In today’s world of modern technology and fast-paced living, meditation has become a buzzword as the key to relaxation.  If you’ve ever caught yourself running on autopilot and wondered how to get yourself focused on the present, meditation just might be the answer you’re looking for.

What is meditation?

When you find yourself running on autopilot, you may feel your brain is not focused on what your body is doing because your attention is elsewhere.

Meditation can help bring you into a state of mindfulness, meaning that you become aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment or analysis. Meditation can help bring you back into awareness of your thoughts, feelings, and immediate environment.

Meditation is a practice of resting the mind with open awareness by detaching from your thoughts.Instead of interacting with your thoughts, you step back and view them without judgment. With enough practice, meditation can lead to a state of profound and deep peace only available when the mind has learned to be calm while at the same time being alert.

Types of meditation

Meditation is a very simple concept, but it is not always easy to achieve.  There are many different types of meditation available, each with a different goal.  You may need to try several different types before figuring out which one works best for you.  Some of the most popular meditations include:

  • Chakra meditation—balances the energy systems flowing from the body through the mind
  • Guided meditation—a spiritual teacher, takes you on a guided journey into the mind
  • Healing meditation—raises the energy vibration to restore imbalances
  • Mindfulness meditation—brings attention to the present moment
  • Psychic meditation—aims to tap into psychic energy
  • Relaxation meditation—consciously relaxes your body as a means of stress management
  • Spiritual science—develops a connection between the higher spiritual world and modern science
  • Transcendental meditation—avoids distracting thoughts by relaxed awareness
  • Vipassana—offers insight into the true nature of reality

How to choose a meditation technique

These are just a few of the meditation techniques out there so it may seem overwhelming to try and choose one that will work for you.  As you begin to experiment with different techniques, it is important to understand the principals behind the method you are practicing.  For this, it might be helpful to find an instructor, or you can do onlineresearch.

Different techniques have different methods to tap into the various energy centers in the body producing a variety of results. You need to ask yourself what it is that you are hoping to gain from meditation and how much time you can commit to your practice.

The amount of time required for meditation can be as little as a few minutes and as much as many hours.  Some meditations, like Vipassana, can only be learned through a week-long intensive study.Other practices are less intensive and can be done occasionally or as needed, as a method of relaxation.

Each practice has an appeal to certain followers.  Choose a technique that speaks to you.  If you enjoy it, you will stick with it.  If you don’t enjoy the meditation you’re doing, try a different one.  When you find one you enjoy, you will maintain your practice and reap the rewards.

Benefits of meditation

Everyone experiences meditation differently, even those who practice the same program. Despite these differences, the advantages of meditation are quite clear. It is a way to create positivity, energy, and focus within yourself.

The end goal is a quieting of the mind which can bring about a feeling of mental peace.  People with well-developed practices report feelings of bliss and spiritual enlightenment.

The goal of mediation

One goal of meditation is to create a state of awareness without distraction so you can be fully immersed in the present moment.  How we get to that goal is different for each of us.  Your path to enlightenment will involve trial, practice, effort, time and patience.

The more traditional goal of meditation practice is to relieve suffering, whether it be of the physical body or the mind.  Because the two are so deeply connected, the suffering of one can lead to suffering in the other.  In order to heal, you must focus on the connection between the two.

Meditation is a journey

Meditation is a journey about trust and giving your whole self over to your practice. When you open your mind and body to awareness and compassion, you will find your intentions coming to light.

In the end, you must assess your personal goals and needs to determine what meditation technique is best for you.  Be realistic about what you are willing to commit to and give up judgment.  Allow your inner voice to guide you on your journey to enlightenment.

Szymon is the founder of Love Meditating, a meditation-yoga blog dedicated to provide honest advice and information. He aspires to help his readers achieve inner peace and tranquility, sharing personal tips learned through both years of experience and thorough research.
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