Meditation in itself is a way of focusing and concentrating the mind so that we can achieve insight and understanding into our true nature, who we really are. The practice of meditation has been around for thousands of years in many different forms than just sitting on a cushion in the traditional Zen style.
As humans we all have a constantly chittering brain. Awareness meditation can help us live in the present moment, even when times are tough. This article will help you learn about meditative practices and with this mindfulness meditation, awareness of your every day will become easy and natural.
What are the types of meditation practice?
There are many forms of meditation that you might want to investigate if you are starting out with this spiritual path. There is, however, one main style of meditation which is perhaps the most popular among beginners and amongst those who meditate on a daily basis. This type of practice is called mindfulness or awareness meditation practice.
Other types of meditation practice include :
- Mantra meditation
- Transcendental meditation
- Yoga meditation
Each of these styles has its own benefits and there are also many other types that we won't go into here. All we want to do now is give you a few ideas on how mindfulness practice works and the benefits that it can bring.
What are the benefits of mindfulness practice?
There are some fantastic benefits that you might experience by pursuing this type of meditation practice. It can definitely help you to improve your concentration levels, lower your stress levels, and it will also give you a new sense of awareness about everything around you both physically and mentally.
It is thought that people who practice mindfulness on a daily basis gain these specific skills:
- Reducing when your mind wanders
- Open awareness of your surroundings
- Reducing negative emotions
- Improving well being
- Cultivating a calm state
How can I start practicing mindfulness meditation?
So how exactly do you get started with a mindfulness practice? Well, it's quite simple. Make yourself comfortable somewhere and then focus your attention on one particular part of the body that you can feel either at rest or moving gently.
Your mind will be busy thinking new thoughts from time to time but try not to give them any attention at all. If you must, think to yourself, "I acknowledge these thoughts and I will return to them later." Other folks picture errant thoughts as waves, wind, or other things moving along quickly.
To practice mindfulness, you really just need to cultivate awareness. Paying attention to how your body feels, your thoughts and feelings, can all lead to improved mindfulness. Wherever you go, always return back to the present moment.
Can mindfulness meditation improve my mental health?
Yes, mindfulness meditation has been proven to have some wonderful benefits on our general mental health. If you practice this type of meditation then it will improve your concentration and give you a whole new awareness of your surroundings.
It can also help you to live in the moment even when times are tough, which is always good. By practicing regular mindfulness, you will support your mental health and reduce stress. In this age of constant technology, mental health is key to being happy and productive.
Is loving / kindness meditation the same as mindfulness meditation?
No. Mindfulness can be likened to a total awareness of yourself and your surroundings. Loving / kindness meditation is more about directing love and compassion towards ourselves or others.
Perform this type of meditation by going into a quiet place, making yourself comfortable and then actively thinking about a person you know who may benefit from some extra love and warmth. Picture them encased in warmth, or a big hug. This type of gratitude meditation can improve your well being, but it's not exactly living in the present moment.
How can I start to practice meditation?
The best thing to do is to just try to do it once a day. It's very important that you do not force yourself to practice more than this. It can lead to some issues with stress and tension which is the opposite of what you're trying to achieve in the first place!
Meditation does not need to be difficult or complicated at all, but you should make sure that you listen to your body throughout the process. Living in the present moment means having an open awareness and insight. Meditation helps you be the best version of yourself - even when you need a rest.