Though meditation has been around for thousands of years, the exact date of conception is unclear. The earliest record of meditation was found in ancient India. Today, the practice of meditation is more common. On August 8, 2014, the largest meditation gathering in history was hosted by Deepak Chopra, India Arie and Gabrielle Bernstein. Over 100,000 people worldwide came together to meditate for peace.
Though Relaxation is often a result of meditation, it is not the goal. The goal of meditation is to simply be present. Meditation will result in benefits such as; deeper relaxation, improved circulation throughout the body, less stress and less anxiety just to name a few.
The Various Meditation Techniques:
- Tai Chi, short for T’ai chi ch’uan or Taijiquan is a form of moving meditation involving deep stretching and continuous turning of the spine. The gentle movements use full range of motion moves that produce a calming effect on the mind. Tai chi practice can result in a feeling of well-being, less stress and pain reduction.
- Qigong, or Chi gong is a holistic system of coordinated body movements and postures, meditation and breathing used for the purpose of spirituality, health and martial arts training. Qigong helps you get in tune with your energy flow, your chi also known as your life force.
- Walking meditation combines walking and meditation techniques. It is done much slower than a stroll in the park. Many prefer walking meditation to seated meditation.
Walking Meditation Guidelines:
- Before starting, stand with your feet hip width apart. Take a few deep breaths, feel the stability of the ground beneath your feet.
- Take stock of how your body feels, from the soles of your feet to the crown of your head.
- Choose a secluded place with minimal distractions.
- Walk very slowly, focusing on your breathing and staying in the moment.
- The goal is not to go anywhere, just be present.
- Breathe in and acknowledge the breath.
- Breathe out and release any remaining tension.
- Do as long as you want, 15 minutes minimum.
Simple Meditation Techniques:
- Sit on a yoga mat, on a towel or on the floor, which ever appeals to you, in cross-legged fashion, back straight. Place the back of the hands on your knees, thumb and forefinger touching. You can also place hands in prayer position, palms touching in front of the heart chakra.
- If you suffer from back pain of joint issues, I’d recommend lying face up on your yoga mat, back of hands on floor by the hips, palms facing up towards the ceiling or sky if you’re outside. Bring legs together then let them fall to the side. Close your eyes.
- Take a deep breath through the nose and out through the mouth. Repeat as many times as you want.
- Then breathe naturally.
- Notice how the breath feels as you breathe in and out.
- Focus on how the breath moves through the body.
- If your mind wanders, acknowledge thought and release it.
- Return to slow breaths, noticing how body reacts to breaths.
All these types of meditation can be used as a gateway for harnessing your chi (qi) or life force in order to bring the body into a state of health. Chi (pronounced chee) is the life force that flows through all living things. If your healthy, your chi flows evenly. You are strong and vibrant. If your chi is blocked, you may feel emotional turmoil, tired or achy. Blocked chi is an indication of pain and disease in the body.
Yoga, meditation, tai chi, qigong and acupuncture can all be used to access and redirect your chi flow to prevent blockages in your energy flow.
If you have any questions, or would like to share your meditation experience, please feel free to leave a comment.