Meditation is a practice of focusing your mind in silence either for religious reasons or in order to calm the Mind. Well, this is what Oxford Dictionary presents as the meaning for Meditation! Also, Meditation means to contemplate or when your mind is absorbed in thoughts of your task list or an absorbing action movie or thoughts about your career and so on.
In terms of Yoga, Meditation is the ‘state of pure consciousness’. In Sanskrit language, in yogic terms, Meditation is referred to as ‘Dhyana’. It is the seventh limb of the Ashtanga Yoga System as established by Great Sage Patanjali. Meditation is followed by ‘Dharana/ art of concentration’ and preceded by ‘Samadhi/ Complete Absorption’ the final stage of the Ashtanga Yoga System.
Meditation has now become a household term. There is a huge Meditation trend all around the world. Many have come up with various types of Meditation. Some of them not even surf the edge of the Actual Meditation. However, the following are the different forms of Meditation.
1. Mindfulness Meditation:
Mindfulness meditation is the most popular meditation technique in the West, now it is rampant all around the world.
In mindfulness meditation, you pay attention to your thoughts as they pass through your mind. You don’t judge the thoughts or become involved with them. You simply observe and take note of any patterns. This practice combines concentration with awareness. You may find it helpful to focus on an object or your breath while you observe any bodily sensations, thoughts, or feelings.
2. Focused Meditation:
Focused meditation involves concentration. For example, you can focus on something internal, like your breath, or you can bring in external influences to help focus your attention. Try counting on beads, listening to a piece of soft music, or staring at a candle flame. This practice may be simple in theory, but it can be difficult for beginners to hold their focus for longer than a few minutes at first.
If your mind wanders, it’s important to bring it back to the practice and refocus. As the name suggests, this practice is ideal for anyone who requires additional focus in their life.
3. Movement Meditation:
Although most people think of yoga when they hear movement meditation, this practice may include walking through the woods, gardening, and other gentle forms of motion. It’s an active form of meditation where the movement guides you. Movement Meditation is good for people who find peace in action and prefer to let their minds wander.
4. Progressive Relaxation:
Also known as body scan meditation, progressive relaxation is a practice aimed at reducing tension in the body and promoting relaxation. Oftentimes, this form of meditation involves slowly tightening and relaxing one muscle group at a time throughout the body.
In some cases, it may also encourage you to imagine a gentle wave flowing through your body to help release any tension. This form of Meditation is often used to relieve stress and unwind before bedtime.
5. Loving-Kindness Meditation :
Loving-kindness meditation is used to strengthen feelings of compassion, kindness, and acceptance toward oneself and others. It typically involves opening the mind to receive love from others and then sending a series of good wishes to loved ones, friends, acquaintances, and all living beings.
Because this form of Meditation is intended to promote compassion and kindness, it may be ideal for those holding feelings of anger or resentment.
6. Spiritual Meditation:
Spiritual meditation is generally practiced in Eastern World. It’s similar to prayer in that you reflect on the silence around you and seek a deeper connection with your God or Universe.
Spiritual meditation can be practiced at home or in a place of worship. This practice is beneficial for those who thrive in silence and seek spiritual growth.
7. Transcendental Meditation:
Transcendental Meditation is a popular type of meditation. This practice has been the subject of numerous studies in the scientific community. It is more customizable than mantra meditation, using a mantra or series of words that are specific to each practitioner.
This practice is for those who like structure and are serious about maintaining a meditation practice.
8. Mantra Meditation:
Mantra meditation is prominent in many teachings, especially in Asia. This type of meditation uses a repetitive sound to clear the mind. It can be a word, phrase, or sound, such as the popular “Om.” It doesn’t matter if your mantra is spoken loudly or quietly. After chanting the mantra for some time, you’ll be more alert and in tune with your environment. This allows you to experience deeper levels of awareness.
In this age of Vices and Quarrel, Mantra Meditation is the most recommended. The process of hearing is a very powerful aid for cleaning up our consciousness and uplift us to higher rungs of Spirituality.
Some people enjoy mantra meditation because they find it easier to focus on a word than on their breath. This is also a good practice for people who don’t like silence and enjoy repetition.
