Meditation is a practice known throughout the world as a relaxation technique and as a means of deep knowledge of the Self. Although its essence remains the same, this discipline has taken different forms depending on the culture from which it was locally developed.
Let's explore the characteristics of this ancient discipline in more detail:
- What is Meditation?
- Benefits of Meditation
- How to Start Meditating
- Meditation Techniques
WHAT IS MEDITATION?
The origin of the term meditation is found in the Latin word meditatio, literally "reflection", which denotes the most genuine nature of the practice: the recollection aimed at self-development.
The paths and meditative techniques most appreciated and widespread today are often of Eastern origin. They are generally disciplines formed within the great Asian religions, such as Buddhism, Hinduism and Taoism.
To meditate means to immerse oneself in a state of deep calm and to cultivate oneself, by correctly regulating breathing and mastering one's own thoughts.
Meditation allows you to create a space of peace in your mind, a harmonious dimension dedicated to the search for Consciousness and self-healing.
BENEFITS OF MEDITATION
Concentrating in silence, dedicating oneself to inner listening is not only an excellent tool to combat daily stress, but also represents a real elixir for the well-being of the whole body.
Scientific studies, in fact, confirm that the practice of meditation allows us to obtain the following physical and psychological benefits:
- Enhancement of immune defenses
- Decreased levels of anxiety and depression
- Increase in concentration and memory
- Global psychophysical rebalancing
- Increased productivity
- Increased pain threshold
- Improvement of empathy
- Resistance to physical fatigue
- Incline towards positive thinking.
In order to take full advantage of the benefits of this millennial discipline, it is recommended to cultivate a regular meditation practice.
HOW TO START MEDITATING
The practice of meditation is suitable for anyone and it is possible to choose from many different techniques originating from all over the world. To start exploring its extraordinary effects, it is sufficient to carve out 10 or 15 minutes of recollection every day in quiet conditions.
The best times of the day to meditate are in the morning (better still at dawn) or at sunset, if possible on an empty stomach.
You can begin by sitting comfortably either cross-legged, or in the classic lotus or half lotus position. Close your eyes, keep the spine elongated and the neck and shoulders relaxed. To encourage correct posture, it is possible to sit on a special mattress, a low cushion or simply a soft blanket or a cloth. The breath is deep and slow, low and diaphragmatic.
In order to connect with the Universal Self and abandon thoughts of earthly origin, it is possible to repeat or softly chant mantras or sutras. Contrary to popular belief, meditating doesn’t mean stopping thoughts at their origin, but rather letting them manifest and flow in a fluid continuum, like slides, without ever losing sight of the self observation and the Presence of Self.
There are no fixed or pre-established times for meditation sessions: for the beginner it is advisable to start with short 10-minute sessions, which can be extended gradually to 15 or 20 minutes. More experienced practitioners can sit in perfect meditation for an hour or more, but it is not strictly necessary to achieve this duration to enjoy the healing effects of this discipline. The key to success lies in the frequency and regularity of the sessions, rather than in length.
Therefore, it is better to get 15 minutes a day than to aim for long but sporadic sessions.
The "awakening" from the meditative state must take place slowly and progressively, first reuniting one's Being with the surrounding space, then reactivating the body with small movements of the fingers and toes. After opening your eyes and loosening your arms, legs and neck you can stand up, fully energized and filled with a wonderful feeling of relaxation.
TECHNIQUES OF MEDITATION
As already mentioned, there are many different paths of meditation, some derived from ancient oriental religious and philosophical traditions, others of more recent origin.
Among the most widespread meditation styles in the world we include the following types:
This meditative style is based on the path traced by the historical Buddha, Siddhartha Gautama Shakyamuni, and represents - together with the application of Ethics and the pursuit of Wisdom - one of the three fundamental practices for the attainment of Satori. It is divided into two branches, Samantha and Vipassana, respectively aimed at inner peace and liberation from suffering. The practice of Buddhist Meditation provides the tools necessary to combat negative everyday influences and to escape from the state of unhappiness and dissatisfaction associated with attachment to the material world.
- Zen meditation (or Zazen)
Born in the footsteps of Buddhist Meditation, Zazen then assumed its own unique and distinctive characteristics. Its codification is attributed to the Japanese monk Dogen who - in the thirteenth century - developed a system of meditation focused on detachment from negative thoughts, aimed at the removal of mental barriers related to fear and preconceptions. Zen discipline was particularly appreciated by the samuraic class for its pragmatism and orientation towards an immediate, dazzling achievement of enlightenment.
This type of meditation draws its origins from Buddhism, the principles of which it has re-elaborated to present them in a non-religious way, and remodeled according to the most recent investigations in the psychological field. The goal of Mindfulness is to help the practitioner to live in the Present moment and to cultivate oneself according to the "here and now", freed from negative conditioning and anxieties linked to the past or the future. The practice of Mindfulness allows you to draw the best from daily life, fully enjoying every moment. The orientation toward positive thinking will act as a mood enhancer, promoting the release of endorphins and serotonin, with globally proven positive results on the physical health of those who make mindfulness a constant component of their days.
- Sufi meditation
A form of meditation born from Sufism, the mystical current of Islam is famous all over the world for its monks called "whirling dervishes". The purpose of this technique consists of purification and the attainment of union with a supreme dimension. At the heart of Sufi Meditation lies contemplation of the divine, repetition of mantra, the practice of conscious and controlled breathing, as well as ecstatic dance. Regular practice of this discipline allows us to pacify the soul, effectively regulating physical parameters related to stress and aging such as blood pressure, free radicals or LDL cholesterol concentration.
In our Conscious Meditation courses, offered at the YogaYur Rome locations of Gazometro and Rione Monti, we combine the most consolidated and appreciated techniques taken from the different traditions of the world, in order to offer a complete and profound meditative experience.
WEEKLY MEDITATION CLASSES AT THE CENTER OF VIA GIUSEPPE ACERBI 38:
MONDAY from 08:00pm to 09:00pm
AT THE CENTER OF VIA CAVOUR 89:
THURSDAY from 08:00pm to 09:00pm
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"Better than mechanical practice is knowledge; better than knowledge is meditation. Better than meditation is renunciation of the fruits of actions, for peace immediately follows such renunciation."
~ Bhagavad Gita 12:12