Meditation dates back to as early as 5000 BCE, making it one of the oldest practices for training the mind. Meditation is derived from Hinduism and Buddhism, but it also has religious ties in China, ancient Egypt, Judaism, Sikhism, and Jainism.
You can look at meditation as a way to train your mind to become more calm, clear, and focused, Just like exercise helps you in keeping your body fit.
If you have never meditated before, you may find it a bit complex. But once you learn it, it will become as simple as taking a walk in the park.
I have been meditating for the last 3-5 years. I am not sure when I started meditating consistently. But the first time I meditated, I was in middle school. I was trying to copy a yogi.
At that time, I didn’t even know that I need to keep my mind free from any thought & idea to meditate. I was just impersonating the yogi by repeating the word ‘OM.’
As much as I remember, I quickly got the hang of it and managed to meditate for 30-40 minutes straight without getting distracted. I just didn’t get distracted.
Now, even after 3-5 years of consistent effort, I still find it difficult to maintain concentration, and I can meditate for barely 10 minutes before getting exhausted.
So, if you are thinking of trying meditation, start now. There will never be a moment more perfect than now to do it. All you need to do is sit and follow any meditation method mentioned below:
Benefits of Meditation
Here are some science-backed benefits of meditation:
- Lowers blood pressure
- Less perspiration
- Improves mood
- Improved blood circulation
- Lowers stress
- Improves attention span
- Reduces ag-related memory loss
- Improves quality of sleep
- Helps in fighting addiction
Simple Meditation Methods for Beginners
Before you try any of these methods, make sure you have a comfortable, quiet place to sit and meditate. When it comes to correct posture for meditation, you can sit on a chair, lie down, sit on your knees, stand; any posture is fine as long as your head & neck is in line with your spine.
At first, no matter how you sit, you will feel uncomfortable even after a few minutes. But with time, if you practice consistently, you will get used to meditating in that posture.
Moreover, if you can choose a specific spot where you are going to meditate daily, For instance, I meditate in ‘Pooja Room’ it’s a room where everyone in my house worships, every single day, It will assist you in meditating.
If you meditate in a specific room for a prolonged time, you will notice a difference that every time you enter that room, your mind will clear itself on its own without effort on your part due to habit.
Without further due, here are a few meditation methods for beginners:
- Concentration Meditation: Involves focusing on a single point. You can repeat a specific word (any word/OM), follow your breath, count beads on a mala. I started my meditation journey with this method.
- Mindful Meditation: This method involves observing wandering thoughts as they drift through your mind. Don’t judge your thoughts, or get involved with them. Just notice the pattern of how they move, arise, and make you feel.
- Visualization Meditation: In this method, you need to imagine a color of your liking. With each breath, Imagine it slowly filling your body from head to toe as unwanted emotions & thoughts are getting drained out of your body.
I have spent a lot of time trying to meditate. I have tried all sorts of meditation techniques, from repeating a mantra to being mindful; nothing made any sense, nothing made any difference.
I didn’t meditate for the sake of relaxing for a few moments. I adopted meditation so that just like yogis all over my nation, I have more control over my thoughts, emotions, and ultimately actions.
Don’t you just get in a situation where something starts bothering you, and even though you know it’s bad for you, you just can’t let it go? And past, one of the main levers of pain in the present. Won’t it be cool to move forward without remembering it from time to time or looking at the past in a new light?
Meditation can help in all of these things. That’s why if you try a specific method strictly for at least a week and don’t feel any difference or benefit, you should try another method until you find a method that works for you.
What is the Ideal Time to Meditate?
An hour before the sunrise, an hour before the sunset is considered the ideal time for meditation, according to yogis. However, most experts suggest that you can meditate anytime you like.
I meditate right after I wake up and before I go to bed. Sometimes I even meditate in the noon if I feel anxious.
So, if you are a beginner, start by meditating for 5 minutes once a day, whenever you like, and if you want to go all-in, meditate for 5 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes in the evening.
Method I Practice!
This method may seem a little rough, but for me, it worked like a charm. I came to know about this method from a book called Meditation and its Method by Swami Vivekananda. It’s like visualization meditation but a little bit different.
Here’s an extract from the book explaining the method:
“Think of a space in your heart, and in the midst of that space think that a flame is burning. Think of that flame as your own soul and inside the flame is another effulgent light, and that is the Soul of your soul, God. Meditate upon that in the heart.”
The problem with this method is that after practicing, I feel an enormous urge to sleep. It’s like I can’t keep myself up after meditating using this method, and that has created trouble for me since I have gone beyond a few deadlines in my work.
However, it’s pretty effective. Using this method, my memory has improved, I can think more clearly, understand other people better, and my focusing ability has improved.
If none of the above-mentioned meditation methods work for you, I would recommend giving it a try. You don’t have to do it for hours, just do it for 5-10 minutes in the morning or evening.
While practicing this method, you may notice that suddenly thoughts & ideas arise from nowhere, making it difficult for you to imagine. Don’t panic or get angry with yourself. Just refocus on the flame and keep refocusing yourself until you don’t get distracted or thoughts stop arising.
Swami Vivekananda, in his book, described meditation as a gate to bliss that is open to everyone, wealth that no one can destroy, the joy that no mystery can hurt anymore.
Meditation has more than enough proven benefits to make it a part of healthy living. All it takes is 5 minutes in the morning, 5 minutes in the evening.
So, if you have a few spare minutes every day for doing something productive, try meditation. Moreover, take your time, you don’t have to force yourself to stop thinking, rather focus on maintaining your concentration.
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