ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Essence of Meditation For a Better Well-Being

Updated on October 10, 2015

The word 'meditation' is derived from the Latin words 'meditari' meaning to think and 'mederi' meaning to heal. It is not a physical process, but a way of life that means 'a cessation of the thought process.' It is a state of thoughtless awareness and an approach to train the mind in which the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is neutralized without reducing alertness and effectiveness that allows the mind and muscles to gently relax.


"When meditation is mastered, the mind is unwavering like the flame of a candle in a windless place." – Bhagavad Gita


The Chakras of a Human Body
The Chakras of a Human Body

Meditation is that state of mind that gives profound and deep peace when the mind is free from any agitation, and is calm and serene, yet completely alert. It gives us deep rest which is deeper than the deepest sleep one can ever have that enables us to make better choices by allowing the mind to think more clearly. It is an approach to attain a state of consciousness when the mind is free of scattered thoughts to reduce the activity of the mind to one. Its practice helps people to achieve balance both mentally and physically as well as emotionally. The great Indian sage Patanjali considered meditation as self-realization and he himself experienced an absolute awareness of his self through meditation.

Let us consider an example. If we light a lamp in a dark room and remove everything surrounding it, the light liberated from the lamp still remains. In the same way, if we remove every thoughts and imagination from our consciousness, what remains is only consciousness. This pure state of consciousness having no other disturbances is meditation.

In today's world, the complex lifestyle demands the need for meditation. It is an essential practice for mental hygiene that leads to liberation of the energy of mind and expanding the quality of consciousness. It usually leads to an inner transformation of the mind that takes up to a higher level of awareness developing the ability to connect to an inner source of energy that results to good concentration, clarity of perception and an unshakeable inner strength.


Origin of Meditation:

The origin of meditation dates all its way back to ancient times and has been a part of human life since the very beginning of the human existence. The history of meditation speaks of such practices in India dating back to nearly 5000 years where it originated and evolved over thousands of years to its present structured form. The Hindu rishis (saints) who lived in the Himalayas are said to have discovered the practice of meditation and considered it as a spiritual practice and the knowledge was later passed from generation to generation, setting the groundwork for the history of meditation.

The Indian Form of Meditation
The Indian Form of Meditation

The earliest records of evidence of meditation is found in the Hindu scriptures in written form that date back to several thousands of years where the methodologies of meditation are described. The different religions later adopted their own meditative practices and meditation evolved in their cultures and societies in the way as it was preached.

Later meditation was spread wide across the globe by Gautama Buddha who is considered as a major meditation icon that changed the historical trajectory of meditation. Initially it was adopted by the various Asian countries and later spread to the Western society thousands of years later and started to gain popularity in the mid twentieth century. Many researchers had carried out extensive research in the area to test the benefits of meditation and learned about the multitude of the benefits.


Principles of Meditation:

Meditation which is a necessity for the present generation is based on some key principles which are as follows:

  • Detachment: To make the mind free of any scattered thoughts.
  • Concentration: To make the mind, soul and body to concentrate at a point.
  • Inspiration: To inspire oneself about the benefits of meditation.
  • Conviction: To assure about reaching the final state by own.
  • Imagination: To develop imaginative powers.
  • Visualization: To visualize any thought in the mind.
  • Realization: To realize the inner soul.


Mind and Performance:

As described earlier, meditation improves focus and attention for a healthy physical and mental well-being. There is also improvement in cognitive ability even among people with old age. There is evidence that meditation helps to thicken prefrontal cortex and right anterior insula which allows the brain to process information faster. Meditators often have larger amounts of gyrification that makes the brain better at processing information and improving attention.

In a study conducted by the University of California on patients having a past history of depression concluded that 'meditation decreases ruminative thinking and dysfunctional beliefs.' There is significant decrease in depression symptoms to a similar degree as antidepressant drug therapy.

A study conducted by the University of Wisconsin concludes that “open monitoring meditation” that involves non-reactively monitoring the content of experience as a means to recognize the nature of cognitive patterns indeed increases the grey matter density at the areas of the brain related to learning and memory. Other studies concluded that long-term meditators shows a larger hippocampal and frontal volumes of grey matter.

A research conducted by the University of Kentucky concluded from their observations on some participants that included novice as well as experienced meditators that meditation can indeed be associated with decrease in total sleep time through acute improvement of psychomotor vigilance.


Thus meditation can be considered to be helpful for various mental diseases thus increasing the overall performance of our brain and increasing focus on repetitive and even boring tasks.


Health Benefits of Meditation:

The well-being of a person depends mainly on the physical and mental health of that person. According to WHO, around 90 percent of diseases depends on our mind due to the various factors including tension, hypertension, frustration etc. So if we limit our thoughts, we can get rid of various diseases and this is possible only through meditation whose health benefits are manifold.

We can never see our mind, but rather we can feel our mind and its activeness. Even if meditation is related to spirituality, it is not bounded only by the limits of religions. It is the way of maintaining synchronous balance among the mind and the body for a better mental well-being of a person by utilizing only a few minutes a day. Through meditation, the physiology of the body undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more prana(energy).

Meditation is like a bud which blossoms more when cultivated with love. It is like diving deep into the mind to bring about its enrichment and helps in creative thinking.

Physical Benefits:

  • Reduces heart rate and lowers high blood pressure.
  • The slow rate of breathing during meditation purifies the lungs.
  • Regular practice helps to maintain normal body temperature.
  • Reduces blood sugar level and helps in treatment of diabetes.
  • Lowers the symptoms of menopause and pre-menstrual syndrome.
  • Reduces the tendency of myocardial infarction.
  • Lowers the levels of blood lactate thus reducing anxiety attacks.
  • Improves mood and behavior by increasing serotonin production.
  • Improves the immune system.

Mental Benefits:

  • The brainwave patterns are brought into an Alpha state that promotes healing.
  • Reduces anxiety and makes the mind fresh.
  • Improvement in emotional stability and intuition.
  • Increases creativity and gain peace of mind.
  • Sharpens the mind and reduces anger and frustration.
  • Helps to bring emotional steadiness and harmony.
  • Brings about personal transformation.

Comments

Submit a Comment

No comments yet.

working

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

Show Details
Necessary
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Features
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Marketing
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Statistics
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)