Meditation is a powerful tool used by millions of people worldwide as a method to reduce stress, increase spiritual growth and impact overall health and wellness. Unfortunately, there are many myths stigmatizing the art of meditation. Meditation is often thought of as a “clearing of the mind”. This could not be further from the truth. Meditation is also often associated with the chanting of religious mantras. This is only one type of meditation. There are many different types of meditation and most have no association with any form of organized religion. When performed regularly, meditation can be instrumental in centering one with their intended purpose and opening the mind to greater enlightenment.
Meditation, by definition, is continuous and profound concentration on a single subject. It is to give something your complete, undivided attention. The very meaning of the word does much to dispel the beliefs that meditation is meant to empty your head of any thought. The purpose of meditation is to center oneself or to achieve balance. It is to redefine your life’s focus. It is to become in harmony with your purpose. The act of meditation needs energy in the form of activity in order to be realized. It is a practice meaning that you have to do something.
Activity is crucial to reaping the benefits of meditation. The type of activity you choose to perform is based upon what benefits you hope to achieve. What is your purpose? If the purpose of the meditation is to increase spiritual growth, then the activity you perform could be prayer. If the purpose of the meditation is to gain knowledge or enlightenment, then your activity could be reading. If your purpose is to relieve stress, then your activity could be a visualization exercise. Other activities can include: belly breathing, singing, yoga, martial arts, painting or any other action that requires your complete attention. The point is that whatever type of activity you choose to perform as your meditation, it must be able to produce your desired benefits. Your meditation should be purposeful.
What are the benefits of purposeful meditation? Since it is not a “clearing of the mind”, meditation does not help you to escape your problems. Just as in detrimental coping techniques such as alcohol or other substance abuse, your problems will still be there when you are finished. What meditation can do is help you to gain clarity and focus, work out answers and solve problems with a “quieter” mind. The human brain is such an intricate network of thought and emotion that it is often difficult to truly hear oneself think. Focused, purposeful meditation allows you to dedicate your attention to concentrate on troubling issues without interruption. Furthermore, a quieter mind permits your brain to increase its function by absorbing and processing information better. Meditation also, because of any physical activity, promotes better oxygen intake, lowers the heart rate, reduces blood pressure and regulates the levels of cortisol, a hormone identified as a key culprit to inducing stress.
Purposeful meditation is a way to strengthen the mind, body and spirit. It allows you to achieve balance and hear your own voice. It is a journey of self-discovery. You can not do it wrong so don’t beat yourself up when your mind wanders to other things. It is the nature of the human brain to think. Focused meditation takes practice. Choose an activity that is comfortable, meaningful and that will allow you to achieve your intended purpose. Start with short sessions of 10 or 15 minutes and work your way up to an hour. Remember, purposeful meditation is just one tool to aid you in your journey to a happy, fulfilling life.
Source by Niquenya Fulbright