Health, Muscle & Fitness Articles Section
Home - Fitness & Muscle | Muscle Building Articles | Cardio Articles | Fitness Equipment Articles | Weight Loss Articles | Exercise Articles |
Yoga Articles | Supplement Articles | Exercise Motivation Articles | Nutrition Articles | Acne Articles | Breast Cancer Articles | Beauty Articles |
Attraction Articles | Dating Articles | Depression Articles | Diabetes Articles | Goal Setting Articles | Hair Loss Articles | Martial Arts Articles |
Meditation Articles | Motivation Articles | Pregnancy Articles
Meditation: A Path To Inner Peace
Throughout history, meditation has been an integral part of many cultures. Records indicate that meditation was practiced in ancient Greece and India more than 5,000 years ago. In the Buddhist religion, meditation is an important part of their spiritual practice. Different forms of meditation are practiced in China and Japan, and Christianity, Judaism, and Islam have traditions similar to meditation. The word meditation comes from the Latin 'meditari' which means: exercise, turn something over in one's mind, think, consider. It is defined as "consciously directing your attention to alter your state of mind."
Meditation is one of the proven alternative therapies that in recent years have been classified under the mind-body medicine therapies. It is continuing to gain popularity, as more and more health experts believe that there is more to the connection between mind and body than modern medicine can explain. Meditation has been shown to aid the immune system and improve brain activity, according to researchers. More and more doctors are prescribing meditation as a way to lower blood pressure, improve exercise performance, for people with angina, to help people with asthma to breathe easier, to relieve insomnia, and generally relax everyday stresses of life. Many hospitals now offer meditation classes for their patients because of the health benefits. All promote physiological health and well-being.
Traditionally meditation has been used for spiritual growth but more recently has become a valuable tool for managing stress and finding a place of peace, relaxation, and tranquility in a demanding fast-paced world. Benefits resulting from meditation include: physical and emotional healing; easing stress, fear, and grief; improved breathing; developing intuition; deep relaxation; exploring higher realities; finding inner guidance; unlocking creativity; manifesting change; emotional cleansing and balancing; and deepening concentration and insight.
Meditation elicits many descriptive terms: stillness, silence, tranquility, peace, quiet, and calm. All counter stress and tension. Lama Surya Das in his book Awakening The Buddha Within says, "Meditation is not just something to do; it's a method of being and seeing - an unconditional way of living moment by moment." In other words, learning to live in this moment because this moment is all we have. Henry Winkler is quoted as saying; "A human being's first responsibility is to shake hands with himself." Meditation is an opportunity to 'shake hands with ourselves' in a safe, simple way and to balance our emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
Meditation takes many forms in today's society. All have one thing in common. They use concentration techniques to still the mind and stop thought. Various practices exist such as chanting (Mantra), focusing on energy centres in the body (Chakra Meditation), breathing, mindfulness (Mahamudra), loving kindness, formal sitting (Vipassana), expressive practices (Siddha Yoga), and walking to name some of the styles. Try each style and see what works for you or you may want to alternate between the techniques from time to time. For the purposes of this article, I will discuss Mahamudra and walking meditation.
Practical Steps To Begin Meditating
1. Find a place where there are few external distractions. A place where you feel emotionally comfortable, safe, removed from pressure and stress is the optimal location.
2. Wear clothing that is loose and sit or lie in a comfortable position.
3. Plan to meditate in an area that is warm and comfortable. You might want to have a blanket or light covering as some people experience a feeling of coolness when they aren't moving around for a period of time.
4. Candles can be used to focus attention on the task at hand. If you use them, remember to be cautious and extinguish them before leaving the room.
5. Relaxation is a key component of meditation. Take a few moments to bring about a state of relaxation by taking a deep breath through your nose, expanding your lungs and diaphragm. Hold the breath for a few seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth. Do this several times until you feel relaxed.
6. Calm, soothing music can be helpful for inducing a state of tranquillity and relaxation
7. If you are hungry, have a little something to eat, as it is not necessary to meditate on a completely empty stomach.
8. Put your expectations aside and don't worry about doing it right.
Mahamudra is the form of meditation that is a way of going about one's daily activities in a state of mindfulness. It is meditation integrated into all aspects of our lives. This following exercise is one you can do anywhere to create a feeling of inner peace. It is particularly helpful for those times you are stuck in traffic, waiting in line at the grocery store or bank, at the office when days are hectic, or when you are picking up the kids from school or extra-curricular activities. "What I do today is important because I am exchanging a day of my life for it," wrote Hugh Mulligan. Meditation helps us remember to stop and 'smell the daisies.'
