Anyone who is anyone these days has learned about meditation to some degree; you can’t escape it. The concept of meditating is everywhere and with so many advantages for the body and mind, it is little wonder that people are flocking towards the various meditation techniques.
In truth, people meditate for different reasons. From the calm, zen state of the Buddha through to a moving meditation that takes you on a walk through nature, there is no limit to how you can meditate.
But what many people don’t understand is the goal of meditation practice. So, in this article, we are going to be looking at how you might benefit from the practice of meditation and what is the purpose of meditation.
Why Do People Meditate?
Some people may be in search of who they really are and will use their meditation practices as a way of connecting with their higher self. Other people might want to connect with a higher power and will meditate as part of their spiritual activities. The concept of meditation dates back thousands of years and it is commonly seen in eastern religions such as Jainism, Hinduism but Buddhists are most commonly associated with these practices.
The Buddha himself was often seen meditating and this was a man who was in search on spiritual enlightenment; and who achieved it. Many Buddhists now use this exercise as a way of also reaching the path to enlightenment.
But meditation isn’t only a spiritual thing. There are a lot of practitioners who will use it to help them get through times of suffering or trauma. Throughout our lives, we will all experience suffering and for the most part, we don’t deal with it correctly. The problem is that we do not understand why we are suffering but meditating can be a way of improving your understanding of a situation.
You can also gain a much greater level of self awareness and this can go a long way in helping you as you go down any path of suffering.
But much more than this, a lot of meditation enthusiasts will engage in these practices as a form of pain relief and to improve their overall well being. Meditation may be a mental technique but it has been proven time and again to have positive benefits on both the body and mind. Engaging in this practice can be beneficial in almost every area of your life.
What Is The Main Goal Of Meditation?
It’s all well and good understanding why people meditate but what do they ultimately get out of the experience? Is there an end goal?
Once again, the end result of these experiences is largely down to the person who is practicing. However, if we go on the teachings of Buddha, we are led to understand that meditation allows us to find our way down the path to enlightenment. Someone practising in this way may devote their life to meditation.
Buddhism seems to have a very significant role in meditation and how people view it. The reason for this is likely because the practice is so often seen in the religion. Buddha talked about three ‘trainings’, one of which is meditation. He encouraged his followers to live a more ethical life and as a result of this life, they were able to practice meditation much more effectively.
Conversely, those who meditate for different reasons may have a rather different end goal. Meditators all around the world have been engaging in the practice as a way to clear the mind, and this is a great angle of looking at meditation.
It serves as a way to slow down the mind and prevent it from being overwhelmed with thoughts. You don’t need to be one of the top meditation masters in the world to achieve this. the beauty of the practice is that it is exactly that; a practice.
There is a lot of confusion around meditation with many believing that you have to eradicate all thoughts from the mind. But when we look at the many traditional teachings of meditation, we see that one should observe each thought and not interact with it, rather than trying to push it away.
By doing this, we allow our minds to behave naturally but gain a degree of control over them.
Furthermore, one of things that could serve as the purpose of meditation is to relax. This is undoubtedly one of the main benefits of the practice and regardless of your level, you will certainly feel a lot calmer after just one session.
What Are The Benefits Of Meditation?
As a human being, you will notice many positive benefits of meditation as soon as you start practicing and this is what attracts many people to the concept in the first place.
In truth, the advantages associated with meditating are so vast that these things would require an article all of their own to fully understand them. But we felt it was important to give oyou a brief overview of what results you can expect in both the mind and the body when you begin meditating.
- Meditation improves your overall state of mind and as such can leave you feeling much less stressed. We all face stress in our life and meditating allows us to take a different view on things.
- We develop a greater sense of self and this can help us to better manage our life and any suffering or trauma we may experience.
- There are some benefits to meditation that affect the physical body such as pain relief and improving our sleep patterns.
- Mediation can also help to improve your overall mood. Whether you have been suffering from depression or crippling fear and anxiety, it has been shown to improve mental health dramatically.
- Those practicing Buddhism often meditate to improve their patience and tolerance but you don’t have to be religious to benefit from this aspect of meditating.
- Meditating is also extremely useful for boosting your creativity.
What Are The Three Types Of Meditation?
While many people become confused over the purpose of meditation, other struggle to understand the various types of meditation. There is a belief that there are only a few ways to meditate but in reality, there are many ways to engage in this age-old practice.
The type of meditation you do will depend on several factors like whether you want to benefit the mind or the physical body, whether it will be a spiritual experience or whether you are able to calm the mind effectively or need something a little more lively.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at the different types of meditation and what the goal of meditation is in each case.
Mindfulness meditation is perhaps one of the most easily recognized forms of meditation in the west. This is something that can help us in many ways and if you have a meditation app, this is typically the kind of meditation you will be practicing.
Mindfulness meditation comes from the teachings of Tibetan Buddhism and involves being in the present moment. For this, you need to find a quiet space and get your body into a posture with the spine straight. You will then focus the mind and watch your thoughts without judging them.
The goal of this is to relax and feel centred allowing you to focus better in your day to day life and improve your concentration.
Looking at the subject, it is clear that for many, particularly Buddhists, Hindus and others that follow eastern faiths, meditating is a deeply spiritual activity.
The sole purpose of this sort of meditation is to make a connection to a higher power. Some people will use incense and candles making this a ritualistic practice.
It can help us to deepen our spiritual connection and help us to grow.
Mantra meditation involves chanting a mantra. This can be done silently or out loud. Either method is fine but the point is to keep your focus.
It can bring on greater feelings of awareness and can help you to become tuned in to your environment.
As a human being, it is very easy to become distracted but using a mantra system can help to retain your focus rather than concentrating on the breathing as you would in other types of meditation.
The purpose of transcendental meditation is to promote a sense of awareness and instinct where the practitioner is entirely relaxed. It is something that many people attempt but not many follow through as it is considered to be a life-long practice.
It can cause feelings of heightened bliss and is ideal for anyone who wants to try a type of meditation that requires devotion and structure without committing to any sort of religious practice.
You can see more about the effects of this powerful meditation by reading this study.
Another of the most popular types of meditation is visualisation whose purpose is to help you relax the body and the mind. It is also used to help with stress.
This is also a good meditation for people who are trying to combat fear or suffering in their life. You will find thousands of guided practices that help you to uses all of your senses to create a visualization.
This sort of meditation is used by those who want to promote healthy relationships with others. It comes from ideas based in Buddhism but can be done by anyone.
If your natural instinct is to feel uptight, selfish and unloving to others, you aren’t alone but this type of meditation can help to reverse those feelings into more positive ones like compassion, love and kindness.
Meditating is a hugely popular practice that requires nothing more than a quiet space and an open mind. While many people are under the false impression that we need to sit in a cross-legged, Buddha-like position and completely clear the mind, this is far from being the reality.
The real purpose of meditation depends on what you want to achieve from doing it. There is no denying that it will have a positive impact on your mind, body and your overall well being but there are several purposes in doing it.
You might have the goal of becoming more relaxed and relieving stress or you may want to connect to your spiritual side. Mainly, meditation is designed to clear the mind and heal the body. With many apps and meditation events popping up, it has never been easier to get started!