tips to help you be and level up yourself, spiritually.
- Let Go Of Grudges
It turns extremely difficult to forgive someone who has hurt you badly or you are hurt by them immensely. However, it is essential to let go of the grudges and to not just free yourself, but others as well. With the upliftment of your spiritual meditation, you will soon realize holding only causes you pain and physical diseases, nothing else.
Never let the pain or hurt, hamper your spiritual practice in any way. You can always train the brain to let go by the practice of mindfulness and wishing for happiness. It takes time, however, letting go is an antidote to holding on to pain or resentment.
- Focus On Helping Others
Real spirituality is about focusing on helping others and offering them support. However, it begins only with ourselves first. Watching our minds, we know and accept ourselves with tenderness and benevolence. The same feelings and emotions can be extended to others.
With the constant rise in our spiritual practice, the more is our focus on supporting others, the less we think about our desires and attachments. In the end, the realization is just about being happy by accepting the pain and truth, which concludes we are all the same.
- Mindful Faith
A lot of people believe having faith is a huge comfort and an excellent measure of feeding the spirit. An individual finds peace and well-being in their place of worship, or meditation center, especially when done in groups.
When the same practice builds and maintains a spiritual foundation to the core of kindness, connection, and openness, it takes us to spiritual awakening experiences which transcend the mundane.
With the inclusion of faith in your journey, slowly you will be able to embrace everything that life puts you with. Faith sustains us here and in the present moment and mindfulness stables the faith.
- Be Open To Newer Possibilities Of Life
While all of us are different in a lot of ways. Every living creature is connected to a specific universal experience. From the tiniest of an atom, the smallest of insects to the greatest of kings, we are all presently looking for safety for our well-being and getting rid of suffering. Not even one of us can have existence without the other.
With the help of guided spiritual meditation, we can be connected to the truth and benefit us in the revitalization of individual performance.
There is huge freedom in the acceptance of the fact that all of us are small but important atoms of the universe. So, instead of being stuck in selfishness, it is crucial to open our minds to the possibilities of the freedom present within us.
Change can be embraced right now, right here.
- Be Real
“Be Yourself” means be who you actually are and strive ahead to be who you wish your future self to aspire to see. Being real is being real to yourself so that you can consequently be real to others as well. There is no need or criteria of pleasing others with behaviors that are not good for you and good for them.
Today, a lot of people are made to believe that they do not know how to be authentic. But, the reality is, being you is the only authentic way.
All you need to know is a few improvisations in your behavior are required now and then to be in relationships with different people around.