Learning How To Meditate

by marciag

Learning how to meditate doesn't have to involve a major spiritual shift from our part. It doesn't even take that long. We don't need to be Buddhist monks to learn meditation.

Learning how to meditate doesn't have to involve a major spiritual shift from our part. It doesn't even take that long. We don't need to be Buddhist monks to learn meditation.

We are living in a society which is quite materialistic in nature. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, people have changed their way of life. We are all looking to better our lives with things and more things. We love to be surrounded by objects that we fancy and we even feel a sense of happiness when we acquire what we want.

Unfortunately this materialistic scope of life has created a large gap between our mind, body and soul.

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The Transition From Materialistic To Spiritual

We have various foods that keep our body well fed and healthy (or not so healthy, depending on the type of foods you eat). The objects that we are surrounding with are fueling and feeding our minds. We know more about technology than ever before.

We have gadgets that really engage our minds at an intellectual level. However what about our soul? What about our inner being?

This is why in the last 50 years or so more and more people have started turning towards spiritual matters. Meditation has been introduced to the Western world by gurus, monks and teachers of the East who wanted to spread their knowledge and love for spirituality and mindfulness. And it is not a surprise that we have eagerly embraced meditation and welcomed it with open arms.

We are hungry for spirituality, for meditation, for a healing of the soul. Our lives are very hectic in nature, we are full of stress, anxiety, anger due to work, family issues, financial problems or life in general.

What Is Meditation?

Learning to meditateMeditation is one outlet that people have started to use in order to gain back their contact with their subconscious mind, with themselves.

When it comes to meditation, many people fear learning it because they think it is only suitable to people who are seriously meditating for a long time in exile from the rest of the humans, or have spent years in the Tibetan mountains as monks.

However this is far from the truth

First of all, you need to understand why do you want to meditate. Sure, if you are looking for enlightenment, or satori, then you will need to make it your life goal to
achieve it through meditation and contemplation.

However for the rest of us, meditation is merely a channel to relieve stress, to let go of the accumulated emotional issues that we have been carrying around for many years.

Image credits: marciag

The Myths Of Meditation - Or What Is Not Meditation

When you are starting your meditative journey, you will find a lot of advice and tips on how to go about meditating. With the wide reach of the internet, there is a lot of information on the subject. Some of it is good, however some of it should be avoided. But how do you know which way to go?

You need to first understand what is NOT meditation. I have heard people say that meditation is being done even when you are slumbered on your couch watching TV. That is as far away from meditation as it gets!

I have also heard people say that meditation is concentration. This is also wrong. Sure you concentrate when meditating, I would even venture to say that meditation is a FORM of concentration, but one is not equal to the other one.

And meditation is definitely not a religion or a religious practice. We do use various rituals when meditating, by either lighting a candle or saying a small prayer before, or by sitting with the right posture, however this has really nothing to do with religion. You can be a very devout religious person and you can meditate. You can also be a confirmed atheist and still meditate.

And finally meditation is NOT spirituality. It is a form of spirituality if you choose it to be, but most of all it is a set of techniques that help us deepen our spirituality, learn more about ourselves and become more aware, while also learning how to relax and unwind after a hard day behind us.

How Do You Learn To Meditate?

There are various meditation techniques that you can use to calm your mind, stop the inner chit chatter and let you focus during the practice. Meditation can be easy, it can be simple and it can be profound. 

Do not try to learn meditation with high expectations. Actually do not have any expectations at all. Simply enjoy the journey. Learn the basics of the right posture, mindset and the various types of meditation so you have an idea of which technique you want to try out first.

Once you have practiced for a while, it will be easy to try out other techniques as well. You might find along the way a technique that is better suited to you, to your mindset and personality.

You can either learn by yourself or with the help of a master practitioner, as it is shown below.

Transcendental (TM) meditation
Transcendental (TM) meditation

Meditation Classes And Online Courses

When it comes to learning how to meditate, one way to do it is directly with a master practitioner in a meditation class in a group setting. If you have a meditation or yoga class nearby, ask whether you can enroll in the next course.

Group meditation is a wonderful way to progress in your spirituality. The compound energy of everybody in the room makes this more than possible. You can, of course, learn directly with
a master, without having other students around, which in my opinion is an even better way to advance much faster. In this case, however, be aware that the price for the course will be more expensive because the course is 1 on 1. 

Alternatively there are also online meditation courses that will guide you in your meditation journey along the way. Most of these online classes do cost a fee, however you can still find some that are free.

Those that will have a price will be much less than a meditation class with a group or a 1-1 session with a teacher.

Self-Learning Meditation

Another great way to learn meditation with a 'push' is by using various guided meditation CDs and DVDs or downloadable meditations that you can listen in the comfort of your own home. 

There are two main types of such meditations: the guided ones which use the voice of a guide, a person, who will walk you through the entire session and the background music meditation. This is either Reiki music or sound of nature such as the sea waves, the wind, the rain, thunder, birds chirping, and so on.

Nowadays there is also something more modern that is a bit of a departure from the traditional meditation, which is using binaural beats. This works by directly affecting your brainwaves to alter them to a particular level which allows brainwave entrainment to happen.

This is basically teaching the brain to slow down which will allow you to get easier into an altered state of consciousness. By using these beats you are not exactly meditating, however the end results are pretty much the same: a calmer you, a more relaxed you and a less stressed you. And above all, many people truly love the sounds of these beats and they are even experimenting with creating their own.

A Wonderful Video With Ophra Talking On How TM Meditation Has Changed Her Life For The Better

Updated: 09/18/2013, marciag
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Do You Practice Meditation?

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Raintree on 09/30/2013

Yes and finding it very helpful. I enjoyed reading your article. Thankyou

fanfreluche on 09/18/2013

No but I should meditate, Paris is stressful to me maybe meditation could help

Mrinalini on 09/18/2013

I was in the past but now I'm living 24hrs as a being. In fact, I suggest everyone to imply it in your day-to-day life. You will be more at ease with yourself.

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