Meditation is a relaxation technique that utilises focus and concentration to clear the mind, and can have physical and mental benefits for regular practitioners. The most common method or technique to facilitate meditation is by directing all thoughts on the rate and depth of one's breathing. Other approaches to facilitate concentration include using an object or image to focus on, or via the chanting of mantras.
You will be able to meditate most effectively when your mind is clear and uncluttered, which is why the mornings, before you start your day, are most recommended. Alternatively, if this is not practical, try the evenings after work. Developing a regular schedule where you meditate at the same time of day for a set period, will enhance the effectiveness of your meditation. Meditate for as long as you like - there is no set time period. Some people like to have a mentor, who can provide guidance when they first begin the process, and can be a constant source of support and advice thereafter. The following are some broad guidelines for meditation, though variations and techniques do vary:
There are a number of different seated positions that have been developed by meditation practitioners to enhance its effectiveness, though one can also lie down or even walk when meditating. The most well known position is undoubtedly the lotus position, and there are variations on this, including the half lotus. They are all typically cross-legged positions which aim to keep the spine erect. Correct posture is essential to effective meditation, though being comfortable and relaxed is important too.
Meditation is credited with a range of physical and psychological benefits, including: