There are many different styles of meditation, which are usually techniques developed by diverse cultures and religions over thousands of years. Most major religions have a tradition of meditation included in their teachings, as it is used for spiritual growth, but these days the benefits of meditation are also being recognised in areas of physical health.
One definition of meditation states that it is “consciously directing your attention to alter your state of consciousness” (Worldwide Online Meditation Center). Attention can be directed to almost anything as a focus for the meditation. These commonly include symbols, sounds, breath control, colours, and spiritual thoughts. Meditation is not difficult, but some styles require a teacher to direct the thoughts to the correct area. It is suggested that anyone interested should try several styles of meditation to ascertain which is most suitable for their beliefs and lifestyle.
Traditionally, meditation was used for exploring higher realities and finding inner guidance. The benefits of practicing meditation can include:
• Relief from depression and panic attacks
• Help with drug addiction
• Stress relief
• Pain management
• Management of chronic illness
• Lowering of high blood pressure
• Relief from insomnia
• Emotional and physical balance
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