Begin by taking a deep breath. Breathe deeply and as you do expand your lungs and your diaphragm. Hold the breath for a few seconds and slowly exhale through the mouth. Focus on your breath and clear your mind. Do this several times until you feel the slowing of your breath and a deep sense of peace fill your body. Consciously feel the peace permeate your body. Drop your shoulders and connect through the top of your head to the Universal Energy. Repeat. If you wish, send peace to those around you by connecting to their hearts with light and love.
A walking meditation is simply an exercise in awareness. There are four components:
· become aware of your breathing,
· notice your surroundings,
· be attentive to your body's movement, and
· take some time to reflect on your experience when you return home.
To practice 'awareness walking' bring awareness to walking wherever you find yourself. Take notice of your breathing. Are you taking short, shallow breaths without even knowing it? If so, take several deep breaths and centre yourself in your body and in the present moment. Appreciate the wonderful body you have and the blessing of being able to walk.
Notice your surroundings. What season is it? Take a few minutes to listen to the noises around you. Feel the wind, sun, fog, rain or snow on your face. Look at the people, animals, birds, sky, trees, and buildings around you. Breathe in and out and realise that you are an integral part of the environment.
Pay attention to your body. Are you holding tension in your shoulders, neck, solar plexus, lower back, or legs? Breath into any areas where you are feeling tension and let it drain into the Earth. Next, pay attention to your posture. Are you standing straight and tall or slouching? Walk in a way that is comfortable for you with your body loose and uplifted. Walk with dignity and confidence, one foot in front of the other and pay attention to the experience of movement. You can walk mindfully anywhere, along a sidewalk, walking your dog, in the mall, along the hallways at work. You simply remind yourself to be in this moment, taking each step as it comes. Some people find it helpful to repeat a mantra (mantras are sacred words repeated in order to bring focus to your mind). You can also use a variation on the walking mantra by counting your breaths. Walk more slowly than you usually do and count how many steps it takes for your intake of breath and how many steps for your exhale. In this type of meditation, your attention is focused on both your steps and your breathing bringing together a wonderful balance of peacefulness and awareness.
Take some time to reflect on your experience when you return home. Five or ten minutes brings closure to your walk and provides an opportunity to make the transition from this 'place of peace' to ordinary day-to-day activities.
Gwen Nyhus Stewart, B.S.W., M.G., H.T., is an educator, freelance writer, garden consultant, and author of the book The Healing Garden: A Place Of Peace - Gardening For The Soil, Gardening For The Soul. She owns the website Gwen's Healing Garden where you will find lots of free information about gardening for the soil and gardening for the soul. To find out more about the book and subscribe to her free Newsletter visit http://www.gwenshealinggarden.ca
Gwen Nyhus Stewart © 2004 - 2005. All rights reserved.
Dumbbell Routines & Exercises eBook - Click Here
Increase Your Muscle Size And Improve Your Physical Fitness In 90 Days Or You Get To Keep This Breakthrough eBook FREE!
"Dumbbell Exercises and Lifting Routines To Help You Gain More Muscle, Lose Weight, or Just Get Yourself in Better Physical Shape... WITHOUT the Hassles, and Expenses of Health Clubs"
"Instant Access to An Illustrated, PDF Ebook That Will Give YOU The Routines You Need To Get In Better Shape in 90 Days or less - Or Your Money Back!" Get the scoop here.
"Instant Access to
Downloadable Guide That Will Give YOU The Routines You Need To Get
In Better Shape in 90 Days or Less - Or Your Money
Back! Learn More."
Serious Fitness Supplements - Muscle Builders
"A Completely Different Approach To Bodybuilding That Can Build Your Physique To Its Maximum Genetic Potential!"
A step-by-step guide that teaches you the secrets, tips, and techniques you need to know to build a chiseled, muscular, ripped, head-turning physique...FAST!
The "Hyper-Growth Muscle Mass Training" course is an extremely effective natural human growth hormone stimulator and packs on slabs of muscle mass, size and enourages hypertrophy faster than you would've ever thought possible...while burning off body fat like crazy!
