There is the concious mind and beneath that the unconcious mind. The concious mind is where the ego resides and our everyday mind chatter takes place.
The purpose of relaxation meditation is to break through that barrier to reach the inner you...the egoless you....the subconcious you. By reaching this level we can find true awareness.
Meditation is the road to self awareness, understanding and discovery. The more we connect with ourselves and reach an understanding of who we truly are, the happier and more content we become.
It is said meditation calms the mind and soothes the body for both are interconnected.
It also helps us understand the fact we are more than just flesh and bone, but are each taking our journey on the path to find the true meaning in life.
Through relaxation meditation we aim to achieve balance and stillness whilst gaining insights that bring us beyond the mind and body connecting us to everything everywhere.
Some may argue that meditation is little more than contemplation and sitting there doing nothing. Others will say when we think about anything we are meditating on whatever occupys our minds.
But really the process is meant to get beneath the surface of the endless day to day mindchatter that preoccupies us. To bring us to the subconscious level of thought where the real, 'you' resides.
Some people only achieve this level occasionally when they have, 'a moment of clarity'.
That is when we seem to become self aware on a deep level and the answers to situations, problems and issues seem to come forth with great ease.
Those moments of clarity are rare but by knowing the right technique we can have them as often as we wish.
We can then unlock our hidden potential and realize our full potential as human beings.
The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation creates feelings of calm, peace and relaxation.
It reduces our respiratory rate helping reduce blood pressure.
It reduces anxiety by lowering the levels of blood lactate.
It relieves stress by helping us to zone out from the worries of life.
It reduces agressive tendencies.
It helps reduce muscle tension and headaches.
It relaxes body functions such as the endocrine and nervous systems.
It can enhance our immune system.
It improves our concentration levels.
It gives us more control of our own thoughts.
It leads us to the source of happiness found in our own peace of mind.
Meditation helps us realize our true potential.
A good way to begin is to try guided meditation courses. They are generally inexpensive and can provide you with a good basis from which to begin the process of meditating.
"True success is self discovery". - Proverb
The Science of Meditation
Many doctors now recommend meditation as a natural alternative to counter stress induced by the pressures of modern life.
In recent studies researchers at Harvard Medical School conducted a series of MRI brain imaging tests on meditating participants.
These tests concluded meditation showed an alteration of hemispheric brain activity and an activation of those sections of the brain in charge of the autonomic nervous system. These govern the functions in our bodies that we have no control over, such as digestion and blood pressure. These are also the functions that are often compromised by stress.
This reveals that by regular meditation the brain can be reoriented from a stressfull mode to one of acceptance, contentment and happiness.
Om, a.k.a Aum is the most revered symbol in Indian religions, including Hinduism, Sikhism, Jainism, and Buddhism.
It is noted that in order to achieve true wisdom and knowledge a person needs to break the bonds of logic and the intellect.
The uttering of om at the beginning and end of meditation, chants and prayers is used to achieve this.
In this simple but philosophical sound there is harmony, peace and beauty.
"Seek truth in meditation, not in moldy books. Look in the sky to find the moon, not in the pond." - Persian proverb
How to Meditate
To get a sense of what to expect watch a meditative dvd or listen to a meditation CD. There are many available and you can even join in as you watch or listen.
Most important though, is to find a quiet place in the environment you are in, One that is free from distraction.
Perform some stretching exercises first to loosen up any tension in your muscles and joints.
Once you've done this try a
exercise to relax your muscles further, slow your heart rate and centre your mind.
You next need a 'point of focus'.
Closing your eyes is best but if you find you don't like to do this you could light a candle and use that as your point of concentartion.
As you sit there, you may find yourself distracted by mindchatter. Buddhists call this, 'a crazy monkey'.
This is natural and you will overcome it in due course, if you are mindful to keep your attention on your point of focus.
At first it will seem you can't get rid of that 'monkey', but he will go soon enough when he realises their is no room for him in your thoughts as he is banished by feelings of serenity and peace.
This is a process that will take some time to develop, so, if you don't notice instant results - don't give up.
Keep at it for at least ten minutes daily and very soon you'll look forward to your meditation time.