Webster’s dictionary defines meditation as “to reflect on; ponder, to engage in
contemplation,” which it really is, although, many people believe that meditation is a
means of developing a more spiritual or religious life. Meditation does not necessarily
have to be religious. Many people just meditate to relax or organize their thoughts.
Meditation is a very broad subject since there are many ways in which to perform
meditation. Not only are there many ways but, there are also many different religions
associated with meditation. Not only is meditation good for the soul but, it is also good
for the mind. I myself have experimented with meditation and have found it to be very
relaxing and at the same time stimulating.
One way to perform meditation is to first find a comfortable place to sit or lie
down. Then you must have a precise, intense focus on one object. Follow and control
your breath and note all of your body sensations or track the sequence of your thoughts.
Second, be allowing to any thoughts that may enter your head. Be spacious and open-
hearted. This is excellent for the mind.
Another form that is good for the body is body relaxation. First lie on your back
on the floor, a supportive bed or a couch. Close your eyes and rest for a moment. Wait
for a feeling of readiness. When you are ready to begin, tighten all the muscles that you
can, but never tighten them to the point of discomfort. Hold this for thirty seconds. Next
pay close attention to the sensation you feel and remember it. Then let all your muscles
go and allow them to relax. Compare the feeling that you are feeling to the one that you
had just felt minutes ago. After a few minutes repeat this but, allow your muscles to relax for
a longer amount of time.
Yoga, another form of meditation, teaches an eightfold path beginning with the
acquisition of pure moral attitudes, proceeding through practices of breath control and
postures designed to allow a person to concentrate without having his or her mind
distracted by outside forces. By concentrating on progressively more abstract concepts
the person achieves higher and higher meditative states, culminating in a contentless
trance that constitutes liberation. Yogis, people that perform yoga, in more advanced
stages of this process are said to be gifted with remarkable powers , such as special
capacities for sight, an ability to levitate and to project their minds into other bodies, and
Religion is a major factor in meditation. Many people meditate to grow more in
tune with their spiritual life. The religion of Taoism uses meditation as a way to find the
way of harmony in life. Zen Buddhism uses meditation to see into your true nature and
realize enlightenment. Buddhism is another form of religion that is based on meditation
that is similar to Zen Buddhism. Buddhists use meditation as a way to release their inner
Meditation is not used for religious purposes only. It may also be used to relax or
dig deep into a persons soul. Meditation brings out the union of opposites. Due to this
the yin-yang symbol is associated with meditation. Within the white there is black and
within the black there is white. Both intervene.
Some radical doctors will know prescribe meditation instead of pain kills or drugs
to relax a person. They do this because meditation has no harmful side effects and can
be done by anyone. The only thing meditation can do is to help an individual calm
themselves and have clearer thoughts.
Meditation has been found to improve mental health by reducing biochemical
indicators of stress, decreasing anxiety, and enhancing psychological development. In
Sweden the National Health Board conducted a nationwide epidemiological study that
found that hospital admissions for psychiatric care for people that meditated was 150-200
times less common to people that did not meditate. Increased intelligence is another
benefit of meditation. It has been found that college students that practice meditation
over a two year period have a higher nonverbal IQ.
All in all meditation is a healthy practice to do. You should be aware of the many
types of ways to do it and also be aware of the religions associated with meditation. For
it can only help your mind and also your body. Always remember to be steadfast and
accept imperfection in your practice.