art of meditation takes many forms and titles and has been practiced for over
5,000 years mainly in eastern religious traditions such as Buddhism and
Hinduism. Other religions that have used forms of meditation include Janism,
Sikhism, New Age, Taoism and Islam. Christianity and Judaism have forms of
meditation as well that are very different from eastern religions but still
create relaxation and peace in the body.
Techniques are used not only for spiritual purposes, but also health purposes
such as yoga meditation and secular meditation which fight against anxiety,
stress and chronic physical pain.
By clearing the mind, relaxing the muscles and focusing on deep breathing,
circulation, posture and concentration are improved. Yoga is deeply tied to
eastern religions and its goal is to improve health and well-being and reaching
Moksha which is the release from the cycle of life, death and rebirth and all
the suffering attached to it.
There are many different types of meditation techniques including: Mantra,
Trakata, Chakra, Vispanna, Raj Yoga, Zazen, and Nada Yoga. All of them include
focusing on breathing, entering into an alternate state of consciousness and
focusing on a strong sense of self. Beyond being conscious of one's breathing,
there is a wide variety of techniques that help with reaching the developmental
goal that the person is aiming for which include:
Upward which acts to reverse the pull of gravity on the consciousness by lifting
the consciousness out of the body, Mind-centered in which the mind is a blank
slate, Monastic which involves exploring death's mystery, Observe where you
watch your thoughts and emotions as they happen from an outside perspective,
Passive where the mind makes no judgment similar to daydreaming or sleep,
Fantasy-based where the person goes to an alternate place in his/her mind,
Trance which included rhythmic chanting, Denial or Dualistic where divisions in
the universe are realized and questioned, and Religious where one thinks about
an inspiring religious leader.
Transcendental Meditation was introduced in 1957 by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi,
disciple of the Indian spiritual leader, Swami Brahmananda Saraswati. Yogi
developed programs and initiatives to promote transcendental meditation and
spent time touring the world teaching what he had learned. The technique
involves sitting with oneâ€™s eyes closed for twenty minutes, twice a day and
not contemplating but setting up a framework for the mind to move inwardly
instead of being flooded with different ideas and feelings.
Music is a tool that is not only used for entertainment but for healing as well.
Certain tones and chords can stimulate brainwaves, produce deep relaxation,
increase the ability to learn, relieve stress, and even heal the body as a
result of listening and feeling the music. Almost everyone has experienced deep
feelings from a song a favorite artist plays or an experience at a concert.
Music can increase self-growth and fulfilment in certain areas of one's life.
Meditation music is one of many forms of music that can accomplish this. It acts
to correspond with meditation practices to promote self awareness and relaxation
as well as deep connection. It is also used in spas during massages to help the
patient relax fully.
Meditate on a lone cloud on a hill, floating effortlessly through space and
time. Imagine you are that cloud and with every inhale and exhale, you are
blowing yourself gracefully across the heavens, forgetting all sorrow, pain and
worry of the hills below…