The key benefits of meditation are a relaxed body, a refreshed mind, a more positive attitude, greater clarity of thought, soothed emotions, and a feeling of balance and well-being.
There is no one perfect meditation for all persons, as each has their own particular disposition and particular needs, but almost anyone can find mental and physical health benefit in performing some type of meditation.
Meditation is the centerpiece of many world religions and philosophies as a method of spiritual practice. The methods and objects of meditation are varied, but the benefits of meditation are generally the same for all practitioners. Today it is not uncommon for medical practitioners to prescribe meditation to alleviate stress, lower blood pressure and increase blood flow to extremities, calm emotional distresses, and ease the effects of chronic pain. You can also search the internet and find numerous findings from studies performed at some of the top universities in the nation confirming the benefits of a daily meditation practice upon the body and mind.
Historically, meditation is part of both Eastern and Western religions and philosophies, though it is not nearly so traditionally stylized in Western practice as in Eastern practice.
In Western practice of Judeo-Christians, meditation may be the focused thought upon a scripture, a repetitious mental recitation of prayer, or catechism. Hymns being softly spoken in repetition are also a popular form of meditation. The word "Selah", appearing at the end of a Psalm is the admonition to "meditate upon this."
Eastern religions and philosophies also prescribe the meditation upon sacred texts and the repetition of spiritual songs as a desirable part of spiritual practice. Many of these philosophies further describe particular methods of meditation as directed by their spiritual founders. They may require the performance of asanas (positions held comfortably), mudras (hand positions), repetition of mantras (mind words), and gazing upon yantras (symbols). Zen meditation is well known to many westerners owing to the appearance of it in films and documentaries. Zen stresses a quiet calmness of mind absent from mental chatter and comment and promotes a focus upon the present moment.
Mindfulness meditation, that holds many similarities to Zen meditation, is being used by the mainstream medical community and is part of an emerging wholeness philosophy in treating serious diseases. This new philosophical model is an attempt to integrate mind, body and spirit into a wellness model. Some convalescent facilities integrate architecture, gardens, and patient environment into a total wellness model that reduces stress and promotes wellness. The word "mindful" has become extremely popular, entering into mainstream fitness television programming. Many dietary consultants promote eating to be a meditative experience encouraging their students to focus intently on each bite of food, chewing and swallowing in a slow, relaxed manner, sensing after each bite their level of fullness, to control overeating.
The particular meditation a person chooses need not be linked to a religious practice, but for best results, it is recommended that the practice not conflict mentally with a person's chosen belief system.
Now let's take a quick look at how Your Environment plays a roll with your mental health and overall well being.
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