Meditation is a word that has many different meanings. Depending on your culture, religion or even the type of exercise you prefer, meditation might be essential to your life. Finding yourself at a point in your life where you feel restless or unfulfilled, might lead you to meditation. Whatever the reason, meditation has a purpose for you.
When beginning a meditation program, the most crucial decision to make is deciding what you want to gain from the program. Choosing to meditate might mean that you wish to control your waking mind or to still restless thoughts. There are a large variety of benefits to any form of meditation you choose. Some of these benefits might really surprise you.
Meditation calms the mind. It allows a person to focus their conscious thoughts on a single purpose. Often, chanting a phrase or word allows a person to push all other thoughts from their mind. This opens the mind to new ideas. Meditation intensifies the power of concentration within your mind and body. It actually works to still the body and separate a person from the rest of the world. Certain forms of meditation are used to find the answer to a nagging problem. Focusing the entire mind on a single thought can free it from the constraints of normal interference from the outside world. There is no way to turn off the sounds of the world around you but with meditation, they can be temporarily softened.
Meditation can also be used to open the mind to the outside world. When a person feels disconnected from their life or their family, meditation can bring that connection back to them. There are forms of meditation which strive to connect the unconscious mind to the entire universe. The idea is to push all ordinary and mundane thoughts from the mind. Once these thoughts are moved out of the brain, fresh new ideas and comforting thoughts can flow into the mind.
Many forms of meditation are meant to strengthen the link between the body and the mind. During this type of meditation, called waking mindfulness, a person is focused only on what she feels inside her own body. Breathing and heart rate are slowed during this program. Often, lowered blood pressure and heart rate lead to a healthier body. Meditation is used as a part of the healing process for many acute diseases, including cancers.
Kindness meditation or external meditation is a form of meditation that focuses all of the energy derived from the exercise, toward another person. The purpose of this type of concentration is to give a gift of peacefulness and joy to a person other than yourself. During this type of meditation, the person reaches beyond herself into the consciousness of another person; allowing her energy to flow into another person.
Whether meditation is completed for yourself or with another person, the purpose of meditation is always the same. It allows you to separate yourself from the mundane and try to enter a higher state of control and relaxation.