How to Benefit from Meditation
It is said that meditation can enhance physical health,help deal with stress and assist one to deal with chronic pain.Other benefits include an improved sleeping pattern as well as feeling happier and more at peace.
The following guidelines are worth considering if you intend to start meditating or may be of benefit to you if you have been doing so for some time and want tips on how to get more out of it.
Posture is an important part of meditating.It is best to sit cross-legged on the floor or on a chair.It is also important to keep one's spine straight to help stay focussed on the meditation.It is said that if your posture is slumped,it is likely that your mind will not stay focussed and you will get less benefit from the meditation exercise.
Some experts suggest that it is important to keep one's eyes open during a period of meditation.Your mind is more likely to drift off if you keep your eyes closed.On the other hand,some people can actually meditate better with their eyes closed so this is a matter of personal choice.
We have all had experiences of doing one thing while thinking of another.Driving is a good example.We can drive on automatic pilot while thinking of something else.Meditation helps us focus on our experiences as they happen,not in sharp way like when concentrating on what we are doing but a more gentle,softer focus on our experiences.
Breathing is often used in the context of meditation.The emphasis is on becoming aware of our breathing,not regulating it in any way.Counting breaths is a meditation practice that dates back to ancient times.It is suggested to count from one to four on each outbreath,then repeat this cycle by starting from one again.
Use your focus on breathing to let go of thoughts that come into your mind.Trying to stop unwanted thoughts during meditation is unhelpful.It is best to let them enter your mind and drift out again as you focus on your breathing.
Silence is an important part of meditation even though some people prefer to use music while meditating.One can be more focused on one's mind when meditating in silence and an inevitable calmness ensues from this.
When starting meditation,ten minutes is a good length of time to use and it can be extended if it isn't long enough.Some people can meditate for up to an hour at a time whereas for others their meditation can remain at ten minutes.
It is important to choose a comfortable place for meditation where you will be undisturbed for the duration of the exercise.It is preferable to use the same place every day.
Some people use a mantra when meditating.This is a word or a phrase that is said aloud or quietly while meditating.Mantra meditation actually predates Buddhism.Mantras are widely used by Buddhists.The use of mantras is also common in modern forms of meditation.
There are two benefits of using a mantra:
- it declutters the mind to give it a rest.
- It has a soothing effect on the mind & senses.
It is worthwhile trying out the above techniques to gain the many benefits that can be achieved from the practice of meditation.