This is a story from a very good friend and partner, Bello AKA Digital Zoro (http://blog.belloopeyemi.tech/index.php/2019/09/09/meditation-the-art-of-keeping-the-mind-at-peace), he personally sent me this article from his blog because of my complaints to him about my mental health these past days.
PS: some paraphrasing was done in this post though.
In today’s world, where everything is fast-paced. It almost feels like our mind is constantly wandering in a chaotic manner. This burden can be so much and it feels like most of us are going crazy. The phrase peace of mind seems to be an unattainable state nowadays. There is a demand to make a conscious effort to explore our mind and figure out who we truly are. Most people have realized that we need to take the time to keep our minds relaxed. However, most of us still do not know-how. One of the best methods that have proven to be efficient over time is Meditation.
Meditation, is any activity, exercise, a practice that is done with the intention of training the mind to achieve, calmness, attentiveness, mindfulness, emotional and mental clarity. Meditation is a skill, and like every other skill takes practice to perfect. It is like a workout for the mind, to keep it fit.
Although, meditation has a long history with religion. It is important to note that meditation has nothing to do with religion or spirituality. The oldest documented proof of meditative practices was found in India, with wall arts of people seated in meditative postures. There are also written pieces of evidence seen in Vedas, discussing the tradition of Gurus and Shishya meaning teachers and disciples receptively.
With the growth of Japanese Buddhism from the 8th century onward, meditative practices were brought to and further developed in Japan. As of the 18th century. the study of Buddhism in the western countries became a topic for intellectuals. And as time went on it became a practice for all to achieve mental clarity.
The importance of meditation can not be overemphasized. Meditation has been proven to have the following effect on people
- Reduction in stress, anxiety and depression.
- Improved emotional stability and confidence.
- Improved connection to one’s self and sociability
- Improved pain tolerance and regeneration
- Improved creativity, divergence and problem-solving skills
- Improved blood circulation and heart rate
- Improved sexual stamina and prowess.
- Better sleep; meditation can be a cure for insomnia
TYPES OF MEDITATION
Guided Meditation: In this type of meditation, you have a guide or a teacher taking you through the mediation process. The type is best for beginners as they have little or no experience. Hence, it is important a teacher with experience walks them through. The guide would tell the meditator what to do and how to react to certain situations.
Unguided Meditation: This type of meditation is done solo without any assistance. It usually involves a lot of silence and letting the mind float, in a controlled manner, paying attention to the body and thoughts during that period of time.
Here are a few common meditation techniques,
- Focus attention: This technique is pretty straight forward. The goal is to keep our attention focused on a particular object. The object of choice is dependent on the meditator. However, the most common objects are usually, the breath, a candle flame, the wind direction. The meditator focuses on his object and keeps his mind concentrated on. If the minds wander off, the meditator brings his mind back to the object of focus.
- Visualization: Visualization is similar to focus attention, the difference here, the object of focus is an image the meditator has created in his mind. The image could be something he recollected or a figment of his imagination.
- Resting awareness: As opposed to focus attention and visualization, this technique involves letting the mind rest, surfing the wave of the mind. Instead of letting the thoughts distract and pull you away, you simply let it drift away.
- Reflection. This technique demands the meditator to think and reflect. Asking questions like What makes you happy? What gets you angry? What are you grateful for?
They are numerous other techniques, however regardless of what technique you choose to use. These are some basic principles to apply when meditating.
- Choose a comfortable position. It could be laying, sitting or squatting. The body has to be in a position of comfort
- Choose a comfortable time and place. The goal of mediation is to achieve internal peace. So the location for meditation has to be a place that has little or no noise or other forms of distractions.
- Close your eyes. it helps in with concentration
- Decide on the amount of time to meditate, for beginners the ideal time is 5–7 minutes and as you improve or get better you can increase the minutes.
I know that meditating could be a little bit tricky. So I am going to suggest some apps for you that are very good for meditating. These apps are good to practice and master the art of meditation.
- OAK: Available on both Android and iOS
- HEAD-SPACE: Available on both Android and iOS
- CALM: Available on both Android and iOS
SRC: Digital Zoro