What is meditation?
Meditation is an expansion of self-awareness.
Why should someone meditate?
Meditation has several benefits, physical, and emotional, and spiritual. On the physical level, it is effective as an anti-stress process. It quiets the body, improves cardiovascular function, modulates the immune system and enhances self-repair mechanisms.
On the mental level, meditation enhances emotional wellbeing and is associated with a restfully alert mind.
On the spiritual level, by expanding self-awareness, meditation gives us access to the qualities of our consciousness such as insight, intuition, imagination, creativity, and freedom of choice. It also reveals to us the inseparability of everything in the universe and therefore shifts our identity to transpersonal to universal.
Are there different types of meditation?
Yes, there are several types of meditation:
Transcending meditations, which usually involve the use of a mantra or sound. However transcendence can also be achieved through any of the five senses and there are techniques for all the five senses.
Contemplative meditations that involve self-reflection and self-inquiry.
Mindfulness meditations (also referred to as vipasana) that make practitioners aware of various aspects of their experience. These include awareness of the environment; awareness of the body, including internal organs; experience of mental space, including sensations, images, feelings, and thoughts; and awareness of relationships. Mindfulness brings insight spontaneously and therefore mindfulness meditation is also referred to as insight meditation.
There are also meditations for enhancing specific aspects of emotional and physical wellbeing and for increasing the experience of love, abundance, joy, equanimity, compassion, and empathy.
In addition, there are meditations that enhance mind-body coordination, use breathing techniques, and specific gestures and interoception. These procedures — frequently known as mudras and bandhas — give us the ability to influence our internal organs including heart rate variability and blood pressure.
How often should I meditate?
A daily practice is best, and should be included as part of a normal routine that includes slicing up our time in various areas of life: sleep time, exercise time, focused work time, relationship time, mindful eating time, play and creative time.
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