If you start exploring the world of meditation, you will discover that there are many meditation techniques. There are Indian meditation techniques, Buddhist meditations, Zen meditations, and other Eastern and Western techniques. Even guided imagination and creative visualization are certain types of meditation.
In addition to the classical techniques, almost every meditation teacher invents some of his own. The multiplicity of meditation techniques and methods causes some confusion for people, who are new to the subject. They do not know where to start and which method to follow.
Nowadays, there is a growth of the various techniques, making it more confusing. What you need, is a method that you feel comfortable with, and that is appropriate for you. This you can do by studying several techniques, and then choosing one of them
People, who practice meditation, often extol their method. They do so, because this is what they know and have been practicing. One’s method may not necessarily be appropriate for someone else. That is one of the reasons why there are so many techniques.
Choosing a Meditation Technique
The question, what technique or method to choose is important, but it is also important to know what to expect, and to know where the method you choose will lead you. Are you just after physical relaxation, a little inner peace, or maybe your aim is the attainment of enlightenment?
There are techniques that instruct you to concentrate on the tip of your nose, on your breathing, or on your movements. Others, tell you to focus on a certain sentence or quote or to pray, while other methods tell you to repeat a mantra. With all of these methods, you are actually teaching the mind to focus on one object, activity or thought. You are training it to become one-pointed.
You can sit by the sea and watch the waves, follow a cloud in the sky, or focus your attention on a certain thought or think about God. These too, are all various methods of meditation. The main theme of all of them is the act of focusing the mind on one single subject, in other words, concentration.
Benefits of Meditation
The mind is usually restless, and meditation teaches it to be calm. This requires perseverance, inner strength and earnestness. To gain results, you need to devote, time, energy and love.
Meditation creates physical and mental calmness and strengthens the ability to concentrate. It also sharpens the memory and the intuition. Sometimes, in certain cases, it might lead to spiritual enlightenment. This depends on how much enthusiastic you are, how much energy and time you devote to it, and on your state of inner ripeness.
The ultimate Purpose of Meditation
The ultimate goal of meditation is to reach beyond the mind and live in the world of pure spirit. This may not be the goal of the majority of those who meditate. For most people, the main purpose is the reduction of physical and mental stress and gaining a certain degree of peace of mind.
If you meditate, and persevere with earnestness and concentration, you will eventually come to realize that there is a world beyond thoughts. You will be able to silence your thoughts, and then meditation will take a new meaning. You will discover the joy and bliss that come when the mind is silent. You will discover a new kind of consciousness, which is beyond the mind and is not dependent on it. In this state of awareness, there are no thoughts, no thinking. It is what the great Indian sage, Sri Ramana Maharshi, called the thoughtless state.
When the mind becomes naturally quiet, you find out who you really are. You discover your source. The mind is then transcended, and the spiritual consciousness shines.
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