Meditation is a practice that is very old, yet still sees use today. It is a mental regimen of concentration and breathing to increase inner and outer awareness. Many people claim that it works well for relieving stress and tension. It is also used to study and understand difficult problems. There are a lot of meditation techniques that are commonly used today. Here are three to look at.
Raja Yoga Discipline
Yoga is not all about physical exercise and postures. Hatha yoga is the physical side of yoga that most people see. However, Raja yoga deals with exercising the mind and the body. It is a very old discipline that is still used today.
In Raja yoga, you will learn that the true self is the soul. This "self' is actually three different things. The subconscious mind, conscious mind, and the intellect. In Raja yoga beliefs, all thought originates from the subconscious mind. It gets to the conscious mind in waves like water. However, the intellect stands between the two minds. It has the power to filter thought as it flows to the conscious mind.
In Raja yoga exercises, you concentrate of peaceful and serene thoughts, to still the mind. Your concentration only allows the thoughts of peace and serenity to enter the conscious mind. It keeps out negative and harmful thoughts. Eventually your entire mind and essence are filled with good thoughts.
TM or transcendental meditation involves a "looking inward" process. It teaches that one should turn thoughts to primal levels and experience these different states of mind. In this way, one can "transcend" normal conscious thought, and discover the true source of thought.
It is not difficult to practice TM. One can sit quietly and concentrate on a single sound. An often used sound is the word "OM". OM is said to be all of the thoughts in the universe compressed into one sound. One concentrates on this sound with the exclusion of everything else. This is believed to allow one to "transcend" normal thought and discover where it really comes from.
Zen meditation teaches that one should clear the mind of all conscious thought. Once this happens, you will see the true self. When you have this knowledge, it will help you in all other facets of life. You will be able to separate the non-important from the important. Life will be easier to cope with.
You may practice clearing the mind by sitting and relaxing on the floor. A cross legged position may be used, but it is optional. When thoughts enter the mind, try to sweep them aside and return to nothing. In the early stages, you may only be able to do this for short amounts of time. Keep at it, and the "blank" time will lengthen. Some people find that concentrating, but not thinking about something, helps. For example you may pick something in the room or a body part.
If you are looking for meditation techniques, there are many to choose from. In Zen practice, one clears the mind of all thought. This is said to reveal the world as it really is. TM uses sounds or mantras to transcend the normal thought patterns. This is believed to be very soothing and relaxing. Raja yoga teaches that the intellect has the power to filter thought before it enters the conscious mind. With practice, only warm and pleasant thoughts will be allowed in your mind.