Meditation: How to Get Started

The best way to start is to stay still and concentrate on your breath. An ancient Zen saying says, “You can sit for 20 minutes a day in meditation — if you are not too busy. The you need to be sitting for an hour.”

JK, It is better to begin with short periods, even five or ten minutes, and expand from there.

Pedram Shojai, author of ‘The Urban Monk’ and editor of Well.org, advises that “sit constantly 20 minutes a day and do it straight for 100 days.”

“Take an extra 2 to 5 minutes to meditate during the day to break the mess, and you will feel the benefits soon.”

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Why Meditation is Good

The many advantages of meditation are confirmed by many facts.

Meditation might aid with :

  • lower blood pressure
  • reduce anxiety
  • decrease pain
  • ease symptoms of depression
  • improve sleep

If meditation effects are anecdotal or empirical, those who practice meditation daily are confident of its benefits in their lives.

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Conclusion

There is a meditating activity for you if you want to relieve tension or find divine illumination, find quietness or flow by movement.

Don’t be intimidated to move out and explore new forms outside your comfort zone. It takes always a little trial and mistake before you find the fitting one.

Dessy says: “Meditation is not intended to be coerced. “Then it becomes a chore if we push it. Smooth, daily work finally becomes sustainable, supportive and nice.

You need to open to the possibilities. There are so many diverse types of meditation that you only try a different one whether you’re not functioning or not relaxed.”

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What Kind of Meditation is Good for You?

Meditation may be an outdated tradition, but in communities all over the world, peace and inner harmony is still practiced.
While activity has similarities to many various religious doctrines, meditation focuses less on religion and more on changing perception, consciousness and harmony.

In our busy times and demanding lives, meditation is becoming more common these days, with the need to relieve tension.

While meditation is not right or incorrect, it is necessary to find a practice that satisfies your needs and complements your personality.

The common meditation types:

  • mindfulness meditation
  • spiritual meditation
  • focused meditation
  • movement meditation
  • mantra meditation
  • transcendental meditation
  • progressive relaxation
  • loving-kindness meditation
  • visualization meditation

Not every form of meditation is right for us. These activities require a range of expertise and behaviors. How do you know what is the best practice?
Mira Dessy, a mediation author and holistic nutritionist, says, “What feels comfortable, and what you feel encouraged to practice.”

Continue to read to learn about the various kinds of meditation and how to start.

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1. Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation is the most common western meditation method from Buddhist teachings.
You pay heed to your emotions as you move through your mind in awareness meditation. You don’t judge or engage with the emotions. You just wait and catch all trends.
This approach incorporates emphasis and perception. If you experience certain feelings, emotions or sentiments, you will find it beneficial to concentrate on a thing or your respiration.
The therapy is ideal for people without a trainer, easily be practiced independently. This form of meditation is appropriate.

2. Spiritual Meditation

In Eastern traditions as well as in Christian faith, divine meditation is used, such as Hinduism and Daoism.

It is close to prayer by focusing on your solitude and looking for a deeper link with your Deity or World.

Basic oils are used to improve the spiritual experience. Include common options:

  • frankincense
  • myrrh
  • sage
  • cedar
  • sandalwood
  • palo santo

Indoor or in a place of worship Spiritual therapy may be practiced. For those who flourish in solitude and desire spiritual development, this activity helps.

3. Focused Meditation

Concentrated therapy consists of concentration using the five senses.

For example, you may concentrate on something internal, such as your breath, or impact externally to help concentrate your focus.

Try to count the poor beads, hear the gong, or look at a burning candle.

This method can be easy in principle, but beginners may find it challenging to concentrate for a few minutes longer.

It’s necessary, when your mind wanders, to return to practice and refocus.

This practice, as the name implies, is perfect for those who need to concentrate more on their own lives.

4. Movement Meditation

Though most people can think of yoga when they hear movement meditation, it may include woodland walking, planting, quigong, etc.

The movement leads you in an involved form of meditation.

Motion meditation is ideal for people who find peace and wish to encourage their thoughts to drift in motion.

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5. Mantra Meditation

In several courses, like the Hindu and Buddhist practices, Mantra Practice is prevalent. The repeated sound of this form of therapy is used to clear the mind. It may be a phrase, sentence, or sound, like the common “Om.”

