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Meditation for Dummies

Conducting a simple Google search to find the true meaning of “meditation", you are bound to find vague rhetoric alluding to words like mantra, enlightenment, drishti, and the like. There doesn’t seem to be one definition of the word that everyone agrees on!

Opinions may differ in what exactly meditation entails, but the clinically-proven benefits are undeniable: reduced stress, improved sleeping habits, decreases high blood pressure; increased focus and attention, the list continues…

It is a state of being that is alert, intensely focused, yet calm and relaxed at the same time. Meditation may be about finding inner peace or inner quiet. If you lay down on a park bench for ten minutes with your eyes closed to relax, you are meditating. Meditation is the practice of emptying the mind. Variations go from there.

Here’s a quick synopsis of our favorite types of meditation:

  1. Creative Meditation / Visualization: Usually accompanied by a tape or instructor (and maybe some dreamy background harp music) leading the listener on a guided fantastical meditation that taps into the creative part of your brain.
  2. Open-Eyed Meditation: I have a hard time holding my eyes open in shavasana so I am a fan of Open Eye Meditation, or OEM. Two objects (one far left/one far right) are chosen to be the focus of each eye. External senses are heightened. Restorative and energizing results.
  3. Laughter Meditation: Your body doesn’t know the difference between real laughter and fake laughter, so go ahead: laugh at nothing! Laughter releases feel-good chemicals in the brain, relieves stress, and we are aren’t surprised to learn it helps combat depression and anxiety as well!
  4. Meditation with Crystals: “Healing Crystals" -- I am a fan! I don’t really believe that crystals can heal or cure or treat any ailment, but I want to believe! Meditate with crystals by identifying their metaphysical properties, then gather the crystals and hold them, carry them with you, or place on acupressure points or chakras for maximum placebo effect. For example, if you're getting a headache, just rub a smooth chunk of amethyst against the temples.
  5. Meditate in a Labyrinth: Walking around in a giant rat maze for humans can actually still and quiet loud compulsive thoughts and sharpen problem-solving skills in the left and right brains. I think it sounds fun, why not?

What’s your favorite way to meditate?

By: Amber Jennings (G+)

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