What is meditation, and what is not meditation?

Meditation is a mindful practice, a very simple process which allows you to observe your own mind and your own thoughts. It is not about confronting your thoughts, it is also not about trying to manoeuvre your thoughts, but it is just let be – the silent witness, the peaceful observer of your own self. This is achieved with pushing your full awareness on your breathing, your inhale and exhale.

In essence, meditation is about staying unrelated to your chain of thoughts. It is a simple practice, whereas, you sit down, breathe and connect with self. Any moment you attempt to relate yourself with the buzz of your thoughts, you move your awareness from the breathing (or the mantra according to other meditative practices) to your thoughts, you engage with yourself, hence you stop meditating.

You Also May Want to Read: How to Prepare for Meditation

What do I need to start?

To start with meditation, first you will need a quiet place in which you feel relaxed. Then, maybe you can light up a candle. If you choose to sit on the ground, you will need a mat. However, you can choose to sit on a chair. But, don’t forget. It has to be comfortable because it will not let you focus on what’s important. And that is letting go of everything negative and enjoying the moment.

Are there some difficult things about meditation?

The most important thing about meditation is to learn how to get rid of the annoying thought that occupy your mind and to step into meditative state. Some techniques can be helpful like forgiving everyone or letting go of the negative thoughts. Another thing you can do is listening to music, especially Indian classical ragas. If you practice meditation twice a day it will become easier with every single day.

How do I learn to meditate?

The easiest way to learn it is to do it. Learning by doing. It’s like every other thing you hear people talk about. When they talk about something, and you are listening to it, you do little to accomplish the task. But if you try doing it, it will become more realistic. It is within every one of us. If you feel the desire to be peaceful, to be centered and to be in the present, then you can meditate. The key is in your desire.

What will happen when I meditate?

The first and most important thing if you practice meditation is that you will come into thoughtless state, meaning you will be in peace with your thoughts. This helps you to organize your thoughts and focus more on the present, leaving aside most of the worries about the past and the future.

Do I have to concentrate?

Concentration is not that essential as is the focus and the attention. It is very important to focus your attention on good thoughts. If you can’t achieve this, maybe you should use some techniques. Practicing forgiveness is one way to purify the thoughts. After some time you will start feeling like your thought are drifting away.

Should I open my eyes or keep them closed?

It is more pleasant if you keep your eyes closed. However, if you start to experience some unpleasant sensations then it is recommended to open your eyes. If this happens it means that you are more on the left or on the right side. Quality meditation session can happen only in the center.

What if I catch myself falling asleep?

If you feel like sleeping, maybe you should have some rest first. Probably you didn’t have much sleep the previous night. This is one of the reasons why you should do meditation in the morning, not in the evening. Falling asleep can also happen if your sessions are too long. You should not force yourself but make the session as long as you see fit.

What if I have asthma? Can I still meditate?

Scientists found out that meditation, more than other techniques can help you relieve asthma. So, the good news is, you can practice meditation just like anyone else. If steady breathing is something you can achieve, try focusing on other things, like mantra or a chakra. This way you can forget about the rhythm of breathing and focus your attention on something else.

What is mantra and do I need one?

Mantra comes from the word “man” that means to meditate or to think. It is the phenomenon of vibrations into a specific sound which have a direct effect on us. Mantras are very effective when we sit in meditation. If, during meditation, we come to a certain blockage, we can use mantras to clear the out and to step into our spiritual nature spontaneously.

Where does meditation come from?

Meditation has roots in ancient times. Some researchers claim that even primitive societies discovered meditative states and altered states of consciousness while staring at the flames of the campfire. Some of the techniques of meditation are five thousand years old. Over the years, meditation evolved into different styles and practices and is now widely popular across the globe.

Is meditation good for children?

Meditation is very good and beneficial for children. What is more, children are the best candidates for meditation because they don’t have many difficult thoughts and serious problems in their minds so it is easier for them to go into meditation state quicker.

How long should my session last?

When doing a meditation session, it’s preferable to find your own peace. So, there is no specific length of time, but it should not be shorter than 10-15 minutes. If you are not in your peaceful state of mind, even an hour won’t be enough. So, that is why 15 minutes meditation with the right mindset is more than enough.

Workout first or meditation first?

Well, if your exercise makes you tired and exhausted, it’s better to meditate firs in order not to fall asleep while you meditate. But, in every other case, it is better to meditate after workout. It can be very soothing. Your mind will be more vigilant and less occupied with thoughts.

Should I use music while I meditate?

The noise from everyday life on streets and traffic can make it difficult for people to find silence and enjoy meditation. This is where music takes place. It can help us to focus and make the meditation process spontaneous and effortless. For example, the notes of the Indian classical songs are designed to stimulate the flow of energy and vibrations that can take us into deeper spiritual state.

Breathing and meditating.

There are few possible ways of breathing. But the best way for meditation is diaphragmatic breathing which calms the mind and oxygenates the blood better. If you get used to this type of breathing (for the whole day, not just for the session) you will see the difference if you do chest breathing.

Where should I meditate?

If you love arts, and you fill a whole room with them, you will feel delighted whenever you step in that room. It’s the same with meditation. If you enjoy it, you must create your own corner in the home that will help you relax and meditate. Also, sometimes you can join meditation groups because this can increase your ability to improve your state of silence. As you grow in meditation, you will be able to meditate in many different places.

What are the best postures to use while meditation?

The best position to meditate is to sit down, without leaning the spine. However, the mind and the body are connected so the body must be in the right position in order not to distract the mind. The spine should be unsupported and the arms and legs should be relaxed. Don’t stress yourself; it might take some time to get used to this.

Any tips on meditating at work?

A very interesting yet useful way is to try and meditate one minute every hour. That way you will have complete successful 10 minutes at the end in contrast to 10 minutes at once. If you work on a computer no one will notice if you close your eyes for a minute to find your peace. Sometimes even few deep breaths can make a big difference.

How do I know if my session is a quality meditation session?

The best thing to do to try and not evaluate your sessions. But here is an answer. The quality of the session can be evaluated with how many times you caught your mind wandering and brought it back to the meditation object. Also, more important is how many seconds passed before you became aware of it. Another clue can be the time you passed without letting your mind have any distractions. However, it is not preferable to evaluate your sessions but enjoy them.

Will meditation make changes in my lifestyle?

Meditation will not necessarily make some lifestyle changes. This may happen if you unconsciously allow it. Your lifestyle adjusts to what you really need or what your body and spirit really need. If you use meditation, you will notice that after some time, the unwanted things and thoughts will just start to fall away.