Apr 252013

Girl meditating next to a treeIt is probably no surprise that a lot of people choose the path of meditation for self-discovery. There are many reasons why meditation can help people reflect with more clarity. Meditation allows the mind and the body to relax and that helps in introspecting about life and the world immensely.

While there are several ways that you can meditate to embark on the path of understanding yourself, the most common remain to be reflection and relaxation. Whatever way you approach meditation, you need to be in a quiet and peaceful place where you can be disturbed by no distractions.

History of Meditation

Meditation is an ancient art and has been practiced over centuries for introspection and analysis of human thought and emotion. It is easy to ignore the importance of spending time with yourself in the hassle of everyday life and to discover your feelings and needs. Incidents and situations often trigger us to make hasty and rash judgments about life without any reasoning.

More often than not, we only realize that we have been wrong due to poor understanding. The importance of the basic philosophical question of “Know Thyself” is often emphasized but not often understood. But is knowing yourself easy, or even possible? Meditation is one way to reach your destination.

But there is not one way to approach meditation and the history of meditation in the West and the East is diverse. However, there is one factor common in all forms of meditation and that is solitude.

The Bible has been a central part of the Western religion and it emphasizes the need of long meditation and praying for answers with perseverance. The disciple Paul shows the way by emphasizing the need of meditating on what he called the deeper things for enlightenment.

Artistic picture of Buddha meditatingEastern cultures not only rely on silence, but also on word for meditation. A good example is the Buddhists who meditate by repeatedly chanting “N’am Yoho Renge Kyo” in order to purge unnecessary and vile thoughts from their natural minds. According to the teachings of Buddha, the meditating soul can reach the truth in this state.

Another example was Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the Indian spiritual teacher who was popularized in the West in the ‘60s. He preached that just a single word “Om” was enough for concentration in meditation. He said that chanting this word repeatedly will transcend the one who meditates to an enlightened state from the ordinary material life.

No matter what form, meditation can offer great help in reflecting over life, its problems and the important decisions that make their solutions. Meditation helps reduce hasty and rash decision through the reflection and understanding it involves. To meditate is to ponder and to ponder is to introspect. This involves thorough and concentrated understanding of a person’s nature and desires. There is no wonder why people feel so relaxed and rejuvenated after meditation.

The Right Way to Meditate

A girl meditating with strong postureYou don’t really need to enquire about what particular form of meditation to follow in order to practice it. Just follow basic guidelines such as finding a peaceful and quiet place where nothing or no one could distract you. Meditation requires complete attention and you don’t want your attention diverted elsewhere.

Once you find yourself in the right kind of environment, meditating is actually pretty simple. When you find yourself relaxed enough to concentrate properly, start asking yourself a series of questions. Questions such as what is the most important to you, what do you love doing the most and what do you think about a certain part of your life.

Never move on to the next question without finding an answer and don’t try too hard to find the answer. Instead, rely on the first word that comes to your mind about something. You would have seen on media or would have played yourself the game of saying the first word that comes to your mind about someone or something. This is called Word Association and if offers great insight into the deepest thoughts and desires of a person.

Carry on the series of questioning while keeping your mind relaxed, starting with the simplest. Ask yourself about what you love to eat and what kind of movies interest you and then move on to the next level, that is, the questions that really matter to your life. Ask yourself what you really want to do and achieve in your life. Ask yourself about your career, your family and things you have never done but want to try. Ask yourself how happy you are and how do you see money influencing your life.

Confronting these questions will enable you to reflect more clearly on any decisions that you need to make about important issues in your life. But don’t just expect everything to get sorted overnight. Meditation is a process and over time it will start helping you out with developing clarity about what is important to your life.

Consistency for Effectiveness

Meditation can work wonders for you as far as knowing yourself is concerned but it is not magic. Don’t just expect everything in your life to fix itself through meditation. For results, you would need to be consistent and organized in your meditation.

Make sure that you write down your findings after each meditation session and do it right away while all the answers are fresh in your memory. Build on these answers in the next session. Don’t jump to making a decision after just one session. Reading your answers can immensely help you in making the right decision about an issue.

Frequency of Meditation

The right frequency of meditation entirely depends on you, considering how much you can manage in your schedule. Some people can meditate for more than one session a day, while the others cannot.

However, it also depends upon your commitment to meditation and how strongly you want to resolve certain issues in your life for which you seek the assistance for decision making. Speaking of decision making, never reach a conclusion before sitting through at least 5 to 6 sessions, with the rate of at least one session a day.

Spending several sessions on a particular decision would help bring out feedback from various aspects of your personality. This will particularly be helpful if you are uncertain about a decision and if you consider necessary, then you should meditate on the issue for an even longer time.

Since meditation helps you know yourself better, it would improve your quality of life in many ways. Meditation will sharpen your memory, improve your social and cognitive skills, allow better control over your emotions and improve your decision making power.

Meditation can certainly change your life for the better but all it requires is intent and action.

Coming to know yourself well can only improve your relational skills, improve your memory, calm your emotions and help you to make sound decisions. You will find that, over time, it will yield a lot of improvement in how you think and feel. Meditation is a wonderful self-improvement tool.

This is a Guest Post from Abtruse.net

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