- 1 What is Meditation?
- 2 Benefits of Meditation
- 3 Meditation for Beginners
- 4 Meditation Techniques
- 5 Meditation Quotes
- 6 Further Readings
What is Meditation?
Meditation is a state of consciousness that leaves you feeling an overall sense of peace within your mind. It is the achievement of slowing down our overactive minds with increased awareness of everything around us. True meditation occurs when we have reached a deep, profound level of peace with calm and alert minds.
Benefits of Meditation
Meditation has many benefits to the human mind and body. One of these benefits is the relief of everyday stresses that we place upon ourselves. When you meditate, you release your mind from worry and allow yourself the ability to see the larger picture in life. As you may know, stress can lead to a variety of health problems. To battle those potential outcomes, you can meditate to achieve ultimate relaxation and awareness and work to eliminate life’s stressful nuances.
Among other benefits, meditation also improves your ability to concentrate, improves your quality of life, encourages you to practice self-awareness, increase your overall happiness, slows the aging process and encourages a healthier lifestyle.
Meditation for Beginners
Many people discuss the benefits of meditation, but don’t explain how to achieve this level of awareness. If you are a beginner to the world of meditation or just want to learn how to do meditation, we will offer you some tips on getting the most out of your experience.
First, you should consider exactly what you want to achieve from meditation. Do you have a goal that you wish to meet? Are you looking to quiet your racing mind? Do you want to relax without worry over everyday concerns? No matter what you wish to achieve, these are all good reasons to begin your journey to a peaceful higher awareness.
Secondly, you should find an area that is quiet and free from any distractions. If you wish, you can use a meditation cushion, called a zafu, to sit upon while you meditate. Choose breathable, comfortable clothing items that won’t distract you from your meditation.
Choose a time to meditate that is a time of which you already feel a certain level of relaxation. When ready, sit down on your chair or cushion, cross your legs and focus on your breathing, but keep your mouth closed when doing these exercises. Experience the breathing motions and your lungs filling with air. Lastly, when finished with your first exercises, you don’t want to be hard on yourself if you don’t achieve the level of self-awareness that you are seeking. Practice makes perfect, so sit back and relax – you can always try again.
There are several techniques in meditation that we wish to tell you about. Concentration meditation involves the focus on a single point. In this technique, you can focus on your breathing patterns, a candle’s flame or listening to a repetitive sound. You should concentrate all of your energy on the focus of your meditation and leave wandering thoughts by the wayside.
This technique encourages those who meditate to let their minds wander without judgment. Simply observe each passing thought as it wanders through your mind and remain aware of each. This technique helps you to increase your awareness of the patterns in which your mind judges experiences as good and bad in order to achieve inner balance.
This technique involves re-thinking negative events with the plan of casting them in a more positive light. This school of thought encourages us to learn and teach compassion, while realizing that our efforts are not insignificant.
If you have a few extra minutes and are feeling stressed out, there are a few exercises that you can try.
In this exercise, you have to sit still and focus on your breathing for one minute. In this minute, you should breathe in and out slowly and let go of all of the tasks of the day. Focus only on your breathing while letting your worries fall to the side.
Take a moment to think about the everyday things you do. For instance, let the aroma of a meal give you a moment to take pause and think about how lucky you are to have a great meal to eat and share with your family members. This practice keeps you in the moment so that you can enjoy and appreciate the things that you may take for granted.
In this practice, you can take a few minutes out of your day to express your appreciation for the seemingly insignificant things that happen. Try to take notice of people or objects that you haven’t previously noticed. For instance, think about how much you appreciate your ears when you hear birds singing in the morning. Or, you can appreciate your eyes for allowing you to see everything in creation. Think about five things that you don’t normally appreciate and consider how your life would be different in their absence.
Guided meditation is the practice in which a group of people follow in the guidance of a teacher. This usually occurs when you are listening to the sound of the teacher’s voice in person or by video or sound recording.
The type of music you choose for meditation should make your relaxation and meditation easier to achieve. You can choose to listen to music or opt not to when doing your meditation practice of choice, but if you choose meditation music, it should be something that doesn’t prohibit you from clearing your mind and achieving relaxation.
There are seven chakras in our bodies which all govern our mental and instinctual properties. They are: the Muladhara chakra, the Svadhisthana chakra, the Manipura chakra, the Anahata chakra, the Visuddhi chakra, the Ajna chakra and the Sahasrara chakra. In chakra meditation, you associate a color that is designated for each chakra and focus on unlocking them as you feel them.
The below quotes are some that you may have heard before. Let this small collection of quotes offer you the inspiration you need to get through life self-aware and relaxed.
