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What is the purpose of meditation?

Purpose of meditation

Meditative practice has no motive, except to experience the present moment. Simple as that. 

Meditation practiced for this reason transcends everything else. You can throw in the process all sorts of mantras and breathing techniques you can. But the point still stands, to meditate is to be in the now.

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What is the purpose of meditation?

What is the purpose of meditation?

https://bigthink.com/personal-growth/alan-watts-and-the-art-of-meditation

bigthink.com

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Key Ideas

Commercialization of spirituality

It's best to avoid the commercialization of contemplation if you want an authentic experience of meditation. Meditation has left the ashrams and become a fixture in the boardroom and livings rooms everywhere. Unfortunately, as spiritual practices enter into the wide marketplace of ideas, there is a tendency for them to be degraded and repackaged into self-improvement drivel and self-serving nonsense.

Purpose of meditation

Meditative practice has no motive, except to experience the present moment. Simple as that. 

Meditation practiced for this reason transcends everything else. You can throw in the process all sorts of mantras and breathing techniques you can. But the point still stands, to meditate is to be in the now.

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Don’t get caught up in the how

Start just by sitting on a chair, or on your couch. Or on your bed. If you’re comfortable on the ground, sit cross-legged. It’s just for two minutes at first anyway, so just sit. Later you can worry about optimizing it.

Count your breaths

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Meditation has drifted from its religious connections and has been adopted by psychologists, healthcare professionals and other secular organizations as an effective way to deal with the stress and illnesses of the modern world.

3 core components of meditation:
  • Awareness: Focus on developing awareness. 
  • Non-Judgement: Witnessing an experience or sensation without attachment or criticism.
  • Peace: Though your feelings are valuable, mindfulness teaches you how to find serenity despite them.

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Loving-kindness meditation

Also known as Metta meditation; the goal is to cultivate an attitude of love and kindness toward everything.
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Body scan or progressive relaxation

The goal is to notice tension and to allow it to be released.
Practitioners start at one end of their body, usually their feet, and work through the whole. They might tense and then relax muscles or they might visualize a wave moving over their body to release tension.

Mindfulness meditation

It encourages practitioners to notice their surroundings without judgement, instead of dwelling on the past or future.

Mindfulness can be done almost anywhere, even in a grocery store, for example.

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Your approach to meditation

There is not a right or wrong way when seeking a meditation style. Do remember that influences have an impact on you that will affect your approach to meditation.

Types of meditation

There are many different meditation styles to suit your personal approach to meditation. Beginners usually choose to start with guided meditation and then experiment with other different approaches.

Length of meditation time

The length of meditation will impact on how successful it will be.

  • One study reported 5 hours' worth of meditation over a two-week period was enough for smokers to reduce their intake.
  • Another study noted that regular 30 minutes meditation sessions can increase the density of brain matter in areas associated with memory, stress and empathy.

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What mindfulness is
What mindfulness is

Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.

What meditation is

Meditation is exploring. When we meditate we venture into the workings of our minds: sensations, emotions and thoughts.

Mindfulness meditation asks us to suspend judgment and unleash our natural curiosity about the workings of the mind, approaching our experience with warmth and kindness, to ourselves and others.

Jon Kabat-Zinn
Jon Kabat-Zinn

“Mindfulness is awareness that arises through paying attention, on purpose, in the present moment, non-judgmentally. And then I sometimes add, in the service of self-understanding and wisdom.”

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Reducing Stress

Many styles of meditation can help reduce stress.

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Controlling Anxiety

Less stress leads to less anxiety.

Regular meditation helps reduce anxiety and anxiety-related mental health issues like social anxiety, phobias and obsessive-compulsive behaviors.

Promoting Emotional Health

Some types of meditation can improve depression and help you maintain these benefits.

  • Two studies of mindfulness meditation found decreased depression in over 4,600 adults.
  • One study found that participants experienced a long-term decrease in depression.

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Meditation

It is a practice to control the power of thought and to cultivate more peace, clarity and happiness.

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5 Categories of Brain Waves
  1. Gamma State: (30 - 100Hz) The state of hyperactivity and active learning. 
  2. Beta State: (13 - 30Hz) It is associated with the alert mind state where we function for most of the day.
  3. Alpha State: (9 - 13Hz) Brain waves start to slow down out of thinking mind. We feel more calm and peaceful.
  4. Theta State: (4 - 8Hz) The verbal/thinking mind transitions to the meditative/visual mind.
  5. Delta State: (1-3 Hz) Most of us reach this final state during deep, dreamless sleep.
Breath meditation
  • Sit comfortably in your chair with your shoulders relaxed and spine tall.
  • Place your hands mindfully on your lap.
  • Try to eliminate any stimulus that may distract you.
  • Focus on your breath to slow the brain waves down from Beta or Alpha to the Theta State.
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The Most Difficult, Easy Thing

Meditation requires no equipment, can be done indoors, and is extremely beneficial to cultivate calm, balance, focus, and emotional resilience in these times of uncertainty.
It helps us live, work and sleep better. It is an immediate remedy to lessen your anxiety and provide clarity of mind.

Meditation Is an Internal Skill

The main stumbling block for most people is the mastery of the skill of meditation. Meditation cannot be compared to any form of exercise or hobby as it is an internal skill.

Most people get some benefits out of meditation, but it is not transformative. We have to learn it by ourselves, without having images or ideas in our minds, of what it is, how it is done by others and how it would feel.

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