Meditation is a practice of acquiring the full focus of our body to a single point by controlling our breathing or by chanting a word or phrase. The word meditation comes from a Latin verb “Meditari” which means to think. In Tibetan meditation word “Gom” means to become familiar with positivity. That includes concentration, peace, positive thinking etc. In a normal language Meditation is a practice to train our mind to focus or concentrate in something that connects us to positivity.
The origin of meditation is as old as religion. In fact if we go through our religious books the existence of meditation is visible. Even the history of country like Tibet, China, and India also gives the proof of meditation in early eras.
We do find some references of meditation in Vedas (Hinduism). Other types of meditation developed from Confucianism and Taoism in China along with Hinduism, Jainism, early Buddhism in Nepal and India. Dhikr is practice in Islam since 8th or 9th century where repetition of the 99 names of almighty is involved. In Sufism meditation involves specific technique by breathing control and chanting holy words.
Meditation in modern life
In the modern life style we don’t have time to care ourselves. Our biological cycle has changed due to our job profiles. Especially those who are working in night shifts live in their own world. This is the reason why we are facing more physical and mental stress. And to get relief we are taking medicines. For headache we taking painkiller which is affecting kidneys. So to save our kidneys we are taking another medicine which increasing our blood sugar level and to control that again we have to take medicine.
Have we ever thought why our grandparents never faced these type of illness? Why they are more fit then us? It is because of the way they live the life. Physical activity, mental stamina, focus, immunity, play a vital role in our life. Where a person with strong mental stamina can face any situation in life; another person may get shattered in same kind of situations.
We don’t get time to do exercise or anything that relaxes our mind. In early ages people used to live for many years. Even if we go through our history we find that meditation has its existence in those era. Which helped our ancestors to live a peaceful and healthy life. Because Yogasana and Pranayama (meditation) balances the functioning of neuro-endocrine system of body and helps in achieving good physical, mental and emotional health. Translation of the most famous Vedic mantra ‘Gayatri’ says: “We meditate on that desirable light of the divine Savitri, who influences our pious rites” (Rigveda).
Based on the origin and religion background different people meditate in different types. Some people meditate by controlling the breath, some people do by chanting the holy mantras like “OM” or “Gayatri Mantra” or by taking different names of God. In Christianity they meditate or concentrate by reading the Bible. Some people even count the beads tying together by a thread like Jaap Mala in Hindus or Roman Catholic Rosary.
Secular forms of meditation were introduced in India in the 1950s as a Westernized form of Hindu meditative techniques and arrived in the United States and Europe in the 1960s. Rather than focusing on spiritual growth, secular meditation emphasizes stress reduction, relaxation and self-improvement. It builds self-confidence and develops will power.
Meditation creates a cycle of positive energy – health – happiness- performance. Which helps in creating a balanced life in any given situation. It works on different phases:
Mind and performances
Emotional well-being and mood
Health and body
Super Mind and Performance:
A regular meditation helps in increasing mental strength and focus. It improves learning ability, memory retention and recalling power. Better cognitive skills & creative thinking. It helps us in better decision making and problem solving. As meditation helps us to ignore distractions thus we can concentrate and able to see the larger picture in a given situation. By proper information and knowledge processing we can resolve any complex problem. It increases productivity.
According to a research by Mindfulnessinschool.org, presented the listed benefits of meditation for the kids and students:
reduced depression symptoms
reduced somatic stress
reduced hostility and conflicts with peers
reduced substance use
increased cognitive retention
increased optimism and positive emotions
increased feelings of happiness and well-being
improved social skills
improved academic performance
Emotional well-being and Moods:
Proper practice of meditation reduces worry, anxiety & impulsivity. It lessen stress, fear loneliness and depression. It decreases the aging process and provide higher skin resistance. Helps with weight loss and maintains the proper weight. It enhances self-esteem, self-acceptance, optimism, relaxation and awareness. Which makes us confident and helps in developing positive social connections. It also improves our mood and emotional intelligence.
There were also numerous reports of benefits for working professionals:
increased personal qualities of open-minded curiosity, kindliness, empathy, compassion, acceptance, trust, patience, and non-striving, and the skills of focusing, and paying and switching attention
improvements in physical and mental health that tend to follow the learning of mindfulness, including conditions particularly relevant to the professionals such as stress and burnout
improved managing skills
improved physical health
increased ability to give more appropriate support in stressed situation by through being more motivated and autonomous
increased work motivation
improved spatial memory, working memory and sustained attention
Meditation lowers the oxygen consumption thus decreases the respiratory rates. That also helps to increase the exercise tolerance. It leads to a deeper level of physical relaxation by decreasing muscle tension. Makes us sweat less and more inclined to sports and activities. It slows down the heart rates which controls the blood pressure. It helps to drop down the cholesterol levels and lowers risk of cardiovascular disease. Harmonizes the endocrine system.
Improves immune system and energy level. It helps in preventing inflammatory disorders, Arthritis, fibromyalgia and Asthma. Reduces premenstrual and post menstrual syndrome. It also increase the post operation healing capacity.
Meditation makes us lively and happy. It increases our ability to be patient and stay calm. It helps us to under ourselves better. Thus we start valuing other’s views also. It creates a social harmony between all the living beings. As when we attain inner enlightenment, acceptance of oneself, power of forgiveness, we become happy from our soul. Happiness helps us to spread love and peace to others.
According to a study from Emory University, such exercises effectively boost one’s ability to empathize with others by way of reading their facial expressions.
Another study points out that the development of positive emotions through compassion builds up several personal resources, including “a loving attitude towards oneself and others, and includes self-acceptance, social support received, and positive relations with others”, as well as “feeling of competence about one’s life” and includes “pathways thinking, environmental mastery, purpose in life, and ego-resilience”.
Meditation is free of cost. It does not involve any special equipment or any complicated procedures to practice. Even it is not time consuming.
15-20 Minutes of meditation can change our life drastically. We can practice meditation any time anywhere, it has no negative side effects. So let’s experience the feeling of ONENESS and synchronize the life in a positive way. Let’s forget the worries and stress. Let’s reduce our depression and loneliness. Let’s be self-esteem and happy. Let’s spread love and kindness………………come on let us Meditate.