If the mantra is spoken clearly or silently doesn’t matter. You’re more alert and attuned to the surroundings after repeating the mantra for some time. This helps you to deepen your understanding.

Some people prefer mantra therapy because it’s better than breathing to concentrate on a phrase. This is also a healthy idea for those not loving silence and repeat

6. Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental Meditation has become a common meditation form. Numerous experiments have taken place in the research world for this practice.

It is more customized than chant therapy, using an actual mantra or a sery of words.

This method is for those who like order and want a meditation practice seriously.

7. Progressive Relaxation

Progressive relaxation is also known as body scan yoga to relieve stress and encourage relaxation of the body.

This meditation also allows one muscle group to slowly tighten and relax in the body.

It may also inspire you in some situations to think of a soothing wave that flows through your body to help relieve anxiety.

This method of meditation is often used before bedtime to ease tension and relax.

8. Loving-kindness Meditation

Meditation on love and goodness is used to promote feelings of sympathy, kindness and acceptance towards oneself and other humans.

It normally means opening up the mind in order to accept the affection of others and giving loving ones, families, friends and all living creatures a variety of good wishes.

Since this meditation is supposed to encourage love and kindness, it may be perfect for those who experience disappointment or anger.

9. Visualization meditation

Visualization Therapy is a practice that promotes calm, peace and tranquillity by seeing optimistic scenes or pictures.

It is important to visualize the scene vividly with this exercise and use all five senses to add as much depth as possible.

Another method of meditation on imagination includes thinking that you achieve to clear outcomes that are designed to increase concentration and motivation.

Most people use imagery meditation for mood improvement, tension relief and internal peace promotion.

Principles Of Preparing For Meditation

Not only do the meditation exercise itself become a daily ritual, but also the planning of the moves. Explore five concepts to ground yourself before you meditate.

No matter what meditation technique you practice, there are five universal rules that should be used to prepare for meditation in order to ensure optimal success and the best possible experience.

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  1. Stop a full stomach of food, or other stimulants like caffeine, or sugar right before you sit down. Give yourself at least an hour or so after eating or drinking coffee before you sit down to meditate.
  2. Find an atmosphere in which you are least likely to be distracted or disrupted by the outside world. Switch your phone to quiet, lock the door, maybe let everyone around you know that you’re going to meditate for a brief while and prefer not to be interrupted.
  3. Wherever you are, and for as long as you meditate, stay in a relaxed position. For most of us, any form of back support is suggested. This is to ensure that our mind is not concerned with the pain that we should feel unsupported in our backs during the mediation session. Unless defined by a special procedure, it is not appropriate to sit with your legs crossed or to put your hands in any particular position. Comfort is the secret to this.
  4. Once we reach a relaxed place, make the mind a transition from an open state of eyes to a near state of eyes. This literally means taking about half a minute or so to encourage the mind and the body to relax into their least excited state, whatever it might be. If you feel irritated or racy, please let it pass. If you feel tired or lethargic, there’s no problem. Only make all of this to be. Don’t fight it in some way, wherever you are, and however you might feel. Once we reach a relaxed place, give the mind an adjustment time from an open state of eyes to a near state of eyes. This literally means taking about half a minute or so to encourage the mind and the body to relax into their least excited state, whatever that might be. If you feel irritated or racy, please let it be. If you feel tired or lethargic, there is no problem. Only make all of it to be. Wherever you are, and however you can feel, don’t fight it in any way.
  5. The final, and possibly most important, point: be mindful of any preconceived assumptions or perceptions of what you might encounter in your meditation. The indifference and ignorance mindset, with no desire or need for any specific form of outcome, means that whatever strategy we practice, the mind is able to shift in the direction of de-excitation spontaneously without coercion.
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The Ways Meditation Can Alter the Brain

Meditation-and-brain research has been underway for a number of years now with new findings coming out almost every week to demonstrate the new effects of meditation. Or, rather, any ancient gain that has just been verified with fMRI or EEG. Practice tends to have a wide range of neurological benefits – from improvements in the amount of gray matter to decreased activation in the “me” brain centers to increased connectivity between brain regions.

