In today's stress-ridden lifestyle, meditation is the best way to calm the mind and get inner peace. Meditating daily for about 15 - 20 minutes increases concentration levels and enables you to remain focused for longer periods of time. Improved concentration power can help maximize your performance at work. Most importantly, this holistic approach that instills a sense of calmness can effectively reduce stress, which is a potent source of both physical and mental ailments.
Ways to Meditate
Mantra meditation involves chanting a mantra repeatedly for a stipulated amount of time. One can either chant the mantra in the mind or verbally. A better option is verbal repetition of the mantra as it is more effective to attain peace of mind, and one can actually experience spiritual joy. A mantra is a phrase or word that has to be said repeatedly, either to yourself or aloud. Make sure you completely focus your mind on the mantra and do not think of anything else when chanting the mantra.
Focus On Breathing
All you need to do is focus your mind on each and every breath. Also, known as silent meditation, this technique concentrates on the pace at which breathing takes place. When we breathe, we take in oxygen and give out carbon dioxide. So, one has to concentrate on this rhythm of breathing when doing this type of meditation.
With full concentration, one has to see the candle flame that is kept at eye level and in a partially dark room. The candle is around half a meter away from the eye. Do not allow any thoughts to enter your mind when looking at the flame. After some time, put off the candle light and try to visualize the flame with eyes closed. You need to meditate on the image that you see after closing the eyes. This alternate opening and closing of the eyes has to be repeated a number of times. It is not necessary that you have to use a candle flame to focus your attention. An apple or a mango is also a good option, especially for those suffering from eye problems. Flame meditation has to be practiced for not more than 15 - 20 minutes everyday, otherwise, it may damage the eye. To be on the safer side, you can choose other objects such as a flower or a fruit and follow the aforementioned technique to improve concentration and calm the mind.
To start with, you have to first sit in half or full lotus position. If this is not possible, you can directly sit on the chair with hands close together. With eyes closed, start taking deep breaths. When focusing on deep breathing, thoughts will come and go. In this technique, one is not supposed to forcefully control the mind and keep it away from any thoughts. Allow the mind to think but make sure you do not stick to the thought for long.
In Zazen type of meditation, one should not get annoyed if the mind jumps from one thought to another. Also, if you try to draw your mind away from these thoughts, it will be more difficult to attain relaxation. So, let your mind wander and don't bother to chase those thoughts. Initially, you may find this awkward but with regular practice of Zazen, a time will come when the mind automatically stops flickering, thereby allowing you to focus on your breathing process.
All in all, practicing any of these meditation techniques daily is definitely worthwhile as it sharpens your mind to face any hostile situation effectively.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.