Meditation and mindfulness are ancient methods for self-knowledge. But how can we achieve meditative states and get the most out of these practices?
In this article, you will read about six techniques that can help you to improve your meditation practice. Keep reading to find out more!
Why is meditation important?
Meditation is important for lots of reasons. It is the ability to reduce stress and anxiety, improve focus strength and focusing, increase self-awareness and mindfulness, increase emotional well-being and resilience, and enhance overall physical health. Scientific research has shown that regular meditation practice can lead to measurable changes in brain function and structure, as well as positive effects on the immune system.
Why meditation and mindfulness?
Meditation is sitting in silence and focusing on your breath, your chakras, a mantra, etc. The purpose is to cease the inner chatter to experience a state of full awareness.
Mindfulness is similar, but it is not necessarily sitting down in silence. Instead, it means being aware of what surrounds you, immersing yourself fully in the present. Also, you are not necessarily focusing on a mantra or anything specific. Instead, you are aware of everything.
In other words, mindfulness is like meditating but with your eyes open.
But why? Why would anyone want to meditate or practice mindfulness?
Yes, many people practice meditation or mindfulness to relax and reduce stress. However, there is more than just that.
Meditation and mindfulness are ways to get your body and mind apt to receive information from spiritual realms. The goal is to achieve a higher state of consciousness.
Maybe, but first, we need to recognize that there is more to life than we can see with our physical eyes. And this is not merely a thing of blindly believing. It is a matter of experimenting.
We can only experience these realms with the right tools and methods, and meditation and mindfulness are some of them. So here are some ways to make the most of mindfulness and meditation.
Are you ready to tap into the power of meditation and mindfulness? Here are some techniques to make the most of it. They also apply to most mindfulness exercises.
Going to meditate after a stressful day may be difficult for most people. That is why you should prepare for this practice.
Before meditation, relax your body.
It is hard to relax your mind if you don’t relax your body. So, first, find some ways to relax. For example, do stretching exercises, wear comfortable clothes, burn essential oils, etc.
The point is to make sure your body is fully relaxed before meditating.
Once you are about to meditate, find a comfortable position you can maintain during the whole practice.
If you are not 100% relaxed, you will likely try to move during the meditation. Of course, that is not what we want. We want to be still.
Here is another tip: Train your attention with your open eyes. For example, focus on a candle, a flower, a glass of water, a dot on the wall, etc.
Try to blink as little as possible and concentrate on what you see. Do not think about anything else.
This exercise is excellent for improving your attention. You only need to do it for 5 to 10 minutes, and it will make a difference. Do it before meditation, and you will find it easier to focus.
Remember, the goal of meditation is not merely relaxing your body. It’s achieving transcendental states of consciousness. That can only happen if your mind is quiet.
Do you find it hard to concentrate? Mantras are one of the best ways to keep attention during meditation. According to the Hindu and Buddhist traditions, a mantra is a word or phrase that influences the mind, the body, or the soul.
Mantras harness the power of sound and vibration to make your whole body and mind apt to meditate.
During meditation, you repeat a mantra over and over. So, instead of letting all types of thoughts appear, you focus on that word and ignore everything else.
Here are some famous mantras.
Most mantras come from Buddhist and Hinduist cultures. For that reason, most of them are in Sanskrit, an ancient language from India.
“Om” is, by far, the most famous mantra. In ancient traditions, it is the sound of the universe, the primordial sound, the source of all existing sounds. Use this mantra to connect with your Higher Self, the god that lives within you.
Om Namah Shivaya
“Om Namah Shivaya” is a mantra from the Hindu tradition. It means “O salutations to the auspicious one!” or “adoration to Lord Shiva”.
Shiva is the third god within the Trimurti, the trinity of the main gods of Hinduism. This Trimurti includes Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva. They are responsible for creation, preservation, and destruction, respectively.
So, Shiva is the god of destruction. This mantra helps you to gain control over your senses.
Om mani Padme hum
“Om mani Padme hum ” is the most famous mantra from Buddhism. It literally means “praise to the jewel in the lotus”. Use this mantra to quiet the mind.
“Shanti” means peace. In other words, this mantra is to evocate peace. Use it when you need calmness.
Positive affirmations come from the New Age. Some people consider them mantras because they are also words of power. Here are some of them
- “I am”
- “I am in the right place at the right time, doing the right thing” – Louise Hay.
- “Conscious breathing is my anchor” – Thich Nhat Hanh.
- “I Love You. I’m sorry. Please Forgive Me. Thank You”
- “Peace is within me”
Some people also consider prayers like mantras because they harness the power of words. Christian mystics had spiritual trances and mystical experiences while praying. If you want to pray in mystical contemplation, it is not exactly about which prayers you use. Instead, it is more about how fully focused you are during the prayer.
However, you can start with the Lord’s prayer. It is a prayer full of esoteric transcendental wisdom. It has seven sentences associated with the seven chakras. Meditating on this prayer is a magical experience.
Music is a combination of sound, and sound means vibrations. Each vibration influences your body and your mind, similar to mantras.
So, why not make the most of music to achieve higher states of consciousness?
Here are some great music choices to listen to while meditating.
- Classical music
- Natural sounds
- Tibetan bowls
- Binaural beats
- Hindu music
- Zen music
If you have a special place for meditation, it is easier to achieve the right state of mind.
That means choosing a space in your house, like a chair in your bedroom. It can also be a spot in your backyard, next to a tree, for instance. The point is this has to be a quiet space.
Next, it also means the room has to be completely clean and organized. Tidiness gives us a sense of harmony and peace. Also, it means the room has to smell good. The aromas should give you a feeling of mysticism and peace. You can use natural scents, burn essential oils, smudge sage, palo santo, myrrh, frankincense, etc.
If you want, you can light a candle or put special decorations: plants, crystals, or symbols that help you feel harmony.
Use this space only for meditation. Don’t do anything else while you are there. No matter if it is just a tiny space within your bedroom. For example, don’t sit there to check your social media. Think of it as your sacred place.
It is hard to meditate with a full belly. Before meditation, avoid heavy meals. If possible, you can try fasting. That means stop eating for a specific time, like a whole day or more.
That day, you should focus entirely on meditation. The experiences one can achieve during fasting are more intense than usual. The body is more apt to practices like meditation or mindfulness. Always consult your doctor before trying fasting.
Meditation and mindfulness show us that we are more than just physical bodies. We have an amazing potential to develop.
Jesus came here not to save us but to show us how to save ourselves. He showed us a way of living with wisdom and love, but he also showed us we are immortal and we have power within us.
Jesus told us, “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these because I am going to the Father” (John 14:12). He showed us how powerful we could be if we tap into our full potential.
However, we can only achieve that potential with practice and self-knowledge, and meditation is how we begin that path. But remember, it all takes practice, discipline, and patience.