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What is Meditation?

Meditation is focusing on an object of attention. It could be a phrase or word, a candle flame or your breathing. Our minds are constantly bombarded by thoughts, emotions, visual impressions and sensations. During meditation, the mind’s focus is narrowed. This limits the stimuli that constantly bombard the mind. Thus, the mind becomes calmer during meditation. Seasoned meditators have several words to describe their experience such as enlightenment, awakening, liberation, freedom and union.

Benefits of Meditation

There are numerous physical and mental benefits that accrue from regular meditation. Some of these are mentioned below:

  • Stronger concentration and focus
  • Reduced stress, anxiety and tension
  • Clarity of mind and reduced emotional turmoil
  • Lower cholesterol and blood pressure
  • More mental strength to renounce self-destructive behaviors and addictions
  • Enhanced performance at work and greater creativity
  • Increased self-acceptance and self-understanding
  • More spontaneity, love and joy
  • Greater intimacy with near and dear ones
  • Deeper sense of purpose and meaning
  • More awareness of spiritual aspects of life

Developing Awareness

The key to meditation is developing awareness. Awareness is required to sustain you on the journey from the start till the end. You may choose any meditation technique, but focus on directing and developing your awareness. In fact, attention is only focused awareness.

More Benefits of Meditation

  • You can increase your awareness by concentrating on an object of attention
  • You can expand your awareness to enrich all your experiences
  • You can cultivate positive mind-states and emotions
  • You can introspect on your mental experiences and the physical and spiritual nature of existence

How to Meditate

Various meditation techniques are simply different paths to the same goal. A few meditation techniques that can sharpen your awareness are mentioned below:

  • Repeating a mantra
  • Performing your daily tasks with mindful awareness
  • Focusing on your breathing coming in and going out
  • Paying detached attention to body sensations
  • Cultivating healing emotions such as forgiveness, compassion, kindness and love
  • Concentrating on a visual object
  • Contemplating nature

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