9. Visualisation Meditation:
Visualization meditation is a technique focused on enhancing feelings of relaxation, peace, and calmness by visualizing positive scenes or images.
With this practice, it’s important to imagine the scene vividly and use all five senses to add as much detail as possible. Another form of visualization meditation involves imagining oneself succeeding at specific goals, which is intended to increase focus and motivation.
Many people use visualization meditation to boost their mood, reduce stress levels, and promote inner peace.
Visualization Meditation is a Super Powerful technique that works a hundred percent. This form of Meditation, if done with proper guidance, connects us to the Divine Consciousness God! Thus it is very effective.
Based on the different Value systems, different backgrounds, different countries, different upbringing, different belief systems, People choose different forms of Meditation respectively. Also, some choose based on what benefits they want from the practice of Meditation.
MEDITATION IS A VERY POWERFUL PRACTICE! We have to realize that Meditation is NOT an ordinary practice that anybody can do. It is the Great Art recommended by the Vedic Authorities. Bhagavad Gita, Gitopanishad, recommends the practice of Meditation.
Now researchers have conducted many studies on the effect of Meditation on the human brain, intellect, physique, etc. They have come up with the conclusion that Meditation is indeed a Very Powerful Practice and has immense benefits.
- To Improve Sleep Quality
- To Reduce Stress and Anxiety
- To Decrease Pain
- To Lower the Blood Pressure
- To Improve Focus and Concentration
- To Ease the Symptoms of Depression
- Gives a new perspective on stressful situations
- Build skills to manage your stress
- Increase Self-Awareness
- Focus on the Present
- Reduces Negative Emotions
- Increases Imagination and Creativity
- Increases Patience and Tolerance
- Help manage the Symptoms of Cancer
- Help manage the Symptoms of Heart Diseases
- Help manage the symptoms of Asthma
- Activates Subtle Body Relaxation
- Brings Peace and the Sense of Clarity
- Raises the Consciousness to Happy Mode
Thus Meditation offers Mental Benefits, Health Benefits, Intrapersonal Benefits, Interpersonal Benefits, Spiritual Benefits. However, all the above-sought benefits from Meditation are Incomplete and Temporary. Then what is the real purpose of Meditation?? What is the right path of Meditation? Curious??? Read on…
The True Meaning of Meditation is unfortunately lost in the creation of New Systems of Meditation. What to speak of the powerful practice of Meditation, as taught in the Authoritative Scriptures, if properly followed can UNLOCK the Real Power of Meditation.
The Great Sage Patanjali who is very well known for his Yoga Sutras-The Powerful Aphorisms of Yoga, has gifted the world with his Sacred Aphorisms, Yoga Sutras, which teach the whole deal of Meditation for humankind, which are Time Tested, Proven, Most Effective.
Sri Krishna, The Speaker of Bhagavad Gita teaches the Pandava Prince Arjuna ‘Dhyana Yoga’ or in other words ‘Yoga of Meditation’ in chapter six. Sri Krishna very clearly explains in detail all about Meditation. The questions of What, Why, How, Who about Meditation are all answered by Sri Krishna.
These Incredible Manuscripts present very clear and practical strategies for the Perfect Meditation.
By the way, it is very important to learn few aspects of Meditation before getting into its actual process. Meditation is NOT EASY as it sounds all around. Meditation requires a certain platform of our Mind, without which it becomes almost impossible to meditate. Why?
The main key person of any type of meditation is ‘Mind’. And the nature of Mind is too frivolous, fickle, monkey type. To bring this Monkey Mind under control is NOT an easy task at all! We all experience that every single moment. Isn’t it? Mind just keeps wandering with no reason just like a monkey jumping from one tree to another with no reason. Why is it so? The reason is that our mind is material, made up of formless material energy. Our own efforts cannot defeat this material mind.
But Meditation requires a steady Body and Mind. For a beginner it might be hard to render the Body and Mind in Steadiness but as we all know ‘Practice Makes Man Perfect’. This is the reason why there are 7 Powerful Practical Strategies To Enhance Our Meditation To Unlock Its Power. There is saying ‘Systems Work People Fail’, if this system of Mediation is properly followed, there is only Power and Power otherwise we fail to reap the sweet fruits of Meditation.
