The benefits of meditation are diverse. Simply put, it can be a basic self-care technique, alleviating day-to-day stresses and induce a state of deep relaxation.
It can also be much more. Delve deeper into the practice and meditation can develop the mind into a powerful tool, able to achieve singular focus and unwavering concentration at will. Achieving a high level of expertise and higher mental states can be reached, as well as evolution of consciousness and even self-realisation.
Whether you are seeking simple relaxation techniques or striving to reach enlightenment, there is a meditation technique for all degrees of aspiration, motivation, dedication and inspiration.
Choosing a technique
With a reasonable amount of effort you can find a technique that is best suited to your goals.
Following these simple steps can help:
1. Self-discovery: Clearly outline what it is you wish to achieve and what your goals are. Define whether your primary goal for meditation is physically, mentally, emotionally and/or spiritually motivated.
2. Research: Examine available meditation techniques from a broad spectrum of disciplines, traditions and lineages. Note where the technique stems from, the level of expertise of the author or creator and the purpose that it is meant to achieve.
3. Choose: Based on your research efforts, align your objective with the best meditation technique that will help you to reach your desired goal and then practice with diligence and consistency. Use the categories of techniques listed below to help you decide.
Meditation is one of the key components to any authentic spiritual path and a vital stepping stone for spiritual progress. By following these simple yet crucial steps, and by understanding the nuance of available meditation techniques, you can bypass common pitfalls that many beginners’ often face.
Meditation techniques can fall under three categories:
• New age: Developed in the last 50 years or less, the effects of these modern-styled adaptation techniques tend to be more superficial and temporary in nature offering a practitioner benefits such as interim relaxation, tranquility, stress relief, patience, compassion, escape, playfulness, fun and embodiment. ‘New age’ meditations can take the form of dancing meditation, loving-kindness, examining thoughts, emptying the mind or observing the breath, just to name a few. These types of meditations are beneficial but don’t often provide deep spiritual impact.
• Householder: ‘Householder’ techniques are generally timeworn and can come from authentic spiritual paths and traditions. They are so named as they were designed for the person who lives a more traditional life, looking after a family and a home. Meditation techniques that fall under this category are suitable for the more relaxed practitioner who does not necessarily aspire to reach enlightenment or self-realisation. These techniques are considered spiritually promising but are not the most powerful or quick track towards evolution and mind control. Zen forms of meditation such as Vipassana, Mindfulness, Japa yoga and Walking Meditation would fall within ‘householder’ meditations. They are often earnestly practiced in monasteries as well as by ‘householders’.
• Fast track: ‘Fast track’ appeals to individuals who wish to master their minds in the ‘truest’ sense. It is the most effective path of all the three categories and dates back thousands of years. This heritage is what sets these techniques apart from all others. There is a proven history of yogis and spiritual masters who have reached the pinnacle of spiritual success through the application and practice of these techniques. Their effectiveness and potency cannot be denied. Tantric meditation is the ‘fast track’ and includes: Concentration of the mind techniques derived from Kashmiri Shaivism, Mantra and Yantra meditations, Laya yoga, Raja yoga, Prana Uchara, “Who am I” meditation, Golden Shiva meditation, music meditation, and third eye augmentation.
Success in meditation
It is important to have realistic expectations when beginning a meditation practice and realize that reaching a true state of meditation takes time and discipline. Your ‘monkey mind’ will not submit to the required stillness easily. A certain amount of persistence, patience and training is required.
After selecting the technique suited to you and your lifestyle, imbued with the attitude of a Vira, or a spiritual warrior, and resolve to a designated amount of daily practice – at least 30 minutes a day – you will flourish, soaking up all the wonderful mental, spiritual and physical benefits of this life enhancing practice.