I was watching a program; OWN ( Oprah Winfrey Network) on TLC when I realized the meaning of the term “Meditation”. I always thought it was some mere ‘close your eyes’ stuff they say in church, but this episode of the show opened up my mind on what meditation really is.
In the show Oprah travelled to FairField in Iowa, also known as America’s Most Unusual town. She visited the Fairfield Golden dome and Maharishi School where she learnt about meditation and its benefits. After watching the show, I picked up Interest on Meditation and began my research on it. I learnt a lot and began practising it as one of my daily routines, and I can really attest that meditation improves wellness indeed.
Okay, let me start from the scratch and define Meditation for those that do not know what it is. According to the Buddhist Centre, Meditation is the act of transforming the mind, which will help develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivism and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. I can define it from my experience as a state of thoughtful awareness in which the excessive stress producing activity in the brain is being neutralised, without altering the brains alertness and effectiveness. This will in turn help to improve focus and concentration. It equally helps manage stress and anxiety disorder.
There are 3 forms of Meditation according to the Maharishi school, they are:
- Self Transcending (Transcendental Meditation)
- Open Monitoring
- Focus and Concentration
They have been classified in these categories based on the effort required to practise it, its impact on the brain and benefits generally. The Transcendental Meditation is the most common of them, and that is the type of meditation I have being practising that has left me with some great improvements that am going to be sharing with you.
HOW TO MEDITATE
Some experts say you will require the help of a meditation practitioner to begin with, but I feel its like telling me to get an expert to teach me how to do Sit-Ups or Morning Jogging…seriously? Meditation is an exercise of the mind and anyone can learn it and begin to reap its benefits. Here are the steps;
- Wear very comfortable clothing, avoid tight clothing to enable you relax properly.
- Sit with your leg crossed like a yoga pose, place your hands in between your laps; with your palms facing upwards lapping each.
- Close your eyes and focus on your breath.
- You can use a Mantra( A clause that you want to channel your energy towards e.g “Love is Great”, or any word you feel that will make you focused). I personally do not use Mantras, but you can incorporate that if you want.
- Here is a picture of what I just described:
Stay in this position for about 20 minutes, don’t think of anything. Your mind will try to wander on thoughts like ‘what will I have for breakfast?’, ‘what happened last night?’ or even the little quarrel you had with a friend some weeks back…LOL, its all part of distraction. Gently divert your energy back and focus on your breath. It won’t really be that easy but with practise, you will improve your concentration.
Here are some benefits I have realised from this mind blowing exercise:
- It improves focus and concentration. I can indeed attest to this one because my mind wanders off a lot. It has helped me improve my concentration level.
- Helps you feel more connected to people, things, ideas etc.
- Reduces Insomnia. It can really help one sleep better at night.
- Helps improve your Mood and Emotionally Intelligence.
- Increases Optimism, Relaxation and Awareness.
- Helps Ignore Distractions.
- Better Information Processing. I believe this one because a friend of mine told me how her GRE Verbal score went from 142 to a whooping 165 after she practised meditation 4 times a week. She believed it helped her process the Verbose and Confusing Verbal Section of the GRE exam that most people dread.
With all these outlined here, I believe there are lots of other benefits of this life changing exercise called Meditation which I have incorporated into my routine. You can start yours and share your benefits of meditation with others. Do you practise Meditation, share your benefits below. Cheers!!!