Meditation (thinking, contemplating) is not only a topic within religious communities such as Buddhism. Also with the Shaolin, which among other things draw their strength from their mind training, and nevertheless in the different martial arts like e.g. Aikido or Karate.
In addition, regular meditations are also used in popular sports where body and mind are strengthened and brought into harmony. These include yoga and Pilates, for example. Meditation can be a wonderful supplement to training.
Table of contents:
- Preparation for meditation
- Meditation - Simple examples and exercises
- Example 1: Breathing meditation: inhaling, lingering, exhaling, counting and again
- Example 2: The Picture - The Scene of the Ship
- Closing remarks - Meditation
Preparation for meditation
As with almost all things in life, good preparation is indispensable. So it makes sense to set a fixed time of day from the beginning in order to meditate. This fixed time is enormously important in order to include meditation as a daily routine in one's everyday life. Because meditation is not something you do once every 4-5 weeks, it should become part of your own life. A recurring period in which one renounces everyday stress and concentrates entirely on one's own self, body and mind. Already 15 minutes a day can considerably increase your own well-being.
In addition to a fixed time, the place of meditation is also of enormous importance. If you have the possibilities, you should set up a small meditation corner in your apartment or garden. A place of relaxation that is only used for this purpose. This place of peace should be prepared beautifully. Flowers, candles, a beautiful picture or maybe a sculpture or singing bowls . All these things you like create a cosy atmosphere. You can complete the whole thing wonderfully with a good cup of tea and a incense stick .
Now we have found a time and a place for our meditation. Now make sure that all possible disturbing factors are switched off. Switch off the TV, radio, mobile phone and telephone, if necessary turn off the doorbell!
Before you begin with the actual meditation, take a comfortable position. The posture during meditation is crucial. Martial artists often take a posture directly on their knees, as you know it from greeting before and after training. The problem here is often that after some time this posture is perceived as uncomfortable, so aids such as a meditation cushion or a meditation bench are allowed and also advisable to maintain a comfortable upright posture during the entire meditation phase. You can also build your own meditation bench.
Try out how you sit really comfortably. Different sitting heights or sitting styles (e.g. on your knees, cross-legged or lotus) should be found by everyone before starting the meditation. In addition, it is recommended to wear wide and loose clothing (e.g. jogging trousers). A woollen blanket helps to raise the body temperature to a comfortable level and to keep it there.
In posture, it is still important to make sure that the upper body is always absolutely upright and straight. Neither sit in a hollow back nor make a hump. The air flow while breathing or the Ki (Chinese: Qi - spoken: Chi - universal energy in Asian philosophy) must be able to flow optimally. The hands are placed on the thighs without tension. Always keep your head upright.
Now that the time, the wonderfully prepared place and the correct body position are clear, the actual meditation can begin.
Meditation - Simple examples and exercises
Meditation - There are now some ideas, approaches and hints - Although the topic of meditation is quite complex and widely spread, I will nevertheless try to give some suggestions. First of all: Anyone can meditate! However, the whole thing is also a matter of practice, so that one can gradually dive deeper and deeper.
For example, insight or mindfulness meditation consists of freeing one's mind (or oneself from one's ego). The goal is not to think about anything anymore and just to stay here and now. No feelings, no thoughts, no evaluation and feeling of anything. Anyone who has ever tried to think of nothing knows how difficult this is.
In Samatha meditation, for example, breathing is a central anchor point in mind training. Especially through deep abdominal breathing (diaphragmatic breathing) you can control and influence much more than you might think.
Concentration meditation, Samatha meditation (or sometimes also called calm meditation) is a Buddhist form of meditation in which the practitioner focuses on a single thing, for example the perceptible breathing, a picture, a scene or a single thought. Here are some application examples and exercises.
Example 1: Breathing meditation: inhaling, lingering, exhaling, counting and again
After taking a comfortable posture, close your eyes. Now breathe in slowly through the nose (the mouth is closed) for two seconds. Stay for another second (hold your breath) and then breathe out slowly (also approx. 2 seconds) through the slightly open mouth. After each exhalation you take a short break and count up. So after the first exhale you think: ONE! Then you repeat the sequence and count after the exhale and the short break: TWO! And so on.
In this exercise it is not primarily a question of how long you inhale or exhale. The information is only for first orientation. Most newcomers to meditation for the first time will not go beyond 5 or 6 in this exercise. But this is not bad at all, or even rather good. Because by concentrating on the here and now, the extremely conscious inhalation and exhalation, one quickly forgets which number one was actually at. If you have reached 10, you simply count back again from the next run, 10, 9, 8, 7, etc.... When you arrive at zero, you slowly open your eyes and briefly feel into yourself. A good feeling or?! 😉
This game can be played in different variations. For example, you can count before each breath (inhale) instead of after the sequence (during exhalation) or in the middle between inhalation and exhalation. It is worth experimenting here.
Example 2: The Picture - The Scene of the Ship
Personally, I like pictures. Imagine the open sea, far and wide only water to the horizon. Only a ship further away can be seen, which sails away from you. You sit on a tiny raft or plank which floats through the open wide sea. While breathing, you feel the movement of the waves of the sea. The raft swings up (inhale) and down (exhale) on the water. You float there, always in the direction of the ship....
Closing remarks - Meditation
As already mentioned, this article is only intended to provide a small entry into the world of meditation and mental exercises. I hope that I have succeeded. I will certainly extend this contribution from time to time. You can also send me praise, criticism and feedback. Maybe you have developed your own methods and ideas which you would like to share with others.
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