What is Meditation?
Most techniques called meditation include these components:
1. You sit or lie in a relaxed position.
2. You breathe regularly. You breathe in deep enough to get enough oxygen. When you breathe out, you relax your muscles so that your lungs are well emptied, but without straining.
3. You stop thinking about everyday problems and matters.
4. You concentrate your thoughts upon some sound, some word you repeat, some image, some abstract concept or some feeling. Your whole attention should be pointed at the object you have chosen to concentrate upon.
5. If some foreign thoughts creep in, you just stop this foreign thought, and go back to the object of meditation.
The different meditation techniques differ according to the degree of concentration, and how foreign thoughts are handled. By some techniques, the objective is to concentrate so intensely that no foreign thoughts occur at all.
In other techniques, the concentration is more relaxed so that foreign thoughts easily pop up. When these foreign thoughts are discovered, one stops these and goes back to the pure meditation in a relaxed manner. Thoughts coming up, will often be about things you have forgotten or suppressed, and allow you to rediscover hidden memory material. This rediscovery will have a psychotherapeutic effect.
As any kind of training, meditation may be exaggerated so that you get tired and worn out. Therefore, you should not meditate so long or so concentrated that you feel tired or mentally emptied.
Meditation may sometimes give problems for people suffering from mental diseases, epilepsy, serious heart problems or neurological diseases. On the other hand, meditation may be of help in the treatment of these and other conditions.
People suffering from such conditions should check out what effects the different kinds of meditation have on their own kind of health problems, before beginning to practice meditation, and be cautious if they choose to begin to meditate. It may be wise to learn meditation from an experienced teacher, psychologist or health worker that use meditation as a treatment module for the actual disease.
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