Meditation is often visualized as an Eastern tradition where the person sits in a circle surrounded by candles and saying mantras or humming. Currently, meditation and its benefits are recognized and is far from what we had in mind before. Aside from the calming effect that it could bring, meditation are often said to be a path to awaken the spirit and start the journey towards spiritual awakening.
Meditation has different schools. Each school would have its own thought about meditation. There are also different techniques for meditation and it can also be classified based on their focus. There are meditative techniques which focus on a field or a background perception, while there are others which focus on a specific object.
Meditation is used to calm the mind and relax the body. Tension, stress and anxiety can be relieved by performing simple techniques. Aside from the inner peace that meditation brings, it can also improve the bodys total and general health. It is also a great way of improving your concentration. There are studies showing the relation between meditation and other concentration exercises with the performances of athletic and sport professionals.
Health benefits of meditation would include better circulation, deeper level of relaxation, increase in exercise tolerance among heart patients, regularizing blood pressure, reduces anxiety attacks and muscle tension, helps against allergies, arthritis, and shows significant help for those who are recovering from operation or surgery.
With this concentration process, you get to listen to the inner self and separate from the pressures of daily life. Understanding the inner self would lead to understanding of our higher self. This would increase our knowledge and understanding how the higher self unites with the universe. In meditation, you get the chance to tap into your inner self and get in touch on how it sees your life. Getting in touch with the inner self will provide guidance towards our happiness and fulfilment.
There are religions which advocate the use of meditation to reach enlightenment. As mentioned, there are different schools of thoughts and focus that each religion adapts. But the method or the technique used is not as important with the underlying concept that behind meditation.
Meditation is about listening to the inner self, therefore it has something to do with controlling your attention and focusing. There are too much distractions that it is very hard for some to focus their attention into what it is important and keeping the attention on fixed object. When focused on a fixed object or field, one-pointedness could be experienced and could take the person to a completely different state. This one-pointedness is not that easy to achieve though, there are some who would need to meditate for years to achieve it.
When one-pointedness is achieved, the person would experience bliss. Bliss is referred to as a natural state of the soul which cannot be experienced easily in daily lives. During this meditative state, spirituality and also the mind expands its consciousness and understanding of nature and the universe. Destructive thinking and behaviour brought about by the materialistic and fast-paced world can be flushed away by focusing more on the your spirituality.
A deeper understanding and knowledge would be felt and the body would be in one with the universe. This they say would be what would link us to the Supreme Being. Attaining this one-pointedness could somehow be compared to a spiritual awakening, where the body and the mind can fully understand what cannot be seen or touch in the material world.