Below are some of the most promising research that have come out in the past few years that prove that meditation actually can create measurable improvements in our most critical organ. Skeptics, of course, would wonder what good are any brain improvements if the psychological results are not seen at the same time? Luckily, there is strong support for those too, with research suggesting that meditation helps to alleviate our subjective levels of anxiety and depression, Boost focus, concentration and general psychological well-being.

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Meditation Helps Preserve the Aging Brain

Last week a UCLA study showed that long-term meditators had better-preserved brains than non-meditators when they were older. Participants who had been meditating for an average of 20 years had a greater percentage of gray matter in the brain—though older meditators also had some volume reduction relative to younger meditators, it was not as pronounced as non-meditators. “We expected rather small and distinct effects located in some of the regions that had previously been associated with meditating,” The author of the research Florian Kurth said. “Instead what we actually observed was a widespread effect of meditation that encompassed regions throughout the entire brain.”

Meditation Decreases Activation in the “Me Center” Brain Section

One of the most interesting work in the last few years, carried out at Yale University, reported that mindfulness meditation decreases activation in the default mode network (DMN), the brain network responsible for mind-wandering and self-referential thoughts – a.k.a., “monkey mind.” DMN is on or involved when we’re not thinking about something in particular, when our brains are simply wandering around. Since mind-wandering is commonly synonymous with being less content, it is ruminating. Worrying about the past and the future, it’s the intention for many people to turn it down. Several experiments have found that meditation, owing to its relaxing influence on the DMN, tends to do exactly that. And even though the mind starts to drift, because of the new associations that create, meditators are best off snapping right out of it.

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The Effects of Meditation Competes With Antidepressants for Anxiety, Depression

Last year, a research report looked at the association between mindfulness therapy and its potential to relieve effects of stress, anxiety, and pain. Researcher Madhav Goyal and his colleagues observed that the meditation impact size was moderate at 0.3. If this sounds poor, bear in mind that the antidepressant effect size is also 0.3, which makes the meditation effect sound pretty good. After all, meditation is an active method of brain conditioning. “A lot of people have the idea that meditation means sitting down and doing nothing,” says Goyal. “But that’s not the truth. Meditation is an intensive training of the mind to increase consciousness, and various meditation programs address this in different ways.” Meditation is not a silver bullet for depression, since there is no cure, but it is one of the strategies that can better relieve symptoms.

Meditation Can Lead to Changes in the Volume of Brain Main Areas

In 2011, Sara Lazar and her team at Harvard found that mindfulness meditation could potentially alter the shape of the brain: eight weeks of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) improved cortical thickness in the hippocampus that regulates learning and memory, and in some areas of the brain that play a role in the control of emotions and self-referential thinking. There was also a reduction in brain cell volume in the amygdala, which is responsible for terror, anxiety, and tension – and these improvements were compatible with participants’ self-reporting of their stress levels, suggesting that meditation not only changes the brain, but also changes our subjective experience and emotions. In reality, a follow-up analysis conducted by Lazar’s team showed that after meditation preparation, Changes in brain regions related to mood and excitement were also linked to changes in how participants reported they felt—i.e., their psychological well-being. So for someone who claims the triggered blobs in the brain do not actually signify something, our subjective perception – increased mood and well-being – may also appear to be changed by meditation as well.

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Just a Few Days of Exercise Increases Focus and Attention

Concentrating issues is not just a child thing – it affects millions of adults as well, with or without an ADD diagnosis. Interestingly, though not surprisingly, one of the main advantages of meditation is that it increases attention and concentration: a recent research showed that just a few weeks of meditation preparation helped people’s awareness and memory in the GRE verbal reasoning portion. In fact, the improvement in score was equal to 16 percentage points, which is nothing to sneeze at. As a clear concentration of attention (on an object, thought, or activity) is one of the core goals of meditation, it is not shocking that meditation can also help people’s cognitive skills at work – but it’s good to see research prove it. And everybody can use a little more support with standardized exams.

