What you need to know before taking the big spiritual leap

Ready to join Club Med? Here’s everything you need to know.

There’s an old Zen saying: “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day – unless you’re too busy; then you should sit for an hour. The spirit of the quote is self-explanatory, which is why spiritual practitioners around the world stress the importance of meditation.

The Dalai Lama, too, beautifully explains meditation in simple words. According to the Lama, “Whatever forms of meditation you practice, the most important point is to apply mindfulness constantly and make a sustained effort. It is unrealistic to expect results from meditation in a short period of time. What is needed is a continuous and sustained effort.

In fact, many celebrities from Lady Gaga to Emma Watson and Julia Roberts swear by the regular practice of meditation. And they are right. Meditation and mindfulness techniques work wonders if you are going through life’s various vicissitudes by alleviating stress and anxiety. Although there isn’t a set of rules to follow before you start meditating, there are some things you need to know before starting this mental decluttering practice.

Here are some simple meditation tips for beginners:

History of meditation

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Historians date meditation back to 3,000 BCE. However, according to PositivePsychology.com, it dates back to 1500 BCE in India, based on the oldest written records from the Hindu tradition of Vedantism. He says the practice of Dhyāna Where Jhana can be translated as meditation and refers to the training of the mind.

Similarly in China, it dates back to the 3rd or 6th century BC. AD based on the writings of an ancient Chinese philosopher Laozi, the Taoist. Some of the terms used to describe meditation techniques can be found in his writings. They are Shou Zhong or ‘keep the middle’, Bao Yi or ’embrace one’, Shou Jing or ‘keep quiet’, Bao Pu or ’embrace simplicity’.

Thus, references to meditation can be found in various religions and cultures, making it difficult to describe when and how it officially began. However, three key people, among many others, played a leading role in spreading the practice of meditation. These are Gautama Buddha (India), Lao-Tze (China) and Dosho (Japan).

Additionally, meditation is widely practiced based on three cultural traditions, namely Buddhism, Sufism, and Judaism. Three other types of meditation practices developed during the spread of Buddhism in India. They are Jainism, Taoism and Confucianism.

Types of meditation

Meditation
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There are different types of meditation, as not all styles are suitable for everyone, especially beginners. These are mindfulness meditation (also known as mindfulness meditation), spiritual meditation, focus meditation, movement meditation, mantra meditation, transcendental meditation, progressive relaxation, loving kindness meditation, and meditation. visualization.

Each style requires a specific type of skill and should be undertaken according to your comfort level.

why meditate

mindfulness
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Nothing should be considered without asking “Why?” and therefore, you need to understand why to meditate and what benefits you can derive from it.

Aware gives us five reasons to meditate – First, it helps to understand your pain; second, it allows you to reduce stress; third, it helps you connect better with yourself and with others; fourth, it helps to improve concentration; finally, it reduces brain chatter.

As meditation has different effects on each individual, the results of the practice vary from person to person. It may not guarantee a particular outcome, but it can help you understand problems and deal with them better. Also, it may not give you instant solutions, but it can help channel your thoughts and energies to react to the things that bother you while keeping you calm. It also allows you to take a positive approach to handling a situation and positively influences your outlook on yourself and others.

Mindfulness comes with practice, but making it a regular part of your routine takes a bit of hard work. Keep it priming effect Keep in mind, set reminders like alarms on your phone, or keep meditation-related items, like a yoga mat or cushions, around you. So whenever you pass them, they invite you to sit down for your daily practice. You can also try creating patterns like taking a deep breath each time you enter your workspace.

Among its many benefits, meditation not only reduces stress and anxiety levels, but also improves health and concentration and helps with addiction issues. It soothes physical and mental pain, also bringing about emotions of benevolence.

Posture, place, outfit and duration

Posture
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Although there is no specific place, as usually seen in the photos (under a tree, on a beach or near the mountains), you can sit in a comfortable position anywhere. However, be sure to position yourself upright with your back straight on a chair, cushion, floor, or wherever feels comfortable. Keep your neck relaxed and your hands on your lap or knees for comfort.

When it comes to clothes, Head space suggests you can choose to wear nothing if you’re in the privacy of your home, or wear something loose so you can feel relaxed while you just focus on your thoughts and do mindful breathing.

If you wish to set a time, you can do so at your convenience, but ideally ten minutes is recommended for beginners in meditation, in accordance with Head space. You can gradually increase the length of the meditation session to 15 or 20 minutes once you have trained your mind well.

However, if ten minutes feels like too long or you start to lose focus, try four to five minutes first to tame your wandering mind and increase it with practice.

Steps to follow

Focus
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Keeping your mind away from all outside noises and distracting thoughts is indeed a difficult task. However, some meditation practitioners say that you don’t have to keep the noises away, just practice in such a way that the noises or thoughts don’t bother you when you meditate.

Aware believes that “mindfulness is the fundamental human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we are doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what is happening around us. Although mindfulness is something that we all naturally possess, it is more easily accessible to us when we practice it daily. »

Since this is a gradual process, you need to take it slow at first. Here are some beginner meditation techniques you can keep in mind before starting this practice.

  • Once you’re comfortably seated, it should be clear why you want to meditate – to feel happier or manage your stress levels or be more focused or whatever else you want to get out of the meditation exercise.
  • Be aware of your posture and your whole body. Try to feel it.
  • Try to clear your mind of all thoughts and do conscious breathing.
  • If you have any physical or mental concerns, take care of them and tell them to relax. Instead of trying to get rid of them, be aware of the physical sensations and let them gradually fade away.
  • mental work suggests that you feel your breath in your belly. Don’t try to analyze your breathing; follow the current. Inhale and exhale.
  • If your mind wanders, try to concentrate, but don’t force your mind to. Be firm but gentle in your practice.
  • Before getting up, give yourself a moment of peace, thank yourself and the universe for helping you meditate, and return to your daily routine with a refreshed mind.
  • It is important to maintain your mindfulness even after meditating so that you can cope with the pressures of everyday life after the sessions.

Various guided meditation courses are also available in line as well as offline. If you find it difficult to practice alone, you can always consult them and register if necessary.

However, even though it may seem repetitive, you must remember that miracles do not happen overnight and you must be patient while trying to perform at your best.

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