Meditation is a safe and simple way to help you move towards balance and harmony and is often used as a path towards knowledge of the Self. It is a practice that is perhaps as old as mankind and can be used as an aid in dealing with stress and illnesses.
A state of meditation happens when your attention is focused upon the experience of the moment and is often reached by the use of techniques to calm the mind and body. There are several forms of meditation, most of which can be grouped into two basic approaches:
Whilst the first brings a narrowing of the attention upon a particular subject such as an image, a mantra or other symbols, the second tends to be more like observing the flow of experiences and sensations without interfering with them. Some practices are a mix of those two approaches. Focused meditation can be likened to looking through a microscope, it helps us go deeper into the experience, whilst a state of mindfulness can be more like gazing through a window, noticing everything that passes and our own experiences in relation to what is being observed. Both approaches can be combined with great effects.
With the practice of meditation, you can learn how to relax and how to direct your attention for the purpose of exploring your Self and learning about your own emotional and mental responses. It is a useful tool in the quest for understanding, self knowledge and spiritual development. Meditation should only be taught by an experienced and knowledgeable teacher who will be able to guide you in your inner journey, thus helping you to understand better what you may encounter and how to work with it.
When in meditation, the mind is in a state of restful alertness whilst the body becomes more relaxed, thus allowing for a natural healing and harmonising to take place. The benefits of meditation can be found on three levels: physical, psychological and spiritual.
Physical benefits: It has been shown that the regular use of meditation can strengthen the immune system, making it better able to resist infections. Physiological problems that are stress related, or influenced by stress, can also be helped as the meditator learns to cope better and to respond more positively to the stressful situation
Psychological benefits: Meditation can help most people feel more relaxed and better able to cope with life's events. It can promote a more aware attitude, leading to a recognition of the choices one has in life. This can help the meditator to realise that life is not something that just happens to us, but something that is to be embraced and where the person has power.
Spiritual benefits: To tell someone what to believe is to take away their freedom. Meditation is a personal journey towards understanding and knowledge of Self and of the Source. It is an exploration that has the potential to reveal the secrets of life. Meditation will help you find your own answers... and many more questions.
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