What is meditation?
Generally speaking, meditation is about relaxing the body and mind by calming the mind and becoming detached. Historically, meditation has been understood as a mystical practice for quieting the mind and praying to the gods in religious practice, or as a way to communicate with the divine, to become one with the divine, or to gain some other extraordinary experience. In recent years, however, the benefits of meditation have been studied and it has begun to be recognized as something that even ordinary people can incorporate into their daily lives. At first, it was mainly practiced by intellectuals and celebrities, but now even companies are actively promoting meditation, and the number of practitioners has increased to more than 500 million people. In this article, we would like to introduce the basics of meditation and the benefits of meditation.
How to do meditation, basics of deeper meditation
There are so many different ways to meditate that it is difficult to define the correct way to meditate, but I would like to introduce the three basics (shinto, shiatsu, shin). These are based on the methodology originally considered to be the basis of Zen meditation, and I believe they are the basics of meditation that are easy for beginners to understand and practice.
(1) Body Adjustment
In other words, it means to correct one's posture. Since there is no clear definition of what constitutes correct posture, it is essential for each individual to achieve the posture he or she thinks is correct. A basic example is to sit on the floor or in a chair with your back straight, relaxing all the muscles in your body and bringing your body and mind into a state of relaxation. However, this is just one example, and you may find your own way as you get used to it. The point is to relax and maintain a sense of tension.
(2) Breathing Adjustment
Breath control is, as the word implies, the act of regulating one's breathing. There are many different ways to regulate the breath, and it is difficult to know what is right and what is wrong. However, regulating the breath is the key to calming the mind, harmonizing the body and mind, improving physical functions, and improving meditation. One example is belly breathing, which is practiced in vocal music, yoga, and Zen. In this practice, the belly is compressed when exhaling and distended when inhaling. This should be done in a relaxed state in conjunction with toning the body.
(3) Mind Adjustment
The last basic concept of " Choshin," as it is written, is to adjust one's mind, but the meaning is slightly different. The meditative state can be said to be the state of shoshin, and it is not easy to achieve this state, so it is necessary to adjust the mind to this state. In other words, choshin is not a parallel concept to choshin and choshin-breath, but rather choshin + choshin-breath → choshin. In other words, if you adjust your body and breath, your mind will naturally adjust as well. Incidentally, in the world of Zazen, there was a term "Hataza, Choshin, Chishin" before the term "Choshin, Choshin, Breath, Chishin" was used.
Three benefits of meditation
Having introduced the basic philosophy of meditation, we will now introduce the effects that meditation can bring. In recent years, its effects have been proven from scientific and medical perspectives, such as mindfulness meditation described below, but please understand that there are individual differences.
Stress reduction does not mean that the stress disappears. By putting the mind and body in a non-ordinary state, one can become aware of the everyday state of being, and as a result, understand what it is, or perhaps we could say that one can become aligned with it. Certain stress reduction results have been demonstrated in the field of mindfulness.
Concentrate on not thinking about anything. This is easy to write, but it is also not easy to do. However, if you are in a state where you can do it naturally, or close to it, it may help you to control your concentration easily when you have to concentrate. It has also been demonstrated that the ability to concentrate has increased after meditation.
To be Positivity
For example, you may get stuck in a negative vicious cycle and can't get out of it. For some reason it doesn't work out, and because it doesn't work out, you get depressed. You feel depressed because you don't do well, and because you feel depressed, you don't do well anymore. In order to get out of this situation, or to avoid falling into it, we should first try to stop, instead of letting the current take over. Doing so may lead to unexpected clues to a solution.
So Easy! 3 types of meditation and how to do them
Finally, we will introduce some typical meditation methods practiced around the world for application.
Samatha meditation is a method of meditation based on the Buddhist term "samatha". The Buddhist meaning of "cessation" is to focus and calm the mind on a single object. In Buddhism, it is said that as "cessation" deepens, the mind becomes more concentrated in "samadhi," or "zenna. The object of concentration can be a candle flame, an incantation, breathing, music, or anything else.
Vipassana meditation is also called "contemplation" or "watching meditation", while samatha meditation is considered "cessation". The difference between the two is that the former is positioned as a means of quieting the mind through mental concentration, while the latter is considered to be awareness of one's own internal phenomena (physical changes, sensations, emotions, memories, thoughts, etc.) by focusing on the present moment. Vipassana meditation is a method of self-observation that leads to self-transformation, and therefore requires deeper concentration, and has traditionally been practiced in combination with or as a step-up from samatha meditation. However, in modern times, there seems to be an increasing number of cases, mainly in the West, where the two are taught without separating the two.
Mindfulness meditation is a meditation method that removes the religious color from the above-mentioned Indian-derived meditation method and extracts only the method, originating in the United States in the 1970s. Since it has no religious connotations, it is easy for anyone to understand, and its effects have been medically proven. However, since the 2000s, it has been attracting renewed attention, especially from celebrities and major corporations. It is synonymous with Vipassana meditation, except for its religious aspects, and is said to be effective for physical and mental health, concentration on work and studies, and improvement of one's real life.
The above is an introduction to the basics of meditation and its benefits. In these days when we tend to get busy with our hectic daily lives for the sake of survival and a better life, it is not uncommon to find ourselves in a state where we have lost sight of what we are really doing. However, once that happens, it is very possible that you will be unexpectedly confronted with some kind of price to pay in order to get out of it. It would be good if you could adopt meditation techniques to prevent this from happening or to become aware of your current state.