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What Is Meditation?

Meditation is a practice of conscious or mindful focus upon a sound, an object, the breath, body movement or thought, in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth.
Meditation has been mystified by Godmen. It has been made to sound almost unattainable to mere mortals. Classic scriptures have stated that to attain true states of meditation one must go through several stages of spiritual evolution. Meditation has been associated with penance, austerity, physical hardship and concentrated contemplation to attain a union with divinity. Meditation basically means awareness. Whatever you do with awareness is meditation. Watching your breath mindfully is meditation. Listening to the birds is meditation. Swimming, walking or playing golf with awareness is meditation. The criterion is that these activities should be free from any other distraction to the mind. Published scientific research has included a lot of activities which relax the mind and improve health as ways of meditation.
Types of Meditation:

There are many types of meditation one can choose from. Meditation ranges from quiet introspection to screaming gibberish. From breath awareness to Sufi swirling. From Vipassana to dynamic dancing. From Yoganidra to hitting golf balls. You can choose one of the many, a combination of any or all of them if you please. The best way to choose your style is by trying. Meditation is a “hands on” phenomenon where no amount of description in words can convey its essence. You have to jump in the water to learn to swim. You have to experience meditation yourself.
Benefits of Meditation

Meditation alters the stress response favorably. When you meditate regularly, you're able to control your body's reaction to stress instead of it controlling you. The diseases which are favorably affected by meditation include hypertension, heart disease, some forms of cancer and several infectious diseases. Meditation boosts the immune system. The state of relaxed awareness brought about by meditation helps our body repair itself. Meditation improves the overall mental performance. Intelligence is increased, the reaction time is shortened and the concentration is enhanced. The right brain function of creativity, in poetry, music or any other art form is shown to increase with meditation. Meditation has shown great improvement in sporting performance. Increased self awareness, which is one of the features of meditation, in turn improves self esteem. The false ego is not nurtured but a true sense of self worth develops with meditation. Smoking, alcoholism and even drug addiction have been “cured” by the practice of meditation.

For more detailed information on meditation you could refer to the book
“Calm Sutra, the Art of Relaxation”. To learn Calm Sutra swar meditation click here.
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