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Meditation: Complete Guide (Updated 2021)

Meditation: Complete Guide (Updated 2021)

In this article, we reveal everything you need to know about meditation, including where to meditate, its benefits, different types of meditation, meditation techniques, and much more. Let's get started! 

Introduction

An old zen saying goes “You should sit in meditation for 20 minutes a day. Unless you’re too busy, then you should sit for an hour.” If that doesn’t sum up the importance of this astounding practice, then you should read to the very last word in this article. 

In this article we discuss the following:

  • What is Meditation
  • Meditation Definition
    • Meditation Etymology
      • What does Meditation do
      • Is Meditation Good?
    • Where Does Meditation Come from
      • Eastern Meditation
      • Western Meditation
      • Indian Meditation
  • Where to Meditate
    • How Much Meditation is Enough?
      • How Long Should You Meditate
    • Is Yoga a Type of Meditation?
  • Meditation and Religion
    • Religions that Meditate
      • Meditation in Islam
      • Meditation Definition in Buddhism
      • Christian Meditation
  • Benefits of Meditation
    • Physical Benefits of Meditation
    • Medical Benefits of Meditation
    • Negative Effects of Meditation
    • Meditation for Anxiety
      • Meditation Techniques for Anxiety
    • Meditation for Sleep
      • Meditation Techniques for Sleep
      • Relaxation Meditation for Sleep
    • Meditation for Stress
      • Meditation Techniques for Stress
      • How does Meditation Reduce Stress
  • How to Meditate
    • How to Start Meditating
      • How to Meditate Properly
      • Meditation for Beginners
        • How to Meditate for Beginners
      • Meditation Techniques for Beginners
  • Types of Meditation
    • Mindfulness Meditation
      • Mindfulness Meditation Guide
      • Dangers of Mindfulness Meditation
      • Types of Mindfulness Meditation
    • Guided Meditation
    • Spiritual Meditation
    • Focused Meditation
      • What is Focused Meditation
    • Movement Meditation
    • Transcendental Meditation
      • How do you do Transcendental Meditation?
    • Yoga Meditation
      • Types of Yoga Meditation
    • Mindfulness vs Transcendental Meditation
  • Meditation Techniques
    • Zen Meditation
    • 10 Minute Meditation
    • 20 Minute Meditation
      • 20 Minute Guided Morning Meditation
      • 20 Minute Guided Meditation for Anxiety
    • Calm Meditation
    • Deep Meditation
      • What Happens in Deep Meditation
      • What is the 4 7 8 Breathing Technique?
  • What Can You Use to Meditate On
    • Meditation Pillow
    • Meditation Chair
    • Meditation Music
      • Meditation Music for Sleep
    • Meditation App
  • Meditation at Home
    • How to Meditate at Home
  • Meditation Near Me
    • Meditation Classes Near Me

What is Meditation

In short, meditation is the practice of quieting the mind in regular intervals by sitting with eyes closed and in silence. It is essentially the practice of mindfulness, and this practice can be accompanied by guided vocals, or focusing on objects or mantras in order to remain focused. 

By sitting in meditation for as little as 15 minutes a day, one can find emotional stability and calmness that will affect future decision making and general interactions in the world. 

Meditation Definition

Meditation Etymology

The word meditation is derived from 16th century Latin where ‘meditat’ meant ‘contemplate’ or ‘ponder’. 

What does Meditation do?

Most people see the greatest benefit of their meditation practices in the time following the meditation itself. It gives one the clarity of mind to approach life and situations from a broader perspective. 

Meditation also has a myriad of benefits on physical health that is still being documented by modern scientists. It would seem that calming one’s thoughts gives way for numerous changes such as lowering of blood pressure and reduction of symptoms of IBS. 

Is Meditation Good?

It is estimated that globally around 500million people make the practice of meditation a daily ritual. Simply based on these numbers, one could definitely conclude that the practice of meditation is in fact very good indeed. 

Shanna Watkins from the Borne Collective highly recommends this dynamic practice: “I think getting alone, in a quiet, comfortable place is extremely important, because otherwise, how is anyone able to truly examine the essence of who they are?” 

