The Benefits of Meditation

Mediation is considered one of the best solutions for body and mind enhancement.  Mediation has many techniques to be followed. So what are they?

In an article published by the New York Times, Richard J. Davidson, PhD who is the director of the University of Wisconsin neuroscience lab stated that mediation is a family of activities and different mental skills that are required for different meditative practices.

It said that mediation is not that easy to be performed as it requires many hours of empty mind and thinking of nothing. However, the shortest path of learning starts by learning how to breath.

Concentration Mediation:

Concentration is the most used technique in mediation. It requires focusing on one single point which can be starting a candle flame or repeating a single word.

Since it is hard to start as mediation for a long time is challenging, beginners can practice it in a progressive manner that is to say starting by few minutes then moving forward for a longer duration.

In this kind of mediation, attention is devoted to one single objective. Here you need to learn how to get rid of thoughts coming to your mind apart from your objective. So  you learn how to improve concentration.

Mindfulness meditation

Observing wandering thoughts as they pass through the mind is the main target of mindfulness mediation. By practicing it, you learn the skill of judging experiences you come through as bad or good very quickly. One of its main goals is to develop the inner balance of a person.

In several meditation schools, students can gather both of the Mindfulness and concentration techniques.

Alternative mediation techniques:

By using what is called compassion in Buddhist culture, a practitioner can transform negative actions and turn them to positive ones.

Tai chi, chi kung and walking meditation are considered as popular techniques of mediation.

Benefits of meditation

Relaxation is one of the best benefits of mediation. This term was coined by Herbert Benson, MD, a researcher at Harvard University Medical School in the 1070s. Relaxation has got a positive impact on the sympathetic nervous system.

Relaxation lowers blood pressure, improves blood circulation, lowers heart rate, lowers blood cortisol levels and it slows the respiratory rate. It also makes practitioners feel less stress, less anxiety, deeper relaxation and it gives them the privilege of feeling well being.

Maintaining a calmness of mind and sense of inner balance by liberating the mind from attachment of mind on things it can’t control is the main goal of mediation in Buddhist philosophy.

Simple mediation steps for beginners:

This is a very good exercise to start practicing mediation :

1- Lie down comfortably on a normal or meditation chair.

2- Have your eyes closed.

3- Breath naturally without controlling it.

4- Concentrate on the breath and on how the body moves with every inhalation and exhalation. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage and belly. Control your breath without making any effort; simply Concentrate. If you start thinking about something, simply come back to focus on your breath. Maintain this meditation state for 2–3 minutes to start, and then try it for longer a duration.

By A. El Hani

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