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Meditation

Objective

A practice to cultivate mindful state of being. While a lot of meditation techniques and deeply intertwined with spirituality and cultural traditions - the benefits of meditation have been scientifically proven to have therapeutic effects.


Mindfulness

  • Increase your awareness by being present.
  • 15-20 minutes a day, while sitting eyes cosed.
  • Observe thoughts and sensations in your body.

Steps:

  1. Sit in quiet, comfortable space.
  2. Focus on the comfort of the posture, back straight but not stiff.
  3. Close your eyes.
  4. Focus on your breath.
  5. Observe mental chatter in your brain and sensations in your boody.
  6. Acknowledge distracting thoughts and redirect your attention to your breath.
  7. Practice twice a day.

Transcendental

  • Recites a specific form of silent mantra.
  • 15-20 minutes a day, while sitting with eyes closed.
  • Traditionally taught by a certified "TM" instructor.

Steps:

  1. Sit in a quiet, comfortable space.
  2. Close your eyes.
  3. Silently repeat the mantra in your head.
  4. Medidate for 20 minutes.
  5. If thoughts come, return to repeating the mantra.
  6. Practice twice a day.

Vipassana

  • Gain insight into yourself through self-obeservation.
  • Gain insight into the true nature of reality.
  • Purify your mind, cultivate concentration.
  • Cultivate compassion and loving-kindness.

Steps:

  1. Sit in a quiet, comfortable space.
  2. Focus on the inhalation an exhalation at the nostrils or the rise and fall of the abdomen.
  3. Mentally conduct a "body scan" by gradually moving your focus into different parts of your body.
  4. Gain insight into the concepts of impermanence, suffering and non-self.
  5. Practice once a day (ideally a long sitting).

Yoga

  • Combines physical postures, breath control and mental focus to achieve deep relaxation.
  • Promotes mental clarity and focus.
  • Improves breath control

Steps:

  1. Sit in a quiet, comfortable space.
  2. Breath deeply, relax your body and mind.
  3. Adopt a Yoga pose (Asana).
  4. Concentrate on your breath.
  5. If thoughts come, bring your focus back to your breath.
  6. After 2-3 minutes of holding the pose, try a different one.
  7. do 5-6 sets of poses and conclude the session in 20 minutes.

Zen (aka Zazen 坐禪)

  • Aims to achieve inner peace.
  • Increase self awareness and mindfulness.
  • Gain insight into the nature of reality.
  • Cultivate compassion.

Steps:

  1. Sit cross legged on a cushion or upright on a chair in a quiet, comfortable space.
  2. Maintain an upright, relaxed posture.
  3. Gently close your eyes, maintaining a soft gaze to the ground.
  4. Focus on your breath.
  5. If thoughts come, bring your focus back to your breath.
  6. Keep sessions short at first (5-10 mins), gradually increase session duration.

Prayer

  • Aims to promote spiritual connection and maintain inner peace.
  • Increase mindfulness and focus.
  • Gain personal insights or wisdom.
  • Promote emotional healing and cultivate gratitude.

Steps:

  1. Sit in a quiet, comfortable space.
  2. Take a few deep breaths to relax your body and mind.
  3. Set your intention, it could be a specific prayer, spiritual question or general desire.
  4. Engage in prayer / Spiritual thought
  5. After your prayer transition into a state of relfection and gratitude.
  6. Pray according the the praying schedules of your faith.

My Conclusion

All of the meditation practices that i've studied and experimented with have one thing in common - to promote mindfulness and inner peace. While different traditions and cultures have different techniques and interpretations of achieving the mindfulness state of mind, the objective is ultimately the same. And of course, the hardest part of about any practice is to maintain the consistency of the practice. To truly feel the benefits of a meditation practice one must stick to it and turn it into a habit.