Highly recommended! Click Here For Maximum Muscle Growth
Fitness-and-Muscle.com Site Navigation
Home Page | Muscle Fitness Magazine | Muscle Fitness Hers | Fitness Supplements | Muscle Supplements | Fitness Muscle Equipment | Muscle Building | Fitness Competition | Muscle Compeititon | Arm Muscles | Home Fitness Workout | Huge Muscles | Muscle Building Workout | Fitness Muscle DVDs | Fitness Accessories | Fitness Dating | Muscle Fitness Articles | Muscle Links | Contact Us
Tips for Better Meditation
Meditation students often come to me and ask what they can do to improve their meditation. Success in meditation is not the result of any one single factor but depends on sustained and systematic effort over a period of time.
The Benefits of Meditation: Tips and Techniques
Meditation is healthy, safe and affordable. In fact it's free.
Druids and Meditation
It's pretty obvious that the ancient Druids used several forms of meditation. That the Druids were able to still and control their minds is unquestioned, but the techniques they used have apparently been lost to the ravages of time and the lack of written records.
Wireless Meditation: Top Five Tips For Wherever-Whenever Mindfulness
The problem with meditation is attachment.We get in the habit of needing our altar, favorite cushion, incense, CD, certain time of day, necessary length of time, or particular style of sitting.
Active Meditation For Surges In Energy Levels!
When I first started learning about deep breathing exercises and meditation I had this pre-conceived notion of sitting very still for long periods of time, my body like a statue, my breathing hardly discernable to an onlooker.Little did I know that this was not the only way to achieve a meditative experience.
Stevia 100% Natural Herbal Sweetener
Artificial sweeteners are developed in organic chemistry labs. Stevia grows wild in the rain forests.
Yoga Meditation For Pain Relief
The purpose of this article is to provide information on methods and techniques on how to cope with pain, or in some instances, possibly even overcoming pain with the use of techniques derived from Yoga meditation.Chronic pain sufferers spend millions of dollars to find ways of relieving their pain.
Practicing Staying Present to the Now
Transformational Counseling is about assisting others to transform their life. Transformational Counseling is a process of assisting others to learn how to let go of the past and live fully in the present.
An Algorithm to Remove "Hurt" from Pain
The behavior of pain was enigmatic. Its responses were strange.
The Art Of Meditation: How Easy Is It?
Meditation is a form of relaxing and a method to spiritual enlightenment that has been around for centuries. Yet with all the different types of meditation as well as the varied methods, how do you know you are truly meditating? Which one is right for you?We are often told that to meditate is to think of nothing and clear your mind, which to me is impossible.
How To Meditate Without Even Trying
I remember when I started trying to meditate. I would sit down, close my eyes, and try to be really calm (my definition of meditation at the time).
Meditation and the Monkey Mind?
Some find the term, "monkey mind", upsetting, derogatory, and insulting. This is a shame, as the point is lost, the ego is involved, and a natural human defense goes up.
Scientific Research on Transcendental Meditation (TM)
Scientific research has shown that the most beneficial meditation technique is Transcendental Meditation (TM). The striking reduction of stress and anxiety caused by TM are 3 times greater than the effect caused by most meditation and relaxation techniques.
The Mind is Like a Frisky Monkey
People are often so discouraged about the results of their meditative efforts.They feel that they are not only not relaxed, but anxious because they couldn't focus at all.
Mastery Through Meditation
Are you still looking? For Love? Self-Worth? To know, truly KNOW, that you are of value to others and the Universe as a whole?What is it that eludes you? That seems to elude so many of us?For many, the part that's missing is the KNOWING. The Knowing that we are worthy, are worthy of love of others, of self-love, of Life itself.
Why Should You Meditate?
Everyone's mind needs a little downtime. We all need time to focus on one task, instead of multi-tasking all day and night.
Meditate with Mindful Breathing
Breathing in, I calm my body. Breathing out, I smile.
Secrets of Meditation For Better Health
Meditation can improve your health, increase energy levels and maximize your enjoyment of life. Without a doubt, more people would benefit from meditation if they took the time to practice the simple exercises used to calm the mind, reduce stress and increase energy levels.
Relaxation Magic - Hypnosis, Meditation, Visualization
Hypnosis, meditation and visualization are three similar processes for accessing a creative area of the sub-conscious mind. Relaxation Magic lessons use a combination of all three therapies for maximum results.
Holosync Meditation - Does It Really Work?
Chances are, if you are on a quest for self-improvement, you've already heard of the Holosync Meditation CD's. What It Is: Developed by Bill Harris in the late 1980s, the Holosync Solution is an audio program designed to bring your brain waves to the alpha (and lower)levels automatically just by listening to the cds.