We are a generation of messed up minds and agitated souls, screaming for attention internally and rejecting behaviorism externally by meditation. We are caught up in such a never ending raced that is dragging us to our edge every day. This system is not only damaging our mental health but also our physical health. People are falling prey to various kinds of deadly diseases and is ending up in giving up hope.
This daily lifestyle of running breathlessly can be eased up by some methods which have made their appearances in the pages of the ancient history of the world. Individuals have practiced these methods since very long and have given a certificate of success to a maximum of them. These practices can be either religion or ethnic or cultural or the mixture of all the three.
Among these, meditation has gained much more importance from the time it was introduced to the people because of its long term effectivity and easy ways of operation.
What is Mediation?
Meditation is a super traditional practice where the individual uses factors like mindfulness and concentration
to focus on something specific or to raise the bars of internal awareness. Meditation helps to get a clearer image of the meditators’ one self and make him emotionally very calm and stable. This practice doesn’t have a distinct definition because the perception of meditation varies from person to person. In the past, many notable people have gained success mentally and physically by practicing meditation in the correct order. Concentration and confining your brain to work along with the practice are the two most difficult and primary factor of this technique.
History of Meditation
When was meditation first introduced in this world no one knows but ancient traces of people practicing this technique have been discovered in India. The Hindu Vedas has claimed meditation as a very sacred and effective process.
- In the time of the roman empire, Philo of Alexandria (20BCE) meditation has been termed as a spiritual exercise which involves a lot of attention towards the inner health.
- During Buddhism, meditation was introduced to other Asian countries through Silk Road Transmission.
- In 653 the first hall for meditation was opened in Singapore.
- Around 1227 Dogen, who returned from china gave the instructions to perform Zazen (a Zen Buddhist tradition of meditating) accurately.
- In the 8th to 9th century, the dhikr practice of the Islams started. It is also a type of mediation involving 99 names of god.
- By the 12th century, Sufism gained its full importance where controlled breathing and chanting holy words were the two main bases.
- The mixing up of Indian, Nepali and Sufi traditions of meditation the Eastern Christian meditation went towards Hesychasm, though it still doesn’t have any proved evidence.
- From 10th to 14th-century Hesychasm (a tradition followed by the eastern orthodox church, involving repetition of the prayer of Jesus) started mainly in the Mount Athos of Greece.
- The Western Christian meditation on the other hand never involved any kind of repetition of actions or phrases and also there was no pre-determined posture
- Lectio Divina, the bible reading Benedictio monks of 6th century was the main catalyst of progression of Western Christian meditation
- In the 16th century Western Christian meditation was inherited by saints like Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila
- In the 19th-century meditation spread in the western countries as a very effective ritual
- Various sections of European Occult Christianity also started performing this technique
- In 1893 The World Parliament of Religions in Chicago increased the awareness about meditation to quite a massive level
- In 1960s new ways of meditative, practices began in the west and caught the attention of many individuals
Types of meditation
There are seven main types of meditation
- Mindfulness Meditation-
This kind of meditation is performed with your full focus on your thoughts. It brings up the awareness without being reactive to the surroundings. This meditation can be performed anywhere. It can be even done while you are commuting to your work. In this process, the thoughts and emotions are made to pass away without judging them
- Transcendental Meditation
There is always a mantra or a phrase associated with this type of meditation and is uttered repeatedly. It needs to be practiced at least two times a day for 20mins. The posture should be comfortable, relaxed, and with eyes closed. This meditation helps to reach inner peace without much effort.
- Guided Meditation
The main factors impacting this meditation are smell, sounds, and texture. This is done after creating a mental image or images and finding relaxation in them. Mostly it is guided by a second person.
- Vipassana Meditation
More than 2500 years ago it was first started in India. In this kind of meditation is for seeing things the way they are. The roots of mindfulness meditation lie here. It mainly focuses on self-transformation and self-observation. This kind of meditation connects the mind with the body. Vipassana meditation has many rigid rules to follow.
- Loving-Kindness Meditation
This meditation is also called Metta meditation. Through this, the meditator directs good wishes to other people. There are phrases to recite which produces a warm-hearted feeling.
- Chakra Meditation
The word chakra comes from Sanskrit, which means wheel. The spiritual power and energy of the body are symbolized with chakras. There is a synchronized line where the chakra lies in various parts of the body widely distributed. This meditation is performed to balance and awaken the chakras. Light, crystals, and other visual aids are used during this meditation.
- Yoga Meditation
This is another traditional Indian meditation. This type of mediation includes varieties of postures and breathing exercise to increase the flexibility of the body and calm the mind. Staying in the moment is the main factor working here.
What are the health benefits of meditation?
The main health benefits of mediation are
- It reduces stress
- Mediation helps to curb anxiety
- It increases the emotional health meter
- You can achieve self-awareness through meditation
- Meditation lengthens the concentration span
- It may also help in reducing memory loss
- It helps to develop the personality and be kind
- Fighting addictions is one of the major benefits
- People with sleep problems get a lot relaxed, and this helps them to sleep
- Sometimes mediation can also control pain
- Meditating everyday can decrees your blood pressure
- Meditation can be done anywhere
Trying out mediation is a great way of changing your lifestyle. It helps the individual to be relaxed, calm, and kind, hence solving the maximum of mental health and personality problems. When the mind is calm, the body tends to become quite happy and respond to the surrounding in a more positive way than normal. Seeing the situation in an affirmative way is what it takes to take a step forward to a better way of living. Mediation doesn’t mean that you have to be spiritual or religious. It is the best way for self-improvement. And this traditional ancient practice can actually be a step towards a sustainable lifestyle which balances the body and soul in a most mystical way; hence it won’t be a lie to say that mediation is the workout for your soul.
Does meditation really help to ease mental stress?
Meditation is one of the main way of coping up with stress. Since the historical times meditation has been carried forward as one of the most effective ways to fight mental illness.
What type of meditation can ease mental stress?
Among the 7 major categories of meditation, Chakra Meditation and Mindfulness Meditation are the two most effective ones to instantly decrease stress.
Does meditation help in distress?
The stronger version of stress that is distress can also be cured by regular meditation done with full focus and concentration.
Is meditation a religious practise?
In some occasions and some places meditation is considered as a very sacred and religious practise but you can perform it in any state of your mind. The main effectiveness of meditation lies in the way it helps the meditator to cope up with stress.