The word meditation can immediately conjure images of Buddhist monks in saffron robes or new-age beatniks in clouds of incense — which isn’t necessarily untrue. Buddhists have long known the benefits meditation has on the body, mind and soul, which may be even more relevant today in our constantly connected, busy world. Meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain — particularly in areas associated with muscle control, sensory perception, memory, emotions and speech. A study conducted by the Laboratory for the Neuroscientific Investigation of Meditation and Mind-Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital found that people who meditated at least 30 minutes a day for eight weeks increased gray matter density in their hippocampus — the part of the brain associated with learning and memory. MRI brain scans on the participants (10 female and six male with a mean age of 38) also showed reduced gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress. Regular mindfulness may even slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex, which means less forgetfulness over the years. There are also many ways meditation improves quality of life that can’t be as objectively tested. Mindful meditation, also called vipassana, is the heart of Buddhist meditation and the most widely practiced form in Southeast Asia.
To begin the practice of mindful meditation, find a quiet room with few sensory distractions.
Then close your eyes and connect with your breath by focusing on your breathing without trying to direct it; just pay attention to its natural movement. Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, says you could actually choose any object of awareness (a sound, an image, a mantra) to rest your attention on, and gently return to it whenever your mind wanders.
During your meditation, you may experience feelings of frustration, boredom, fear, anxiety, pain or anger — this is all normal.
The key is not to bring “the burden of intense self-judgment into the practice with you,” says Salzberg. As you continue your practice and develop an ability to settle more with the breath, Salzberg says you should apply the same calm, interested attention to a range of things you experience.
Whatever level you’re at, but especially when you’re just beginning, it’s important to practice every day. Although it might sound easy, meditation is in fact hard work and it takes a lot of practice to get better. This book is designed to keep our focus on today and give us the courage to change the things we can. In this guide to How To Meditate in Ten Easy Steps you’ll discover the absolute easiest ways to make meditation a part of your life.
One of the biggest mistakes people make when learning is that they don’t set aside the time to actually practice properly.
So, step one in our guide is this: set aside twenty minutes in which you don’t have to do anything. If there are other people in the house with you, let them know that you are going to be meditating for the next twenty minutes and that you don’t want to be disturbed.
If you want to make a daily routine, you may find it helpful to set aside twenty minutes each day at the same time, perhaps in the morning or when you get home from work. Put some plants in the room too and perhaps some paintings as these can create a suitable atmosphere too.
To eliminate the need to keep looking at the clock, just set an alarm for twenty minutes, or however long you wish to meditate for. Many practices include specific postures, which range from the sitting positions of Zen meditation to the mudras of Yoga, Buddhism and Hinduism. However, for this easy guide to meditation we don’t need any specific sitting positions or hand gestures (mudras). Close your eyes and focus your mind on the breathing as it comes and goes between the space between your lips and nose. Many new meditators immediately find themselves wanting to try out more and more complex meditation techniques. The reason why most people want to try more and more complex techniques comes down to their ego.
Okay, this might seem like a weird thing for a teacher to say, but meditation isn’t divine. One of the best things you can do with meditation (well, with anything, actually) is find a group of like minded people. If  you would like to discover more about meditation, my complete guide to meditation is now on sale.
As someone who has certainly been through rough patches, I can honestly say that mindfulness saved my life in many ways.
Whether an individual is suffering from depression that is of a situational nature (caused by external events) or of an organic nature (the result of chemicals in the brain) mindfulness can greatly help to reduce the symptoms of depression. I know people who have suffered from both kinds of depression. The smiling Buddha technique is a moderately advanced technique that is best for people who have some experience. Visualisation meditation is one of the more advanced meditation techniques because it integrates the imagination into the process.
Essentially, visualisation can be defined like this: imagining specific things to produce specific results. My father’s death was a shock and was the end of a somewhat turbulent relationship I had with my father.
There were so many thoughts that they sunk my mind like a ship in stormy tides, and I plummeted to the depths. If you’ve experienced the passing of a beloved family member then you’ll understand the need to let go, the need to move on.
Trying to let go of emotional pain by fighting is akin to trying to get rid of a scab by scratching at it. Many of the most beautiful moments in history have stemmed from the fertile soil of compassion.
During the Holocaust, German industrialist and spy Oskar Schindler was a member of the Nazi party. Abraham Lincoln was another man who embodied compassion, bringing about the abolishment of slavery. The Pali term for compassion is “Karuna”, a word close to the heart of Buddhism and Jainism. In Jainism, Karuna is one of the four reflections of universal friendship, the others being amity (maitri), appreciation (pramoda) and equanimity (madhyastha).