1. “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Gandhi
2. “Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.” – Buddha
3. “Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.” – Thich Nhat Hanh
4. “The heart is the hub of all sacred places. Go there and roam…..” – Bhagawan Nityananda
5. “Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built.” – Rumi
6. “Undisturbed calmness of mind is attained by cultivating friendliness toward the happy, compassion for the unhappy, delight in the virtuous, and indifference toward the wicked.” – Yoga Sutras
7. “Have only love in your heart for others. The more you see the good in them, the more you will establish good in yourself…” – Paramahansa Yogananda
8. “The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war.” – Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
9. “The wisdom obtained in the higher states of consciousness is different from that obtained by inference and testimony as it refers to particulars.” – Yoga Sutra
10. “Meditation is not a means to an end. It is both the means and the end.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
11. “Through meditation, the Higher Self is experienced.” – Bhagavad Gita
12. “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what holds you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” – Buddha
13. “It is impossible for a man to learn what he thinks he already knows.” – Epictetus
14. “The affairs of the world will go on forever. Do not delay the practice of meditation.” – Jetsun Milarepa
15. “Meditation brings wisdom; lack of mediation leaves ignorance. Know well what leads you forward and what hold you back, and choose the path that leads to wisdom.” – Buddha
16. “You are never alone or helpless. The force that guides the stars guides you too.” – Shrii Shrii Anandamurti
17. “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.” – Buddha
18. “Where there is peace and meditation, there is neither anxiety nor doubt.” – St Francis De Sales
19. “Your goal is not to battle with the mind, but to witness the mind.” – Swami Muktananda
20. “You begin by letting thoughts flow and watching them. The very observation slows down the mind till it stops altogether. Once the mind is quiet, keep it quiet. Don’t get bored with peace, be in it, go deeper into it.” – Nisargadatta Maharaj
21. “The main factor in meditation is to keep the mind active in its own pursuit without taking in external impressions or thinking of other matters.” – Ramana Maharshi
22. “The mind is responsible for the feelings of pleasure and pain. Control of the mind is the highest Yoga.” – Swami Sivananda
23. “Mind can be your best friend or your worst enemy.” – Kabira
24. “Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished.” – Lao Tzu
25. “Spiritual yearning is the homesickness of the soul.” – Ma Jaya Sati Bhagavati
26. “This withdrawal from the day’s turmoil into creative silence is not a luxury, a fad, or a futility. It dissolves mental tensions and heals negative emotions.” – Paul Brunton
27. “Men who are addicted to the passions are like the torch-carrier running against the wind; his hands are sure to be burned.” – Buddha
28. “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates
29. “To understand the immeasurable, the mind must be extraordinarily quiet, still.” ― Jiddu Krishnamurti
30. “Meditation practice isn’t about trying to throw ourselves away and become something better. “It’s about befriending who we are already.” ~ Pema Chodron
31. “If your mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki
32. ”Body on your seat, mind in your body, mind in relaxation.” – Patrul Rinpoche
33. “If you mind is empty, it is always ready for anything; it is open to everything. In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.” – Shunryu Suzuki
34. “I know but one freedom and that is the freedom of the mind.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery
35. “All of man’s difficulties are caused by his inability to sit, quietly, in a room by himself.” – Blaise Pascal
36. “Zen is not some kind of excitement, but concentration on our usual everyday routine.” – Shunryu Suzuki
37. Samsara is mind turned outwardly, lost in its projections. Nirvana is mind turned inwardly, recognizing its nature. –Tulku Urgyen Rinpoche
38. The best way to control cow and sheep is to give them a big grazing field – Shunryu Suzuki
39. “Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit.” – Jeremy Taylor
40. “It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” – Mahatma Gandhi
41. “Meditation is acceptance. It is the acceptance of life within us, without us and all around us. Acceptance of life is the beginning of human satisfaction. Transformation of life is the culmination of divine satisfaction.” – Sri Chinmoy
42. “Meditation is listening to the Divine within.” – Edgar Cayce
43. “The more man meditates upon good thoughts, the better will be his world and the world at large.” – Confucius
44. “Meditation is the dissolution of thoughts in eternal awareness or pure consciousness without objectification, knowing without thinking, merging finitude in infinity.” – Swami Sivananda
45. “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private: and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.” – C.S. Lewis
46. “When the mind goes beyond the thought of ‘the me,’ the experiencer, the observer, the thinker, then there is a possibility of a happiness that is incorruptible.” – Jiddu Krishnamurti
47. “Meditation is the discovery that the point of life is always arrived at in the immediate moment.” – Alan Watts
48. “Keep your heart clear and transparent and you will never be bound. A single disturbed thought creates ten thousand distractions.” – Ryokan
49. “Those who walk in the Way should avoid sensualism as those who carry hay would avoid coming near the fire.” – Buddha
50. “Empty your mind, be formless, shapeless – like water. Now you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup, you put water into a bottle, it becomes the bottle, you put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.” – Bruce Lee
51. “Meditation is the soul’s perspective glass.” – Owen Feltham
52. “Meditation is silence. If you realize that you really know nothing, then you will be truly meditating. Such truthfulness is the right soil for silence. Silence is meditation.” – Yogaswami
53. “Meditation is a silent heart, a peaceful mind which can make life more lovable, more livable.” – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
54. “If you can’t meditate in a boiler room, you can’t meditate.” – Alan Watts
55. “No great work has ever been produced except after a long interval of still and musing meditation.”–Walter Bagehot
56. “Reading makes a full man, meditation a profound man, discourse a clear man.” –Benjamin Franklin
57. “Better indeed is knowledge than mechanical practice. Better than knowledge is meditation. But better still is surrender of attachment to results, because there follows immediate peace.” –Bhagavad Gita
58. “A good meditation, even when it is interrupted by occasional nodding, is much more beneficial than many outward religious exercises.” – Johannes Tauler
59. “I believe that painting should come through the avenues of meditation rather than the canals of action.” – Mark Tobey
60. “Mind is a door that leads you outside in the world; meditation is the door that leads you to your interiority—to the very innermost shrine of your being.” – Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh
61. “Meditation applies the brakes to the mind.” – Ramana Maharshi