Meditation Decreases Anxiety—Social Anxiety

A lot of people are beginning to meditate on the effects of minimizing stress, and there is a lot of strong data to support this rationale. There is a whole new sub-genre of meditation, described earlier, called Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness (now accessible around the country), which aims to relieve the stress of an individual, both physically and mentally. Studies have demonstrated their benefit in minimizing anxiety even years after the original 8-week course. Analysis has also shown that mindfulness therapy, unlike breathing alone, can alleviate anxiety – and that these changes appear to be transmitted across brain regions connected with these self-referential (“me-centered”) thinking. Mindfulness therapy has also been found to benefit those with social anxiety disorders: The Stanford University team found that MBSR induced improvements in the brain areas involved in focus, as well as recovery from symptoms of social anxiety.

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Meditation Can Help with Addiction

Growing numbers of studies have shown that, considering its effects on brain self-control areas, meditation can be very helpful in helping people rebound from different forms of addiction. One research, for example, pitted mindfulness meditation against the American Lung Association’s Freedom from Smoking (FFS) initiative, and found that participants who studied mindfulness were many times more likely to have stopped smoking at the completion of training and 17 weeks of follow-up than those with traditional therapy. This may be because meditation lets people “decouple” the state of craving from smoking, so that one doesn’t necessarily have to contribute to the other, but rather you truly feel and ride the “wave” of craving before it disappears. Other study has demonstrated that mindfulness meditation, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT) and mindfulness-based relapse prevention (MBRP) can be effective in the treatment of other forms of addiction.

Quick Meditation Breaks Will Benefit Kids at School

For brain formation, meditation has as much or maybe perhaps more potential than it has for adults. Teachers and scholars have become particularly involved in introducing meditation and yoga to school children who are coping with the normal stressors within the school, and also with extra stress and trauma outside the school. Any schools are beginning to incorporate meditation on their everyday schedules and with good effect: one district in San Francisco has initiated a twice-daily meditation program in some of its high-risk schools – And the suspensions reduced, and the GPAs and enrollment improved. Studies have verified the cognitive and emotional effects of meditation for schoolchildren, but further analysis is likely to be needed before it is more commonly embraced.

4. Open your heart

In my view, there are two general schools of meditation. One is what I call the “be present” school, stressing the calmness and calmness of our busy thoughts. The second is about experiencing our relation to all things, or what I call “heart wisdom.” My personal aha moment came when I knew that they were interrelated. Through shutting your heart, you will become more conscious, and by being present, your heart can unlock.

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When you enjoy a comfortable, tension-free body, a brain in a hammock, and a deep, easy breath, you find that your heart is more luminous. Use your lungs to inflate this region. It’s going to sound like the campfire’s embers are gone from the vivid orange charcoal to the blazing fire.

3. Tune in the breath

My own concept of meditation is that it is the calm enjoyment of basic pleasures like breathing—and being responsive to the awareness that comes as we do so. The trick here is not to feel like you’ve got to breathe long and hard, because it says you’re doing something in a meditation or yoga book, just because it’s good. Tied in with the first position of a comfortable body, love breathing because it’s like a jacuzzi jet for a tight spot in your body. It’s the best blessing we have and it’s under our noses every day. Meditation is a wonderful time to enjoy it.

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2. The brain swing

Enable the brain to sink into what I label the “brain swing.” Swings are fun while we’re in them because we’re going to relax and let go. The brain wants to rest, too. It is unceasingly processed and analyzed. Modern culture sees an active mind as positive, but meditation shows one that being busy is not necessarily a virtue. Too much thought disperses our resources and concentration. As the body gets more unstuck and we love our breath, imagine the hammock from one ear to the other and let the mind sink into this hammock. When it wanders, ease it further and just enjoy the sensation of tightness that leaves the body. What you’re going to experience is not just more comfortable but also transparent, as if someone walked in and cleaned your home, decluttering and leaving you to face life with ease and flow.

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1. A relaxed body, a relaxed mind

It wasn’t until I saw meditation as a physical state, and not an excuse to avoid thinking, that I truly made progress. The subconscious isn’t just the brain. Our emotions are embodied in our bodies as stimuli. Stress, anxiety, and concern all cause tightness in the body like our lower back, shoulders, or jaw.

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When you sit down to meditate, feel where these trapped positions are; places that don’t move when you breathe and feel restricted. When you feel the pulsations of air coming to those areas, your body feels stronger. You replaced tightness with lightness. Keep doing it. Try not to see this breathing in tight spaces as a chore, but instead experience the pleasure of calming the pain in your body. The subconscious gets sharper as the body feels lighter.