As a show of ultimate Karuna, or compassion, Bodhisatva’s (enlightened ones) vow to lead all sentient beings away from suffering towards the attainment of enlightenment. This is a Buddhist statue of a boddhisattva, an enlughtened Buddha who lived for compassionate ends. One of the most important texts on the Bodhisattva path is Shantideva’s Bodhisattvacaryavatara.
This scroll is of an actual classic text in which karuna meditation technique is described.
If you spend a lot of money shopping for yourself you might as well quit and start shopping for other people instead. If you’re single you might also like to show compassion, as science has proven that we are naturally attract to people who are kind, and not just people who are kind to us but people who are kind in general. In case you somehow aren’t taken by the idea of universal happiness, you might like to know that kindness and compassion have also been proven to make you live longer.
And amazingly, you definitely have time to be more compassionate, because science has shown that being kind and compassionate actually makes you feel as though you have more time, not less. 3)      Bring to mind people who have been unfortunate.  Begin with the people for whom you feel the most sympathy. 6)      If you feel any conflicting emotions—for instance if you feel judgmental of the person—be mindful of your feelings but do not dwell on them. Similar to how we do bicep curls to develop our arms, meditation tones and strengthens the mind. Only recently have scientific studies been able to delineate the effects it has on the brain, including stress reduction, improved attention and productivity, better memory and even increased creativity and feelings of compassion. Though there is yet to be a happiness barometer, anecdotal evidence suggests meditation can impact how you approach life, how you react to things, and how you interact with others. It emphasizes mindfulness and develops an awareness that is carried into every aspect of your daily experience. Set a timer for five minutes (or 10, or 15 — it doesn’t matter) and sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair. Your breath is your anchor to the present moment and will guide you back when your mind wanders off in thought. Count one breath in, one breath out, and continue through 10 breaths, then return to one again. You’ll begin to become hyperaware of the state of your body — the tensions it carries, its energy, its pain — and sensations that your busy life may have kept you from noticing previously.
This form uses phrases of friendliness to evoke genuine feelings of love and compassion toward yourself, your loved ones, strangers and even your enemies. Zen Habits blogger, Leo Babauta, stresses the importance of forming the habit by beginning with just two minutes a day. But just like training for a marathon or playing an instrument, the more you do it, the easier it becomes. Taking life one day at a time has proven essential in the Al-Anon program of recovery for those whose lives have been adversely affected by the problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend.  This Al-Anon classic offers inspirational daily readings relating Al-Anon philosophy to everyday situations. But before getting started you might like to bookmark this page (CTRL + D on your keyboard) or join us on Facebook. The majority of people simply feel like meditating, go and sit down and close their eyes, and then a few minutes later remember that they’ve left the oven on or that they have to make a phone call. You need to allow yourself to relax and focus, and that means setting aside twenty minutes when you know you won’t be distracted.
That way you will establish a habit and, before long, you’ll be practicing without even thinking about it. Any clutter in the room is going to put you off and distract you, as will any source of noise. If there is something that means a lot to you and that helps you to relax or to get into what I call the “spiritual zone,” then include it in the room. Also, if you are a religious person, you might like to include some religious statues of whichever belief you follow.
Imagine being in serenity, sitting so peacefully on the floor, not a thought on your mind when BUZZZZZ BUZZZZ BUZZZZ! That’s because meditation is all about focus, and the last thing that will help you focus is an itch or a cramp. So, when you’re meditating and you experience the thought I need to do more say to yourself, “That’s my ego talking” and return to the simple technique. Because when you think that it is some supernatural miracle you start to expect amazing things to happen.
If you go into it expecting to immediately be enlightened or to find supreme happiness after ten breaths, you will get nothing out of it. You will also get to talk to meditation with other people, which helps you to progress in your practice. This is one of the best types of meditation for depression, and is the best place for all newcomers to start meditation. The most recent time when I really needed to let go was following my father’s death last year. Though it hurts to move on, the truth is that that is what they would want, and that’s what we should want for ourselves, to move on.
There comes a time when you know you need to get out, but the more you fight the more trapped you become. We focus on the past experience, on what has been lost, and prevent ourselves from seeing the present moment. This guide shows you the importance of compassion and how you can develop compassion by practicing Karuna meditation. In Theravada Buddhism, living through Karuna (or living through compassion) is seen as the key to attaining great happiness in life. A study published in Science showed that people are on average happier when they spend their money on someone else than they are when they spend money on themselves. Jonathan Haidt at the University of Virginia conducted research into the affect of kindness on group mentality.
