Meditation is practiced by Hindus and Buddhists in order to reach a higher level of spirituality. Besides these major religions, there are also others that are teaching meditation. The basic teachings of these religions include the practice of meditation as an important element of their daily expression of faith and devotion to their gods and deities.
In two aspects, meditation is both a way of observing religious traditions and a way to improve oneself by controlling the impulses and patterns that cause the formation of negative habits. It also enables a person to control his thought processes. It is used today for curing mental disorders.
The meaning of meditation may be different depending on the practitioner. This is generally based on where they learned it and how they do it. No matter where learned, its purpose remains the same. To reach a higher level of consciousness. When this state is attained, the person’s mind becomes manageable, to the point of making it calm and focused on whatever objective the practitioner has at a point in time.
Approaches to Meditation
The process of meditating is easier said than done. Some people devote lots of time to learning this practice. But many approaches require little in terms of resources and materials. For example, in techniques that aim to focus one’s attention, a quiet place and an object to focus on are the only requirements. The latter may even be done away with if the practitioner opts to focus on a mantra or on his own pattern of breathing.
Meditation has two other requirements which are universal. These are necessary, no matter what approach is used.
The first of these is that the place must be as quiet as possible, particularly for beginners. This quietness does not only refer to an environment without undue noise, but to the absence of other distractions. These include television, modern electronic gadgets, and reading materials.
The second requirement is body position. You need to be comfortably seated. The most popular body posture associated with meditation is the familiar lotus position.
However, you can also perform meditation while lying down on his back or even while walking.
As your skill develops, you can even meditate while on the move, or in a noisy or highly stressful environment. Meditating regularly enables you to “get away” from everyday stress. This includes the chaos of traffic, the boredom in lining up at a grocery store, or the pressure from having meetings all day. The key to meditation lies in finding a state of physical comfort where your mind can be focused on the task at hand.
The Role of Breathing in Practicing Meditation
Breathing plays a central role in meditation. Some meditation techniques can only be correctly performed through mastering a particular breathing pattern. This pattern consists of slow and deep breathing using the diaphragm, improving its efficiency. It is taught to beginners.
The use of the diaphragm is the most effective means of breathing. This is because it is your primary organ for breathing, bringing oxygen to every cell in your body. This is how meditation can bring about healing.
Most people, instead of using the diaphragm, use muscles of their neck, shoulders, and ribs to breathe. These are only accessory organs of respiration. They are unaware that this makes their pattern of breathing stressed and inefficient. However, the proper way of breathing is not that difficult to master. People can find classes which help them master proper breathing technique.
About the Author:
Wil Dieck is a writer, speaker, researcher, college professor and master martial arts instructor. He studies and teaches people from all walks of life how to use simple psychological techniques to develop high performance habits.
Wil’s most recent works includes the highly ranked Amazon Kindle book, Secrets of the Black Belt Mindset, Turing Simple Habits into Extraordinary Success and Modern Mindfulness, A Beginners Guide on How to Find Peace and Happiness in a Busy World.
In addition to his work as a researcher, writer, and speaker, Wil is a professor of psychology and business at San Diego University of Integrated Studies.
Wil runs a peak performance coaching practice in San Diego, California. Additionally, he regularly works with people who are suffering from stress and anxiety using meditation, hypnotherapy and NLP.