Based on Bhagavad Gita, here are the 7 strategies given below. Do not just read them but APPLY these strategies into your practice of Meditation and experience Great Results for yourself…
1 The True Purpose of Meditation:
It is very befitting to first understand the True Purpose of Meditation before getting to the practical tips. The Most Authentic Srimad Bhagavad Gita and Patanjali Sutras unlock the true purpose of Meditation. What is it?
Purification of the Mind.
Yes, the eight limbs of Ashtanga Yoga beginning with Yama, Niyama, Asana, Pranayama, Pratyahara, Dharana, Dhyana, and Samadhi are structured in such a way that gradually the stage of Purity of Mind is reached being in connection with God. The gross body, the subtle body, and soul can be purified ONLY with the Divine Intervention of God.
Once the Mind attains Purity, our consciousness keeps getting elevated. This elevation eliminates all the problems related to our Mind may it be stress, anxiety, depression, etc. The person with the Pure Mind(controlled mind) is the King of the World, not the one who is the slave of the Mind. Bhagavad Gita chapter 6 text 5 elucidates how one must handle the mind.
2 Best Time Of The Day For Meditation:
The best time to Meditate to derive all the benefits of Meditation is 'Brahma-muhurta time', two hours before the Sunrise until Sunrise. This part of the day has extra 'prana energy' contained in the atmosphere.
Also, this is the state of mind when it is calm, free from any worldly burdens, and will power at its peak. If we implant the image of God in the mind at this time, then it will help us hold on to the Divine Consciousness throughout the day.
Eventually, we can unlock the Great Potential of our Mind, which is untouched.
3 Location For Meditation:
Location for Meditation is an issue of course. One cannot sit 'anywhere' to meditate.
The spot for Meditation must be secluded, sanctified, well insulated, and absolutely away from all distractions(Ref: Bhagavad Gita 6.10-11), for as long as the person meditates, could be 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or even more time. Some sit on the bed which is not considered a pure spot for meditation.
The direction does not matter. As one has to implant the image of God in one's mind and God is Omnipresent.
4 Sitting Posture:
Sitting Posture also plays a major role in successful meditation.
Before starting to meditate sitting in the 'Asanasiddha' posture that is alert and still but comfortable posture. Maintain this posture throughout the meditation to stay awake.
When meditating, we are trying to engage the material mind in the spiritual realm. So, it is better to keep the eyes closed but if open, focus on the tip of the nose to block worldly distractions (Ref. Bhagavad Gita 12-13).
5 Visualize On The Divine Form Of God:
Start meditation by visualizing the form of God, His pastimes on earth, and divine qualities to add dynamism. Think about your eternal relationship with God to experience deep devotional sentiments.
By repeatedly meditating on a form that is appealing to us, the visual images will become situated in the mind and we will be able to create the divine sentiments needed for the purification of the mind.
Sri Hanuman is the best example. He meditates on Lord Ram eternally. Though he belongs to animal species he has unlimited power which he has attained through his devotional meditation.
Again..our mind is made of material energy and we are trying to engage it in the spiritual realm for purification and reconnection with God. To the degree the mind is engaged in the spiritual realm through meditation, to that degree, the mind is sure to get purified and find its True Potential.
6 Do Not Give Up Initially If Unsuccessful:
If it is difficult to focus the mind on God, we should not give up. In fact, we should expect the mind to wander toward worldly things because both are made of material energy.
In the first attempt, if the mind succeeds in focusing on God for only one-minute, be confident that on the second attempt, it may increase to two-minutes.
Subsequently, it will keep on increasing as per the Law of Incremental Growth. Once we cross the 50% mark, further progress will be a lot easier and inspirational.
Persistence and Perseverance are very important in achieving success in any aspect of life. Therefore realize your unlimited potential, do not give up.
7 Make A Commitment:
Commitment proves our Success.
So it is not enough to learn the process and tips to improve. It is more important to be committed to the process. Therefore...
Dedicate at least 15 minutes for meditation every day to elevate the mind toward God.
Practicing meditation continuously for 21 days can change the configuration of the brain, enabling it to resist the gravitational pull of bad habits and developing good habits until they become automatic. Thus gradually the mind gets purified of all the vices.