When some people hear the word "meditation", they would often feel intimidated or discouraged, most of the time telling themselves that they don't have time for it. Others would judge it solely as a religious act while there are those who claim it is a complete waste of their time.
These are all the negative reactions of those who are oblivious to the beneficial effects that meditation can give to an individual, and to a collective.
First of all, if you really want to do or get something, you go out of your way and make time for it. People make time to go to the malls for some materialistic and social R&R, or they make time to spend countless hours brooding over their gadgets visiting social networks. So why can't they make time for even a short-session meditation?
The answer is simple. It's because they simply don't want to. Why? Because they don't know what to do or what it's for.
Nowadays, yoga is becoming a fad. Organic food is becoming popular. And slowly, spiritual centers are sprouting more all over the world. There is a growing community of individuals who are learning about the metaphysical aspects that are needed in life, and in this article we will focus on the benefits and how-to's of Meditation.
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Meditation has multiple forms of techniques practiced on a regular basis and it promotes relaxation and develops patience, forgiveness and compassion. The general awareness of meditation is to clear the mind; keep it empty; be silent. In all honesty, keeping a quiet mind is very hard to do. During my years of doing meditation, I have learned to just let the thoughts come and go. Avoid dwelling too much on each of them. But if a particular thought keeps on coming back and knocking on your subconscious door, let it in. Understand it. Analyze it. What are your emotions about it? And then let it go as soon as you can. There is a sense of freedom when you let go and just be. Meditation is all about being aware.
Here are some steps on how to meditate (for beginners):
- Find a quiet spot
- Sit in a comfortable position. Avoid slouching.
- Close your eyes
Focus on your breathing patterns. If you notice your breathing is fast, slow it down. Counting usually helps.
- 3 counts inhale
- 5 counts exhale
- Your mind will start to wander. Let the thoughts in and out and try to arrive at the point where you are simply staring at the dark void inside your mind. You won't even notice that your mind has quieted.
- If parts of your body starts to itch or twitch, be aware of those areas and tell yourself that those sensations will go away eventually. This is just the natural reaction of your body against the sudden stillness it has found itself in.
- And finally, just enjoy the "moment" of nothingness. Let your subconsciousness take over.
The health benefits of meditation:
On a physical level:
- Lowers high blood pressure
- Lowers the levels of blood lactate, reducing anxiety attacks
- Decreases any tension-related pain, such as, tension headaches, ulcers, insomnia, muscle and joint problems
- Increases serotonin production that improves mood and behavior
- Improves the immune system
- Increases the energy level, as you gain an inner source of energy
Meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an Alpha state that promotes healing.
- Anxiety decreases
- Emotional stability improves
- Creativity increases
- Happiness increases
- Intuition develops
- Gain clarity and peace of mind
- Problems become smaller
- Meditation sharpens the mind by gaining focus and expands through relaxation
- A sharp mind without expansion causes tension, anger and frustration
- An expanded consciousness without sharpness can lead to lack of action/progress
- The balance of a sharp mind and an expanded consciousness brings perfection
- Emotional steadiness and harmony
- Consciousness evolves
- Personal Transformation
- Cosmic consciousness and awareness that you are connected to everyone and everything, above and below.
The National Institutes of Health has granted over $20 million to study the effects of the Transcendental Meditation program on the prevention and treatment of heart disease, hypertension, and stroke. In addition, hundreds of other studies have been conducted on the beneficial effects of the TM program for mind, health, behavior, and society at over 210 independent universities and research institutions in 33 countries, including Harvard, Yale, and UCLA Medical School.
Here's a web link for more tips on how to meditate, and another article from Bloomberg about Harvard Yoga Scientists Find Proof of Meditation Benefit.
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