What is Meditation?
When we think of meditation, a lot of us think of an old skinny guy with a long beard, sitting with contorted legs on a mountain somewhere… at least I do.
Knowing where and how to start meditating can be difficult, especially when the concept is not fully understood. In fact, from my experience there are multiple different types of meditation, ranging from simple relaxation techniques, to more advanced practices such as self exploration, out of body experience and deep trance states. However, all lead to the same overall purpose: self exploration.
For thousands of years, in many cultures around the world, meditation has been a means of discovering core aspects of ourselves as parts of existence. A means of looking below the surface of our minds, bodies, expectations and desires to find our real nature. With repeated practice, meditation shifts from a temporary once a day routine into a way of life and permanent mindset of awareness. This helps create a constant state of pure being, quiet and calm. There are no conditions to meditate, one can belong to any religion, any background, any colour, any race. Time and practice are the only requirements.
Where to Start
I have created a very simple guided meditation using a popular tense and relax technique to create a state of full body calmness. Generating this state of total relaxation is a fundamental stage in any meditation, and must first be established in order to continue with more advanced techniques. Therefore, this is a perfect place to start when looking to begin exploring.
However, simply practicing this technique once in a while to relax yourself when stressed, although certainly beneficial, will not help in the long haul to create a natural state of calmness and quiet. This should be repeated frequently until you are able to quickly shift into deep relaxation naturally through will as apposed to following the steps in the guided meditation. Once achieved, you can now start learning the more in depth techniques and really begin diving deep into self-exploration.
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