If you ever suffer from anxiety or depression, do this: Be outrageously kind and compassion to someone.

For instance, for someone who is ill you may say, “May they become healthy and strong” or for someone who has been unfortunate with money, “May they find financial security, richness and prosperity.” These lines are just examples—express your sincere compassion in the words that feel right to you. Simply observe them (if you struggle to do this, you’ll find Vipassana and Mindfulness very helpful).
In some cases, it can allow you to see things more clearly (including yourself), fill you with a sense of calm, and help you to better deal with the variegated demands of the modern world.
Some refer to it as “the art of living” — awakening from autopilot, discovering the true self, being present, and finding the capacity to live more wisely, more lovingly and more fully. Buddhist monk and meditation teacher Jack Kornfield says to “sit with the quiet dignity of a king or queen.” Just remember, keep the body upright, but not uptight.
This process helps connect your mind to your breath, especially when thoughts can sometimes break your concentration.
You could watch the flicker of a candle flame, or chant the popular mantra, “om.” Experiment until you find what suits you.
You may get caught up in expectations of what your experience should be, or doubt that you’re “doing it right.” Todd Goldfarb, blogger and social entrepreneur at Worldwide Tipping Point and We the Change, says to throw those ideas out and simply practice observing what arises in each moment. In the same way you’ve focused attention on your breath, you’ll be able to gently move that focus to this tension and release it.
And just think, in as little as two minutes, a happier outlook can be yours for the taking.
You will find that with a relaxed body and good posture, your mind automatically relaxed and your focus increases. So, sit on the floor (with a meditation mat) or a seat, make sure your spine is in good alignment and relaxed, your chin tucked in a little and that there is not itching or fidgeting going on. That’s why we’ll be covering basic breathing in this guide to how to meditate in ten easy steps. The aim of meditation of to silence these thoughts so that you can focus your mind without distraction. Try counting your breaths, or focussing on the rising and falling of your abdomen, or, if you are stressed, focus on your hand as you clench and then release your fist (this is a great relaxation technique btw). And here’s the very strange thing about meditation: the more you expect to get out of it, the less you will. When, however, you enter meditation with a clear mind, when you don’t force meditation but you just sit back and let what happens happen, then you will see amazing results. Trust me, by the end of this guide,  you’ll be meditating every day and feeling a heck of a lot better.
You should only use meditation for depression during times when you feel strong enough to try it.
Anapanasait meditations are very easy to begin to do, and they create a deep sense of relaxation. This technique involves a combination of mudras (hand position) and mantras (repeated words) to create deep relaxation and happiness.
When you practice mindfulness you train yourself to let go of thoughts and to focus on the moment.
We go from one job to the next, or from one person to the next, constantly wanting to experience more and more and more.
Perhaps we’re no longer enjoying our jobs but we feel trapped in them, as though there’s no way we could possibly leave. You can’t fight to let go, because when you make yourself fight something you are giving that something control over yourself. His love and kindness is a prime example of the beauty of compassion, and even led to one of the most touching movies in history in Schindler’s List, a movie which will move even a cold stone to warm tears. When you look back at the history of the world, it’s not the ultra wealthy or the glamorous celebrities that we remember. Research conducted by the National Institute of Health shows that the brain’s pleasure centres are activated then we perform acts of kindness. Many studies have shown that compassion makes you more resistant to illness and helps you to live a longer life. The point is not to prevent your mind from straying, but rather, bring it back to the present when it does.
Meditation is best when you are dedicates to it –and really, it’s only twenty minutes a day so it isn’t a big commitment. You’ll find that as soon as you accept your weaknesses—in meditation as in life—they will no longer have such power over you. It is considered impossible to become a bodhisattva (one who is enlightened) without achieving a high level of Karuna. The more you meditate on the energy of compassion, the more that energy will grow inside of you, making you more and more compassionate, developing your levels of Karuna one step at a time. This allows you to get some fresh air (important for depression), to clear your mind and to find relaxation.
I particularly recommend mindfulness if you are suffering from negative thought depression. This will clean the consciousness of its smear and allow us to live free from the ghosts of past experience. When people see someone being kind they’re more likely to be kind themselves.  So, you’re one act of kindness will make you and others happy, and it will also lead other people to be kind too.
This will bring the scene to life in your mind and make it a much more powerful experience. This rising kindness then spreads like wildfire and before you know it we’re all being kind and loving to one another (it isn’t as hard as most people think). I will focus as best I can.” Never blame yourself (I know I’m hammering this point a little but it is very important). When you’re compassionate to yourself you will naturally start to be compassionate to others too.

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Comments to «Daily meditation for health»

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