How to Meditate: Breathing Meditation

two women meditating

Preface

Let me begin by saying that meditation, by itself, has little to do with religions or cults. Sure, there are a number of religions and followings, which incorporate meditation into their practices. However, meditation, in and of itself, is a discipline of the mind, which enables the practitioner to possess a higher level of concentration and focus. That being said, many people use it as a destresser, as self therapy, or to help assimilate information or refine a practices. Others may use it as a means to connect with the concept of their religious focus (higher state of being or deity). Various forms of meditation can actually be seen in prayer through Christianity, Judaism, and Muslim. Whatever the case may be, I will attempt to steer clear of religious affiliation. There may be some reference to Buddhism, but that’s just because they have contributed greatly in the development of meditation. Now, let us begin the path of how to meditate.

Benefits of Meditation

There are many benefits to meditation. A fun visual to these benefits can be found on the artofliving.org website. Benefits include:

  • Keeps you stress-free
  • Reduces aging
  • Adds more hours to your day
  • Helps you appreciate life more
  • Helps you feel more connected
  • Makes you and those around you happier
  • Improves functioning of your brain
  • Helps you have a good night sleep
  • Improves metabolism and helps you lose weight
  • Increases immunity and helps fight diseases
  • Increases your attention span

This is just a short list. There are actually many more benefits that go beyond the obvious. Some will show up in your life in a variety of surprising ways. Keep reading to find out how easy it is to begin meditation.

Why the breath is a unique aspect of your body to focus upon

Breathing is one of the few involuntary functions of the body, in which we can gain control. The breath is tied to our emotional state. For example, if we are scared, our breathing becomes short and erratic, and when calm, slow and metered. You can invoke the reverse effect on your psyche with your breath. If you are agitated, and consciously slow your breathing, your breath can assist in the normalization of your emotional state. Also, for this to be effective, it takes the mental discipline to refocus your attention onto another object (your breath). Meditation is the means in which one cultivates both concentration and focus. Mastery of meditation can take many years, if not a lifetime. However, planting the seed of meditation in your life begins the journey of practice itself, and will lead ones life in a very positive, fulfilling, and interesting direction. There are many different types of meditation. Typically, everyone who begins meditation will begin with breathing meditation. Some masters have chosen to remain with breathing meditation, and have found enlightenment through that practice alone.

How to prepare for meditation

Posture and Alignment

man meditating how to meditate

 

First and foremost, it is important for your body to be in alignment, with particular emphasis on your head, neck and spinal column. Some may argue that you can meditate sitting in a chair, or lying down. I personally believe these positions may mislead a beginner into a sleep state, which is not the intention of meditation. I have found it to be much more conducive to enter a meditative Continue reading “How to Meditate: Breathing Meditation”