Slow life

What is meditation and how do I start this practice?

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The pandemic made us pay attention to things we didn’t have time for before. We began to take care of ourselves and our spirituality, which contributed to the popularization of meditation techniques.

What is meditation?

Meditation is nothing but a relaxation technique that allows you to clear your mind, get rid of mental tension, which in turn allows you to calm down, relax and achieve fulfillment. The word itself comes from the Latin meditatio, which means ‘to dwell in thought, to contemplate’.

The practice dates back to ancient times when it was part of religious beliefs and traditions. Today, in Buddhism, Confucianism, and Hinduism, it is also considered the basis of religion and allows communication with the deity. In itself, however, is not associated with any cult, and its techniques are used today in psychotherapy

The main aim is to get rid of any thoughts, thus gaining good energy, improving memory and making us immune to stress. However, these are not the only advantages of meditation. People who meditate regularly have been found to have lower blood pressure and faster metabolism. Systematic practice also increases the level of serotonin in the body, which is commonly known as the happiness hormone. Through meditation we gain control over our body and mind.

For whom?

Meditation should be tried by everyone. There are so many techniques, that for sure everyone will find something for himself. Particularly, people who live in stressful conditions every day, who want to escape from the surrounding reality with their thoughts and gain distance should pay attention to it.

Meditation practices can especially help people suffering from insomnia. They will allow you to calm down, which will result in a deep and restorative sleep. Nevertheless, meditation should be avoided by people suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar affective disorder, and obsessive-compulsive disorder. It should also not be combined with anti-anxiety or blood pressure medication.

What is it about?

Despite appearances, meditation is nothing complicated. You do not need any suitable costume, equipment, music or even body position. We can meditate how we like, where we feel the safest and in what we feel most comfortable. The main thing is to find a moment for yourself in a quiet and peaceful place.

Among meditation techniques, we can distinguish, among others, universal meditation. It is directed inwards

We choose one word or phrase which means a lot to us. Then we sit in silence in a comfortable position, close our eyes, relax our muscles and breathe slowly. As you exhale, repeat your chosen phrase with concentration. When you are finished, let your thoughts return to their proper track and sit with your eyes closed for one more minute. After opening your eyes, do not get up abruptly, but continue to breathe deeply for another 60 seconds.

You can also meditate while walking. Release your thoughts and try not to be distracted by sounds from the environment. Take slow steps, concentrating on what you feel under your feet. Imagine energy coming down from the sky and permeating all the way to the ground. Also remember to take deep, steady breaths.

Another well-known meditation method is the quigong technique. Sit in a quiet place with your spine straight. While calming yourself, close your eyes and focus your energy at the dantian point below your navel. Inhale deeply through the nose to the point where all the power is concentrated. Then calmly let the air out. A single session should last from 10 to 20 minutes, but after finishing the process do not get up abruptly, but allow yourself a moment more time to relax.In all of the above techniques, the key is to release your own thoughts and allow them to freely escape from our mind. Let the worries of the world around us become for a moment trivial and light as a feather. Let them fly away freely on the wind, while we focus on our bodies. Let our breath reach every nook and cranny. Let’s take care of ourselves and give ourselves what we deserve the most.

Main photo: Karolina Grabowska/Pexels.com

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