INTRODUCTION TO THE WORLD OF MEDITATION
Like yoga, juice diets, and minimalism, meditation has seen a boom in popularity in mainstream media in recent years. But while meditation might be revered as a great way to relax, it’s much more than that.
In the United States alone, more than 18 million people actively practice meditation. Some see it as a way to relax in the constantly stressful world. Others see it as a religious or spiritual practice. Still more practice meditation as a way to expand their minds.
If you’re new to meditation and aren’t sure where to begin, keep reading. We’re breaking down the history of meditation, some of the most common types, and the benefits you could be enjoying after just one meditation session.
WHAT IS MEDITATION
If you think that meditation is nothing more than sitting quietly or chanting a few “oms,” think again. It’s actually a complex process with countless variations.
Throughout history, a number of cultures adopted meditation in different forms and for different purposes. In some instances, meditation was used for religious or spiritual purposes. Others saw it as a way to increase focus or improve health.
The meditation styles that we most often recognize today have their origin in the Buddhist tradition. More than 2,600 years ago, Buddha helped his followers find peace and mindfulness through quiet meditation. In fact, meditation was one part of a three-part training that Buddha claimed would bring about enlightenment or spiritual awakening. The other two parts were the wisdom to seek the truth and ethical behavior.
Understanding what meditation is also requires learning what it is not. While it may be a great addition to an exercise or wellness plan, meditation is not an exercise. It’s also not about concentrating, or the opposite, losing control. Instead, it’s the conscious process of reaching a state of peace and calm.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF MEDITATION
Just as meditation has served many different purposes throughout history, there are now a variety of types of meditation that you could engage in. If you’re new to meditation, though, there are just a few you should know about in order to choose the right one for you.
Perhaps the most common type of meditation practiced in the U.S. is mindfulness. Part of why it is so popular is because it is one of the simplest forms of meditation. Coming directly from the Buddhist tradition of meditation, mindfulness is all about achieving peace in order to clear your mind.
To practice mindfulness, simply sit in a relaxed position, and begin breathing in and out in an even, deep manner. Clear your mind and focus only on your breathing. If you find your mind beginning to wander, refocus on your breathing. This type of meditation could be practiced for anywhere from a few minutes a week to several times a day.
This more-modern form of meditation is similar to mindfulness. But rather than being left to focus only on your own breathing, you’re instead listening to a visualization guide. This guide could come from an instructor, or from an audio file that you can find online or even from a meditation app on your smartphone.
Your visualization guide will instruct you on where to focus your mind, such as on your breathing or posture, and may also help you imagine yourself in a relaxing location or a meditative state. If you’re new to meditation or have trouble staying focused, guided visualization is a great option.
Transcendental Meditation (TM)
Besides simple mindfulness or guided visualization, there are also forms of meditation that are much more in-depth, and that requires training to master. Transcendental Meditation, or TM, is one of them. TM evolved from Hindu traditions of meditation. It involves silently chanting and intense focus in order to rise above the negativity and reach a state of enlightenment.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
While different forms of meditation will help you achieve different results, there are a variety of benefits that you’ll enjoy in as little as just one session of meditation.
By reaching a state of mental peace, you’ll be helping your mind and body relax. This can help you concentrate deeper throughout the day, improve your mood, and increase your self-awareness. In turn, this can make it easier for you to stick to other healthy changes in your life, like a better diet or an exercise plan.
Studies have also shown that meditation can provide even reduce the symptoms of anxiety, depression, chronic pain, and tension. Some research has even suggested that meditation could help reduce your risk of cancer, relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, decrease your blood pressure, increase brain function, and more.
WHY WE NEED MEDITATION
In our modern day society – we are constantly bombarded by tasks and responsibilities. We will in a state of chaos day in and day out. We absorb information at the rate of computers and our dopamine pathways are getting higher and higher – which will soon run out. The rate of anxiety and ADHD is on the steep incline and its on track to not stop.
Think about the time you last put your phone away for a day – yet alone 1 hour. We are dependent on technology and are moving at a faster rate than any generation before us. This brings in the need for calmness and stillness into our lives such as meditation. It’s not a trend, its not a fad – it is how monks live their lives. In a state of enlightenment and joy.
START MEDITATING TODAY
Meditation can be a great way to relax your body and focus your mind. But if your body is tired and dehydrated, you won’t be able to reach the state of calm that makes meditation so effective.
LIVV IV hydration therapy can help combat the damage to your body caused by daily stressors, while meditation can help to calm your mind. Paired, these treatments can be a great way to help your mind and body cope with living in a world of chaos.
Dr. Jason Phan NMD – LIVV Natural Health | Naturopathic Medical Doctor specializing in IV Vitamin Therapy, PRP (platelet rich plasma)/Regenerative Injections, Men’s and Women’s Health, and Optimal Living. .