What is Meditation?

Meditating Snow MonkeyWhat is meditation? Ask twenty-two people that question and you are bound to get twenty-seven different answers. The way I see it, meditation is a way to calm the mind and be, outside of time and space, and become aware of the present moment. Also for me I recognize the health benefits of even the simple 5 to 10 minute breathing meditation. Someday I would like to learn Transcendental Meditation, but the price tag on learning it puts it out of reach for now.

For me the 5 to 10 minute breathing meditation releases all the muscle tension and emotional stress that builds up in the physical and energetic bodies. This is one thing that many people could benefit from, releasing stress from the body also has effects on the heart rate, blood pressure, and my other aspects of our human physiology and psychology. The 3 minute meditation consists of being aware of your breaths as you breath in and as you exhale.

Om-Creations Pi Seiza BenchThe next thing to be aware of when starting to do a meditation practice is your environment where you will be doing the meditation. A quiet environment is preferable; without distractions. You can sit on a floor cushion with your legs in the traditional cross legged position, in the Zen seiza sitting position, or in a chair with your feet flat on the ground. I personally prefer the seiza sitting position and use a seiza bench like the one pictured to support my upper body so it does not compress the knees and thighs.

Some people light incense during meditation, but this is not necessary and depending on the practitioner it may even cause distractions.

With these basics you will find that meditation can be a very rewarding journey to start on.

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