In many Western countries nowadays there is a rather strong and growing trend to learn how to meditate. There was an era, not so many years ago, when Westerners thought of the meditation practice as belonging to the hippie generation, but today it is considered more of a mainstream discipline that is becoming more and more popular. Even though many variations of meditating have been used for thousands of years, the Western cultures are finally becoming aware of the benefits.
In recent years, an increasingly expanding list of professional athletes, celebrities and business leaders have been learning how to meditate for themselves. These high-profile people have also been more and more willing to speak up and share the benefits they have received from meditation techniques. In some instances, coaches of professional or college sports teams, leaders and owners of businesses have introduced meditation practices to their teams and/or employees to help improve performance.
Nowadays, there are a variety of methods that people can seek out in order to learn how to meditate. Some years ago, the best option was to go on a week long retreat and be instructed by a group of trained instructors in various meditation techniques. In general, these retreats were expensive, making it hard for many people to take advantage of the opportunity.
Many different books have been published over the years to teach meditation. But, somehow trying to learn meditation through a book was a challenging task for many. As a result, many people were not able to experience the full benefits of meditation and in some ways were even left with a negative experience, simply because they were not utilizing the best learning method.
These days there are many guided meditations on CD, as well as MP3 downloads. These mediums are an easier and more effective way to introduce people to mediation. Most of the time, once they become familiar and comfortable with this practice, they are able to expand and meditate on their own or with special meditation music.
Another popular way to learn how to mediate is with DVDs or online videos. For many people, it really makes more sense to stick with the guided meditations that they can receive as an audio file, because many of the DVDs are simply an introduction to the meditation practice. In most forms of meditation, the person’s eyes are closed and so they will not be watching a video, although the DVD might include a section of meditation music for the person to use.
After someone has acquired the basic knowledge of how to meditate, they will be able to personalize their sessions to address their specific needs and to advance their spiritual development. They might also decide to learn other forms, such as transcendental meditation or Zen meditation, and often will meld various techniques and create their own unique meditation experience.