While there are many treatments for physical treating your body, you need to meditate to train your mind. Just like you do exercise for your body’s wellness, you have to meditate to keep your brain healthy and well. According to Buddhist traditions, meditation is as important as sports are in the US. Meditation is not just one thing. It is a collection of different activities that are done to train the mind. As a beginner, it would be very difficult for you to sit in one place and keep your mind empty. This is very hard to do since we always have something on our mind, even if it is not relevant. There are a lot of tools for beginners such as beginner meditation DVDs that beginners can use to focus on their breathing and empty their minds.
Concentration is one of the most important aspects of meditation. In this kind of meditation, you have to focus on one point. It could be a single word, image or your own breath. Some people focus on a candle flame while others listen to one song on repeat. No matter what you are doing, your whole focus has to be on one thing. As a beginner, this could be challenging as your brain would drift from that one focal point but this gets better with time. Meditation is a great way to improve your concentration as you let go of any random thoughts and fixate your mind on one thing.
Mindfulness meditation makes you more aware of yourself and your thoughts. Instead of getting involved with every thought that comes to your mind, you just have to acknowledge its presence. The aim of this technique is to see the pattern of your thoughts. With time, you will notice how you perceive thoughts and what kind of thoughts commonly drift through your brain. If you continue doing this, you will reach a point where you will be able to balance your thoughts.
Sometimes, different meditation techniques are joint together to have a full-blown effect. For example, concentration and mindfulness can be joined together to create a stillness of mind for scanning through one’s thoughts.
Aim of Meditation
The aim of meditation has been very precisely explained by Chogyan Trungpa who says that meditation is for attaining blissfulness of mind and soul. It is a method for you to become a better person and be more aware of who you are.
‘Meditation is not a matter of trying to achieve ecstasy, spiritual bliss or tranquility, nor is it attempting to become a better person. It is simply the creation of a space in which we are able to expose and undo our neurotic games, our self-deceptions, our hidden fears and hopes. We provide space through the simple discipline of doing nothing…The basic practice is to be present, right here. The goal is also the technique. Precisely being in this moment, neither suppressing nor wildly letting go, but being precisely aware of what you are. Breath, like bodily existence, is a neutral process that has no ‘spiritual’ connotations’.