Things You Should Know About Zen Meditation

We all have to deal with stress from either work or school. You can’t close your eyes to make it go away but you can find peace so you can deal with it. One technique that can offer this is called Zen meditation.

Zen meditation is often referred to as the study of the self. It involves sitting in various postures so you are able to bring the mind and body to a peaceful and stable condition. This happens as you focus on images and thoughts that just pop up as your heart rate slows down until you reach a reflective state of meditation.

One of the best seating positions to do this is called the Burmese position. There is also the full lotus, half lotus, kneeling or “seiza” posture and sitting on a chair.

The key here is to keep your back straight so that your deep breathing will go naturally. This allows more oxygen to enter that will help cleanse and energize the body.

The buttocks must be thrust out and the chin tucked in. The hands should be placed close to the body with the left hand resting on top of the right with palms open and up. The joint of the middle fingers are resting on top of the other with the thumbs slightly touching.

Your eyes should be half closed and your head should be positioned to a 45 degree angle towards the body. Given that it is not easy to keep the eyes like this the whole time, you can try closing them first and then opening them later on. Should you get sleepy, just open them wide.

The challenging part is staying in a stationary position for 15 to 20 minutes. After you have developed a breathing pattern, you slowly relax the muscles from your face all the way down to your feet. As it slows down and oxygen enters, you should focus on positive thoughts and exhale those that are negative.

By concentrating, you are able to unite the body, mind and soul so that your mind is aware of only the present and no longer the past or the unforeseeable future.

Aside from the right posture, you should always wear loose clothing. It is not wise to practice this after a heavy meal because a full stomach usually creates discomfort which in itself is a distraction.

If you would like to learn Zen Meditation, you can read about it or better yet join a group. Once you get the hang of things, you can even buy a few accessories to make the experience a fruitful one like incense sticks, a bell or even a ringing bowl to mark the start and end of a session.

Short incense sticks burn for about 45 minutes while the longer ones are double the time. You can even use the kitchen timer since no one will be there to ring the bell to say time is up.

Zen meditation experts recommend that beginners should try for 10 minutes first until you get used to it before you decide to extend this for 20 or 30 minutes. Should your mind wander off, concentrate a little harder to focus once again on your breathing so your thoughts will settle down naturally.

What Is Transcendental Meditation

Meditation has been practiced for centuries. In the years that followed, various movements have evolved and one of them is called transcendental meditation.

Transcendental meditation was a movement founded in 1957 by a Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Today, it has over 6 million followers and some of them include Hollywood celebrities and singers.

The organization that practices Transcendental Meditation is better known as the Spiritual Regeneration Movement. What makes this form of meditation different from the others is the fact that you don’t just learn everything there is to know by reading a book but by learning from a transcendental meditation expert.

The ultimate goal of Transcendental Meditation is to make each member achieve pure consciousness. By doing so, the individual will be able to find peace with him or herself and also with the rest of the world.

The practice of transcendental meditation takes about 15 to 20 minutes each day. In order to be part of this organization, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi created a seven step process which everyone must go through that also includes two lectures, a personal interview with a trained instructor and four days of practice. Apart from that, you are required to pay a signup fee that is almost $2,500.

More than 500 clinical studies have been done on Transcendental Meditation. One study shows that members who are in their 50’s feel much younger. Another study shows that it improves your academic achievement, creativity and intelligence.

Those who have been practicing it claim that it reduces problems such as anxiety, insomnia and stress. Even those who have had addictions with alcohol or drugs in the past say that this has helped them kick the habit.

In short, Transcendental Meditation is able to improve your physical health. Probably the biggest surprise is that one study showed that members of this movement have had fewer medical problems than those who are not.

Given the benefits it can do to those who practice it, this is probably the reason why some companies in the US offer this program to their employees. This is because management knows that stress costs them more than 200 billion dollars annually which means a decrease in the worker’s productivity.

One example of such a company that offers this to their employees is General Motors. This car company has been practicing Transcendental Meditation for several years and results from a study showed that this increased the productivity in the workplace, improved morale and had a good impact on the physical health of their workers.

There are even some who have mistaken Transcendental Meditation and the organization itself to be part of the religious cult. This is because another name by which it is known is the “Science of Creative Intelligence” which in fact is a degree that you can get after you graduate at the Maharishi University of Management in Fairfield, Iowa.

It should also be pointed out that Transcendental Meditation is scientific so you don’t have to abandon your current religion. In fact, it can be done with little effort so it is possible for you to achieve pure consciousness regardless of your age, gender, educational background, culture or religion.

Transcendental Meditation makes you look inward so you are able to turn those dormant potentials into realities. Of course, this can only happen over time and with practice so you will soon be able to experience an endless world of possibilities.

The Types of Spiritual Meditation

Spiritual meditation aims to help a person dig deep into the inner self in order to discover the wisdom and tranquility that lie within. It can be done by developing awareness, harmony and natural order into life through meditation. Different techniques can be employed in order to achieve this.

Different meditation techniques have been developed since ancient times in the effort to help people experience a higher state of consciousness. This usually makes use of the ability to clear the mind of distractions and focusing mainly on the self. Here are some of the techniques that most people use to get in touch with their spiritual consciousness through meditation.

One of the ancient techniques in meditation used is one that Buddhists practice. This technique is called mindfulness meditation and involves learning how to be aware about the things that one does and the things that is happening around at the very moment. This type of meditation technique can take time to master and involves four steps.

The first step is the abstinence from the five moral rules which is killing, stealing, lying, sexual misconduct, and the use of toxic substances. The second step is the practice of Anapana Meditation for three and a half days where a person is taught how to meditate while focusing on one's breathing. The third step involves purifying the mind which involves self observation for six and half days. The fourth step involves speaking and living an extroverted life. This meditation technique closes with the practice of metta bhavana which involves sharing the purity developed with others.

Another type of meditation technique is Transcendental Meditation, the most debated and researched one among the many meditation types. This type of meditation aims to help one attain enlightenment if practiced on the long term. This meditation technique also can help increase intelligence and creativity. This technique does not require the mastery of difficult breathing techniques or the use of some special postures. A person needs only to learn how to concentrate by sitting in a relaxed and comfortable posture and position.

Another meditation technique is the vibrational meditation which involves the repetition of a mantra, a particular word or a sound that becomes the focal point of the meditation process. The vibrations that are produced by making the word or sound is experienced passing through the body. During meditation, the individual is to concentrate on nothing else but the sound as it is uttered again and again.

The Walking Meditation is one of the many other types of meditation techniques that may help one get in touch with one's inner self. It involves learning to focus the mind while walking. Although this meditation technique can be difficult to practice it can prove to be very beneficial. This type of meditation involves focusing on the feet while meditating and trying not to let the mind wander away from every step taken.

These different types of spiritual meditation techniques take time to master. It may be hard for some people to get used to focusing on one thing, due most of the time to the influence of the world in general and how it has clouded and cluttered the mind with thoughts of problems, worries and stress. But with regular practice and eventually making a certain type of meditation technique a regular habit, people may be able to look into their inner selves more effectively and then achieve a higher sense of consciousness that may help one attain inner peace.