Only a few years ago any one who said that they meditate would have been thought to be a bit cranky. Now, however it is a practice that is rapidly gaining in popularity and is even being recommended by regular doctors as an excellent way to relieve stress, help in certain mental dis-orders and as a general ‘mind tonic’.
The word ‘meditate’ simply means to focus your mind on a particular subject. That means that you are becoming aware of that subject and that subject alone. Because of this there are so many varieties of meditation. Some are labelled according to the religious or spiritual belonging such as ‘Buddhist Meditation’. Then there is a further demarcation such as ‘Tibetan Buddhist Meditation’. Others are labelled according to the actual practice of meditation such as ‘Pranayama Meditation’ which is essentially breathing exercises.
The benefit in all the varieties of meditation is that the person meditating will be able to relax, discover latent abilities, feel peaceful and calm, realise the self and perhaps even realize God. Naturally a lot depends on the type of meditation practiced and the aim of the practitioner.
If you meditate on a flower you may well experience whatever you associate with a flower such as beauty, naturalness, freshness, freedom, etc.
If you meditate on your breathing you may well experience relaxation and stillness.
If you meditate on your self then you may well experience…..your self. If you experience your ‘self’ then that would be called an experience of self realisation. But and it is a big but, to meditate on your self requires introspection and also some knowledge as to what the self is. And here you enter into an unlimited field of choice; and how do you know if the choice you made is the right one?
The best way to know you are doing the right thing is that you feel comfortable with both the meditation practice and with the experience you are getting. If you are not getting any experience then don’t worry or give up as it happens to a lot of people. Give some time, focus on the practice and not the result you want. It will happen.
One of the easiest ways that I’ve found to meditate is a system called Centerpointe. It’s simple to use – all that’s involved is putting on your headphones and listening to a CD. Yet it’s incredibly powerful. Studies have shown that Centerpointe gets you to meditation levels only normally experienced by masters of the art. You can get a free trial of their system here.