Meditation: Benefits and Types


There are many reasons why you have to involve yourself in meditation because of its different benefits.  In this article, you will see the different types and the most common posture of meditation. Meditation is a way of exercising and training the mind just like the way you involve yourself in fitness exercise to train the body.
Among the Buddhist, meditation is as important as sport. It might seem difficult for beginners when you will have to sit for hours trying to focus your mind. Meditation actually requires great mental skills.


Meditation Benefits

  • Stress reduction
Meditation helps you to ease stress and even anxiety.
In American journal of psychiatry, a study carried out in the university of Wisconsin-Madison shows that vipassana meditation reduces the size grey mater responsible for anxiety in the brain. Vipassana is a type of open monitoring meditation.
It also reduces cortisol level in the body. Cortisol is stress hormone
Most of the times, meditation aids relaxation. It has temporary relaxing effect on the nervous system that is the brain.
  • Meditations reduces respiratory rate and also heart rate
  • It improves blood circulation
  • Meditation also reduces sweating and perspiration temporarily
  • Meditations help you to feel much healthy and relaxed. It helps relaxed your mind of any attached burden or thought.
  • Medication can help prevent hangovers as it helps reduces abused substances like alcohol.
(Source: Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine)
  • Meditation helps you in decision and information processing. It also improves your mental strength and emotional intelligence
  • Meditation helps in pain reliever even better than analgesics. Wake Forest Baptist Medical Centre conducts an experiment involving 15 volunteers that are healthy. These volunteers are new to meditation and were trained to meditate for 15 minutes. Before meditation, volunteers were introduced to pain by heat and brain activities were examined. It was also carried out after meditation. The brain examination was done using MRI. Result by the author, Fadel Zeidan, Ph.D., shows that an hour meditation reduces pain and its activity in the brain by 40 percent while morphine reduces it by 25 percent.
  • Meditations improve memory and learning. It helps in rapid information recall.

How to involve in Meditation for Beginners

If you are a beginner, you can start involving yourself to train and relax your mind
Get a chair or any sit that you will be comfortable on. You can go to the extent of getting a chair for it.
Have your eyes close
Trying to focus on your breathing (using breath as the focusing object). Ensure you breathe naturally, do not force it.
Focus all your attention on the air movement through your nose and how your chest moves with each breath. Whenever you get distracted, call your mind back to the breath
Check your time before you start and study how longer you can do it. You can start with 3 minutes. You will be able to stay longer with practice.

Effect of Meditation on Sleep

Sleep helps in mind relaxation just as meditation. With more meditation, your sleeping hours may reduce.

Types of Meditations

  • Focused attention meditation
In this type, you focus your attention on a particular object for the how period of meditation.  It is also called concentration meditation. The object can be a part of your body, visualizations or surrounding object. The easiest object to focus on is your breath by focusing on how you breathe in and breathe out. With more practice, you will be able to strongly keep the flow of attention on that particular object.  You can also focus your attention on a sound like a clock tick sound. You try to catch your attention back to the object when you realize you are getting distracted already.
You get less distracted and are able to focus on a particular thing. Chakra meditation, sound meditation, pranayama and loving kindness meditation are examples of focused attention meditation.
  • Effortless presence meditation
In this meditation, you do not focus your attention on anything. You try to create a silent mind. It helps in mind training. Focusing on object in this training is just a means of learning. Attention is distracted from the object and then focused on mind.
  • Open monitoring meditation
In this, attention is not focused on a particular object, but to different objects. The objects can be external (be it smell or sound) or internal (feelings and memories). Example of Open monitoring meditation includes Taoist meditation.

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