Meditation is an ancient practice that has been used for centuries to promote a sense of presence and alertness. It is a technique that involves sitting upright and following your breath, particularly the way it enters and exits the abdomen, and allowing the mind to “just be”. This practice has been used to help open, align, and keep the energy centers of the body's central chakras fluid. It is also believed to help the body heal and function, as well as heal another person.
In recent years, meditation has gained ground as a way to manage stress and combat chronic diseases such as depression, heart disease, and chronic pain. There are many different types of meditation, such as focused attention meditation, mantra meditation, chakra meditation, vipassana meditation, mindfulness meditation, tea meditation, guided meditation, spiritual meditation, loving kindness meditation, and Taoist meditation. Each type of meditation has its own unique purpose and benefits. Focused attention meditation involves focusing on your breathing to calm your mind.
Mantra meditation involves repeating a syllable, word or phrase to foster positive change. Chakra meditation helps keep the energy centers of the body's central chakras open and aligned. Vipassana is an ancient Indian form of meditation that helps us understand how our mind works and overcome dissatisfaction, impatience, intolerance and other habits that prevent us from living a fuller life. Mindfulness combines concentration with awareness and involves impartial observation of physical sensations.
Tea meditation involves focusing exclusively on drinking a cup of tea. Guided meditation involves having a teacher guide you through practice in person or through an application or course. Spiritual meditation involves believing in and connecting with something larger than the individual self. Loving kindness is a form of meditation aimed at cultivating compassion for oneself and others.
Taoist meditation includes concentration, visualization, qi cultivation, contemplation and mindfulness meditations. Transcendental meditation involves focusing on a specific mantra or phrase and repeating it during meditation. Western Christian meditation does not involve the repetition of any phrase or action and does not require a specific stance. It consists of four formal steps: lectio (reading), meditatio (meditation), oratio (prayer), and contemplatio (contemplation). Sufism uses a meditative procedure that involves high-intensity and clearly focused introspection. Meditation can significantly reduce stress, anxiety, depression and pain, as well as improve peace, perception, self-concept and well-being.
Combining it with a daily habit can help you keep up with your practice and incorporate it into your life. Scientific evidence has also emerged that shows that it can be a useful tool in combating chronic diseases. No matter which type of meditation you choose to practice, it is important to remember that it is not about forcing the mind into stillness but about redirecting focus and attention to give you a little rest. As you continue with your practice, you will be able to experience its many benefits.