In times long ago, students of meditation dedicated their lives to meditation in the pursuit of spiritual growth. They lived in monasteries and always had a teacher on hand teaching them how to meditate.
As times have changed, this is no longer common, and meditation practice must now integrate into a busy schedule.
For anyone interested in learning how to meditate, I suggest starting with Guided Meditation.
In this form of meditation, you simply follow the words of the guide to achieve the desired result.
Forms of Meditation
In the bigger picture, asking how to mediate seems a simple enough question – but there are few things which must first be understood.
There are many different forms of meditation.
But if using broad brush strokes, you could say there are two primary methods;
1: Focusing the mind
2: Directly transcending the mind (mindfulness)
You may also have heard of these more specific Meditation Techniques.
Each uses specific meditation techniques to achieve their goal. You can read more about each meditation techniques here.
Using a Mantra
Clearing the mind of thought can be achieved by using a mantra. A Mantra is a sound, saying, or image which you hold in constant awareness. If random thoughts arise you simply return to the constant. This provides separation from your conscious mind and leaves you in a state of peace and clarity.
Candle flames are also used as a point of focus for the mind. Staring into the candle flame and loosing awareness of all else also allows this clarity to consume you.
How you Benefit from Meditation
Whichever form of Meditation you pursue, the goal is similar; To move away from conscious and reflexive thinking, into a deeper state of simultaneous awareness and relaxation.
The benefits of meditation are well documented, but of concern to most people learning how to meditate is the desire to escape from stress and anxiety.
Nerves of the human brain continually produce electrical signals – the frequency of which is dependent on your current situation. These brain wave patterns are divided into 4 states; Beta, Alpha, Theta and Delta.
Beta brainwave patterns are seen in periods of interaction, such as driving, working and stress. Chemicals are released in this state to heighten your awareness. Continual or prolonged exposure can have undesired side effects such as premature aging, a decline in general health and in the worst cases, meltdown.
Alpha brainwave patterns are common when you are relaxed.
Theta brainwave patterns are common when you sleep and dream.
And Delta brainwave states are only achieved in deep, dreamless sleep … and in meditation. Specific chemicals (known as HGH – or Human Growth hormone) are released when the brain is in this state which are very beneficial. They help with internal maintenance and repair of the physical body. As we age, we naturally spend less time in deep sleep, so Meditation can play an amazing role in vitality and function.
When learning how to meditate, you should also be aware of the other benefits.
It is common to receive great insight during or after meditation. Solutions to problems present themselves naturally.
Increased clarity of your life’s purpose and spiritual path become obvious, and energy levels of your physical body and zest for living improve.
If you have spiritual friends, you may have noticed they look radiant. Meditation is believed to increase your vibration, so you attract things from the highest and finest levels of existence, avoiding the pitfalls of matter and energy from the darker realms.
The practical component of how to meditate involves action.
Meditation is a practice – and that is what you must do. Regular meditation is more productive than sporadic bursts. That being said, a little is better than none at all.
For those of you who desire structure, joining a regular meditation circle is a great motivator. It provides opportunities to ask specific how to meditate questions of those with more experience than you. You can also discuss your progress or discuss issues that may arise during your meditation practice.
It is important to note that meditation is a personal journey. You should never compare your efforts or achievements to others. Whatever progress you make – is perfect for you.
But there are several things you can do to achieve the best results possible. I again suggest regular practice – even a few minutes at the same time each day. Early mornings are best for many, as you can charge for your day, instead of being tempted to evaluate the day’s happenings when you sit at night … but whatever suits you best.
If meditating at home ask those you live with to respect your endeavors. A few minutes for yourself, without family or phone should not be considered a luxury. Consider the time a necessity – to explore your mental health and spiritual prosperity.
So, asking how to meditate is not as simple as it sounds.
Explore all the options before you to find what works best. You will have periods of rapid advancement and times when you struggle. All is natural and needed.
Incorporating other Relaxation Techniques into your life takes the pressure off Meditation as your only savior from disaster or stress. Striving for a balanced life should be your goal.