Get Close to Meditation
Meditation might be so strange to many yoga beginners. They would be confused about what is meditation, how and why we should do this? What can we get from this? Let’s explore much more about meditation together.
What Is Meditation?
There is a complicated methodology in the yoga tradition that aims to explore the relatedness of every living thing. The basic unity is called Advaita. Meditation is the actual act of the union. Meditation is a wellness practice to make you more focused and more relaxed. The Yoga Sutra pointed out that yoga (or union) comes from the peaceful and quiet mind. We get the mental silence when our mind, body, and sense reach balance, and in turn, our nervous system calms down and relaxes. We step into the realm of meditation when we are crazy for chasing things and never stop seeking pleasure and security.
Many types of research proved that meditation makes a great difference in our physiology and psychology. At the very least, meditation helps you to control your mind, develop concentration, reduce stress, and keep in peace, which in turn, benefits your physical health and emotional well-being. On a deeper level, it can bring something new to your awareness, your emotion, and your spirit. In the long run, you will have a deeper understanding of life and better know how to deal with the hustle and bustle world. Meditation teaches you how to let go of something you don’t need because too many things and choices will disturb and dazzle you.
How to Meditate
There is not the only way to meditate because there are many types of Hatha yoga. The most simple way to meditate is to focus on a specific object no matter you close your eyes or open them. Counting, murmuring, chanting, praying, or staring at an image are the great options you can start meditation. Let’s have a further talk about it below.
Mantra or Chant
Mantra yoga means using a specific sound as the focus point. Chanting is the extension of the mantra yoga. It is an effective way to come into meditation. Compare to a mantra, a chant is longer and has its rhythm and pitch. In western tradition, people use chants and hymns to awaken their awareness. For beginners, they prefer the mantra when they meditate because they think it is easier and more effective. Chanting to some degrees is much more difficult for some people. Some people are too shy to chant on their own. Thus, the audiotapes would be a nice helper. Or you can join a group and learn together with the teachers and students.
Another popular way of meditation is visualizing. Sometimes the flowers, cloud, sun, or ocean can be visualized by the mediators. They would also visualize the goodness and god they believe into a specific figure. You can also think about the one part of your body thinking about the connection with other things.
Gazing at a specific object is also your option. Candle gazing would be one of your best choices. Staring at a bottle, focusing on the cloud in the sky is also viable.
Breath focusing is also a good way to meditate. On breath meditation, you only need to focus on the breath as it is, no need to change it in any way. In this process, breath is the only thing you need to observe. You can concentrate to figure out the very small difference of breath and how subtle sensation it creates. Take a smooth and gentle breath to feel how it moves. Imagine its quality, temperature, aroma, and so on. You get closer and closer with your breath no matter how bad or good your discovery is.
The Posture of Meditation
Sitting is the most commonly used posture of meditation. The easy cross-legged pose is the most common one. It is also workable if you sit on a chair. Don’t forget to make your spine upright and make yourself in the most comfortable and steady state. A cushion or a folded blanket put under your buttock would be a nice helper to maximize comfort.
Walking is a popular and enjoyable way for meditation. Walking at a steady and slow speed is the key point for walking meditation. Where is your destination is not so important? To focus and feel is the essence of the walking meditation. Relax your arms and free your mind.
Standing is one of the powerful ways of meditation. It is fit for those who have mental, physical, and spiritual strength. Stand upright, put your hands on two sides of your thigh freely, chest open, an eye opened or closed.
Time and Place to Practice
Develop a good habit of meditating at the same time in the same place. Choose a place where is far away from hustle and bustle, quiet and secluded. Normally, meditating in the morning would be optimal because there is fresh air in the morning and you don’t have anything to distract you. Afternoon or evening meditation can be the second choice if you don’t have time in the morning. 5-10 minutes of meditation is enough for beginners after the yoga practice.
When The Mind Wanders
You will inevitably be distracted when you meditate. When your mind roams, you will pay attention to the other part of your body, focus on people passing by, dreaming the life you want, thinking of the past or the future. You don’t need to be annoyed with this. Thinking is just as natural as breathing. Mind-wandering is such a normal condition. There is no shame in pausing and having a rest. Please don’t hurry to pull back your attention to the breath. Instead, try to let go of the things disturbing you, relax your mind slowly, gently shift your attention to the breath, focus on every present inhalation and exhalation. After a few minutes, you will find your mind wander again. Don’t be upset and frustrated about this. It is very normal. What matters is how we deal with this after we notice that. Simply notice what you are thinking about and take a rest and don’t let it carry you away. And then bring back your awareness to the meditation. Practice coming back, again and again, means you have a further improvement in meditation.
To sum up, meditation is available to all of us. It teaches us how to reduce stress, deal with annoying moods, clear our mind, reach calmness, gain happiness, and get peace. As long as you keep practicing, you can get a lot continuously.