Preparing For Meditation
Before starting any meditation technique, it is necessary to have a calm and quiet mind. It is only when the mind is free that real meditation can be experienced. There are exercises that you can do by yourself to help quieten the mind. You may try one or the other before you start your practice of meditation techniques. There is no one exercise that is known to work best. Each exercise would work differently from one meditator to another.
Although these exercises achieve the same results of a calm and quiet mind, they are different in the ways in which this state of mind is achieved. Meditation exercises include among others relaxation exercises, breathing exercises, concentration exercises, mantra exercises and visualization exercises.
1. Relaxation exercises drain tension and stress from the body. It involves the sequential “cleansing” of your body from head to feet, with the dirty energies being drained through the feet into the floor. After ridding the body of negative elements, you can imagine a vast sea of peace in the center of your chest bringing a wave of tranquillity.
2. Breathing exercises focuses the mind to the physical act of breathing. You become aware of how you breathe and when you breathe. You become aware of the way your chest rises and falls each time you breathe bringing your consciousness close to the here and now and away from the problems of yesterday and worries of tomorrow.
3. Concentration exercises take you through certain steps to improve your concentration skills. Often these concentration exercises will let you focus on certain objects and increase your awareness of yourself at the same time. Heightened concentration makes for more effective meditation.
4. Mantra exercises lets you chant a mantra or a word or phrase to help quieten the mind. Chanting mantras are supposed to create a vibration within ourselves to create a personification of the attribute or quality we desire. With mantras, you invite a steady stream of energy with every chant.
5. Visualization exercises use an image to focus your mind on. Through a series of “suggestions,” you are made to imagine a thing such as a flower and see it in your mind as if it is real. The whole series of “suggestions” will go on as far as making you hear, feel and smell whatever it is that your mind is focused on. The spiritual heart is said to be gradually opened by this type of meditation exercise.
These meditation exercises have been practiced as part of meditation techniques coming from various religious and spiritual groups. Their effectiveness in clearing the mind into a calm and quite state have been proven for so many years. When done in conjunction with any meditation technique, any one of these meditation exercises can be beneficial not only physically but psychologically and spiritually as well.
Even modern medical practitioners have espoused the use of these meditation exercises to aid in the practice of meditation techniques. Effective meditation using these exercises are known to have health benefits as well.