“To enjoy good health, to bring true happiness to one’s family, to bring peace to all, one must first discipline and control one’s own mind. If a man can control his mind he can find the way to Enlightenment, and all wisdom and virtue will naturally come to him.”
History of Meditation
Meditation originated from ancient Hindu traditions of Vedantism in 1500 BCE (Before Common Era) according to some of the earliest written records.
Other forms of meditation such as Taoist (China) and Buddhist (India) developed in the 6th to 5th centuries of BCE.
By the time of Middle Ages, Japanese Buddhism experienced tremendous growth with influence from the Zen concept in China.
Self-control, meditation practice, enlightenment in Buddhism, personal daily practice, and the benefits for other people are the purpose of Zen.
Contrast to the Eastern philosophies, Western Christian meditation didn’t have the repetition of phrases, action, nor certain posture.
In the late 1890s, new schools of yoga developed in revival Hinduism were introduced to the West.
Numerous forms of yoga (Transcendental Meditation, Hatha Yoga, etc) are now used for stress reduction, relaxation, and self-improvement.
Despite not being religious, I practice meditation on a consistent basis for spiritual purposes.
The simple breathing meditation has been a powerful way for me to deal with stress and anxiety by focusing on the present moment.
A simple ten to fifteen-minute meditation session in the morning creates time and space that allow laser focus on my intentions for the day.
To incorporate exercise and stretching, I practice yoga as my form of moving meditation that is beneficial for the body, mind, and spirit.
The Benefits of Meditation
Reducing stress and anxiety are just some benefits of meditation.
Clarity of mind and a healthier heart are other benefits of meditation (Transcendental Meditation) according to many types of research.
In addition, meditation can also reduce:
- Post-traumatic syndrome disorder (PTSD)
- Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)
How To Meditate
To begin, start in a comfortable position.
Use cushions to help you feel comfortable because the key is to keep your back straight which will prevent the mind from becoming sleepy or sluggish.
With your eyes closed, you can start to focus on your breath.
Your mind will naturally begin to wander with the endless of thoughts going through your head.
Every time your mind wanders off, be aware of it and shift your attention back to your breath.
One repetition of “mental push-up” is done every time you catch your mind wandering off then shifting focus back to your breath.
As with any craft in life, the more you practice, the better you’ll be.
In your busy lifestyle, you may be challenged to find time to meditate.
But it’s in those busy times that you want to meditate the most.
It allows you to quiet your mind and overcome stress.
In return, you will be more focused with an equanimous mind.
Meditation allows your mind to overcome negative thoughts and feelings by cultivating constructive thoughts to bring inner peace and balance.
It also grounds you to be less dependent on external circumstances.
Keep an open mind about meditation and try it for a week and see what changes it has on your life.
Upon those results (or lack of), then decide whether or meditation should be part of your lifestyle.
It all has to do with your intention.
Just relax, breathe, and meditate.
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