Meditation for Beginners: Types and Benefits

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Meditation trains the spirit in the same way that fitness trains the body. In the Buddhist tradition, the word “meditation” is the equivalent of our word “sport.” There are several types of meditation. And different meditation practices require different psychological skills. It is very difficult for a beginner to sit in silence for hours without thinking about anything, trying to free his mind. But in general, the easiest way to start meditating is to focus on your breath. We will talk about the two most common types: meditation-concentration and meditation-self-awareness.

meditation-concentration

Concentration meditation is one of the basics of Tibetan meditation and is called shamatha. When practicing this style, it is important to concentrate on one thing: your own breathing or the repetition of a word or mantra. At the same time, you can watch the flame of a candle, sit with your eyes closed, listening to the rhythmic sound of the gong, music for meditation, or touch the rosary. It is not easy to concentrate, so we advise a beginner to start with at least a few minutes, gradually increasing the amount of time.

What posture should you meditate in?

When you meditate, posture is very important. The main rule: the legs must be crossed. If you find it difficult to be in this position, you can just sit on a chair. Now hands. They need to be folded at the level of the lower abdomen, put the right palm on the left. Shoulders should be straight, back straight. Try to relax while doing this. As for breathing, it is important to complete a cycle of 21 inhalations and exhalations before starting meditation. Otherwise, according to the Tibetan tradition, too many thoughts will remain in the head. As soon as you feel that thoughts are flowing in a different direction, again concentrate them on the mantra or object (candle flame, rosary beads). Instead of following random thoughts, just let them go. In this way, your ability to concentrate will increase.

Meditation-self-awareness

Today, the term “self-awareness” is used not only within the framework of Eastern culture: scientists, business coaches and politicians speak about life in this vein. This technique encourages the practitioner to fully concentrate on the experience being experienced at the moment. The peculiarity is that the concentration occurs without judgment – on the goal or on the current moment. Thanks to this view of life and people, we forgive others and ourselves for mistakes. In other words, we must be willing to let go of fear, pain, anger, and human shortcomings. This is what makes us flexible and adaptable.

What gives us self-awareness

Through the practice of self-awareness, you will soon be able to see the order in which your thoughts move. Over time, you will understand the mechanism for instantly evaluating an event – as “good” or “bad”, “pleasant” or “unpleasant”. And besides, develop an internal balance. It turns out that the practice of self-awareness can even significantly improve the quality of life: reasonable, balanced, self-aware leaders are much more successful than nervous and unstable people. They are aware of their reaction in stressful situations and understand how it affects others. One of the most accessible ways to practice mindfulness is while cleaning or cooking: just focus on dusting, vacuuming, washing dishes, or cutting vegetables. Just remember that you need to focus on one action, and not rush between many tasks, spraying between them.

How meditation affects our body

The most common result of meditation practice is relaxation. In addition, meditation lowers blood pressure, blood cortisol levels, heart rate and respiratory rate, improves blood circulation, and reduces sweating. Frequent practice makes you stress-resistant and more calm and reasonable. In Buddhist philosophy, the most important benefit of meditation is that it frees the mind, which is no longer attached to things it cannot control, such as external circumstances or strong internal emotions. The liberated or “enlightened” practitioner no longer follows his desires aimlessly, but instead maintains equanimity and inner harmony.

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