What is meditation?
There are many different types of meditation, but most of them are derived from Buddhist meditation, whereas modern meditation is adapted and secularized, removing the religious elements and extracting the scientific practice.
How do I meditate?
Now that you know what meditation is, you must be thinking about how to do it? The question sounds a little like asking someone how to play sports. They will find it incomprehensible seeing that there are different sports types, like baseball, basketball, etc.
So does meditation, falling into which are mindfulness meditation, mantra meditation, and the like. But the greatest common factor among all sorts of meditation is that they’re all mainly about training our self-awareness.
For the following articles, we’re going to focus mostly on mindfulness meditation because it’s the fundamental one that many other meditations are built on, that’s easy for beginners to get started with, and that’s very popular all over the world right now.
As with meditation, there is no absolute definition of what mindfulness meditation is, but most people agree that “it’s about being openly focused on the moment, without judgment. As you go through your day examining your thoughts, you may find yourself constantly reflecting on the past, calculating the future, feeling regret, anxiety, and worry, with little time to focus on the present and feel deeply about what you are doing in the present. Mindfulness meditation is the practice of getting our minds out of all this chaos and back into the present.
If the above is too abstract for you, think about whether you can do something you like, forget the flow of time, and forget to eat or sleep. This kind of state of mind allows you to be fully immersed in the present moment instead of thinking about the future.
You’re probably thinking, “Well, that’s something you can’t get intentionally, so how do I practice mindfulness meditation? Here is a simple 5-minute relaxation meditation to start.
5-Minute Relaxation Meditation Method
Step 1: Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down in a relaxed way, as long as you feel comfortable. If you are sitting, remember to straighten your back, lying down to be careful not to fall asleep.
Step 2: Concentrate on your breathing, feel the changes in your body, focus on one part of your body, and concentrate your attention on the subtle changes in that part.
Step 3: Become self-aware and accept all that you are experiencing. During mindfulness meditation, you will find all sorts of thoughts in your mind trying to take your attention away from your breath. Don’t worry. It’s completely normal. Gently bring your attention back to the breath when you’re aware that your attention is on it, and you don’t have to keep thinking about it, and you don’t have to blame yourself when distractions surface. The whole process is like standing on the platform, watching a train pass by, coming and going, coming and going, and all you have to do is stay still on the platform, watching them come and go, and not walking onto those cars. When you realize you’ve accidentally walked onto a carriage, it’s okay to step off the car when you notice, walk back to the platform, and continue to watch them come and go.