A great deal of questions exists on what the meaning of meditation is and the relationship between meditation and the brain. The truth is that meditation is simply a method of helping to train your mind and to allow your body to be guided by your mind as opposed to being in control of you and your brain.
However, the simple topic of what is meditation is much more complex that what it may seem at first glance. You will soon find that there are many different meditation types, techniques, exercises and learning programs.
- What are the benefits of meditation?
- Long Term Health Benefits
- Guided Meditation
- Where Can You Find Meditation Programs.
There are therefore many different ways to meditate, including several forms of spiritual meditation. The art of meditation is difficult for some people while for others it will come nearly naturally. Regardless of how you arrive at the ability to meditate, the power and the effects of meditation on your body cannot be denied.
The benefits that a person can take away from it cannot be measured, yet it is not for that reason that people choose to meditate or even that it is taught.
If we go back in time, in our quest to learn about what is meditation and what it’s effects are, in the ancient Buddhist philosophy it was taught that the biggest and best benefit of meditation was the ability to liberate the mind and prevent it from being attached to things that the mind or you could not control. It was to help to remove attachment to external circumstances or to prevent strong emotions from taking hold on the person. The liberated person or the enlightened person would no longer cling to things that they had or to experiences that they had undergone, but rather would maintain a sense of calm and a sense of balance and peace.
The importance of meditation is that it can allow you to achieve balance in your mind and in your body but along the way, those other benefits, or side effects of meditation if you will, also take place and they too add to the many benefits of it for nearly everyone who practices it.
What are the benefits of meditation?
According to practitioners the main benefit is a clearer mind, the ability to achieve a state of mindfulness, but according to science there is a vast array of additional benefits.
In the mid-1970s when many people were practicing what was called Transcendental Meditation, Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher who undertook a Harvard University study found something that he coined “The relaxation response.” According to Benson, the relaxation response was an opposite, involuntary response that causes a reduction in the activity of the sympathetic nervous system.
He believed and found in his studies that there were multiple benefits of meditation. He documented them carefully and released them to the medical community to review. From that beginning study many companies began to consider meditation and to teach it to their business executives, finding that when they did so, the executives were more productive.
Since then a wide range of studies have confirmed what he found and documented the following short term benefits to the body when someone meditates regularly:
- Improved circulation
- A lower heart rate
- A lower rate of perspiration
- Lower anxiety levels
- Deeper state of relaxation
- Slower respirations
- Higher feeling of well being
- Lower level of stress even in stressful situations
- Lowered rate of blood cortisol
And is is important to note that there are many practitioners that are finding ways to combine meditation and yoga as a way to reap the benefits of a clear mind and a healthy body.
It is a process wherein you are guided by a narrator to take a specific journey in your mind. The process of being guided can help you to achieve a deeper meditative state and can give you help in charting the course of your mental journey.
Further, when you are new to meditation, it is more difficult to focus and to achieve the meditative state that you want and need to relax. Focusing on a voice as opposed to something that is internal may be helpful to people who are new to it.
Your mind does not distinguish readily between what is a real event and what may be an imaginary one. It’s been said that meditation can lead you to believe that you’ve achieved something such as a promotion at work and can help you to think positively enough to accomplish that.
A guided program for it can offer you the help that you need to learn how to meditate and to relax a great deal more readily. It can teach you to be more productive or even to deal better with emotional upheaval.
The narrator that you will use–whether that narrator is a live one or a CD or DVD –will quite likely ask you to relax your body and your mind. They will then continue to speak to you to help you to achieve a very deep meditative state.
A guided program assumes that a voice is guiding you through all of the things that you will do during your mediation, but that voice does not have to be live or even from a DVD or CD. Some people have used videos for it. YouTube even offers some videos that you can use to help you the first few times that you try it.
A meditation program is usually used to achieve a specific end result. Some people use it for sleep. Some use it for anxiety, to help them to overcome stress and to learn how to relax.
Meditation techniques can be helpful for many activities and it is not just for work that it can be used. In fact it is not just for adults that it can be helpful. It is being used and studied as a helpful technique to allow children to accomplish more in a shorter time span.
Guided program for kids is available that can help your child to focus better and to relax and be better able to attend to schoolwork or chores of any type.
Where Can You Find Meditation Programs?
If you are completely new to the world of meditation there are high-quality meditation retreats in virtually every city around the world, these may be a good place to start. In addition, there are meditation products available to help you even if you have never practiced any type before. In some cases you’re able to find free methods to help you in your attempts at meditation techniques.
Free articles and mp3 products are available on many websites. These provide for people who are new, it will even teach meditation techniques while offering guidance and some exercises for the new user.
Some online sites offer free guided programs or even free scripts. The scripts are helpful in that they allow you to create your own DVD.
Using one of those, you can have someone with whom you are close make you a script so that you are listening to a voice that you know. Many people find that more comfortable than following the directions or guides from a voice with which they are not familiar. You can even make your own cd or DVD and use it to guide yourself.
Some of the materials that you will find are not able to be downloaded, particularly the videos from YouTube, but many are able to be downloaded to your computer so that you can use them at a later date.
Free scripts, or even timed scripts are available to buy or to create yourself using scripts to make it easier to create the tailored meditation program that you need. Once you’d begun to study your techniques and to get more comfortable with a guided program, you’ll be better able to accomplish meditation by other means, including a freeform method where no guides are in place.