According to Watkins, meditation is about quieting the mind and simply allowing our inner-being to expand, thus elevating how we feel. Meditation gives the space for your truest thoughts and feelings to become your dominant thought.

Like everything in life, meditation is not something someone else can really confirm or reject for you. It demands to be given a fair trial in your daily ritual in order to see how it works (or doesn’t), and then you’ll be able to deduce it as either “good” or not. 

Where Does Meditation Come from

Meditation is an ancient practice, and tracing it back to a very definitive time in history is almost impossible. Many historians speculated that meditation could be as old as 5000 BCE. 

There is evidence of meditation as a practice in all ancient civilizations, from Egypt to China, to various regions of South America. Suzie Qualle from Grounded Revival expands on this, noting that meditation exists in many cultures and religions, we all just call it different things. Whether you are praying, meditating, or setting intentions - you are attempting to be a better version of yourself - to be more connected, grounded or calm.

Eastern Meditation

In the east, meditation is an important part of personal and spiritual development starting from early childhood. 

Eastern meditation focuses on the notion of emptying oneself so totally in order to reconnect with nature. Bringing peace to what is known as the “monkey mind” is the goal, so that the endless rushing stream of thoughts are eliminated and true inspiration can flow in its place. 

Juli Kramer, a practicing qigong and meditation instructor, breaks down the monkey mind as “letting the mind bounce any direction it chooses to go, which is likened to the mind of a child. Toddlers and monkeys bounce around, never controlling or guiding their thoughts and actions. In an adult, “monkey mind” more often than not is filled with overthinking and worry.”

Western Meditation

Western meditation focuses a little more closely on establishing a more tangible, personal relationship with god. Meditation is a fluid practice, and never seeks to define god for any participant, but rather encourages each individual to figure out what the one initiate creator means to them. 

Old Christian forms of meditation did seek to push a single image of god onto people for some time, but this was quickly shown to be impossible and incongruent to the natural shape that this practice usually evokes. 

Indian Meditation

Traditional Indian meditation is known as Vipassana meditation. This is a technique whereby one takes a more active role in their practice, and instead of seeking to have no thoughts, one instead uses the mind to work their way through desires and aversions that come up during sitting. 

This is the meditation technique that was originally founded by Buddha, and it is said to be what eventually led him to his state of enlightenment. 

Where to Meditate

No one can tell you where to meditate. Meditation can take many forms, and there are skilled individuals who can even do it while their eyes are open, like while driving a car. 

For beginners, it is generally recommended that one find a specific space in which to attempt meditation for the first time. A comfortable zone in your home will suffice, such as on a couch or even on your bed. You want to make sure that whatever is underneath you is aptly cushioned so that your bodily discomforts don’t break your ability to zone out. 

How Much Meditation is Enough?

This is another thing no one can define on your behalf. Some people find they can’t function in the world unless they’ve done at least an hour of meditation every morning. Then there are others who can do a 5-minute guided practice using a meditation app and feel all of the same benefits. 

How Long Should You Meditate

This question is extremely subjective and something you will figure out as your journey with this practice unfolds. As a beginner, aim to sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes a day to start with. 

As you gain more experience and confidence in your practice, you may find you’re craving longer and deeper periods. 

Is Yoga a Type of Meditation?

Meditation can involve movement, such as walking through the woods or even gardening without distraction. In this regard, yoga is indeed a form of moving meditation, and is a great way to dip your toe into this world if sitting still with eyes closed seems like a bit of a reach at first. 

Meditation and Religion

Let’s get one thing straight: meditation is not religious. It is entirely valid to be a person who meditates daily, and holds no belief in one secular culture or another. They are not mutually exclusive, and you should run far away from any individual who would try to convince you they are. 

That being said, a lot of religions do incorporate meditation as a part of their daily rituals, because they acknowledge the undeniable benefit that there is to be gained in doing so. 

Religions that Meditate

Meditation in Islam

Islamic religion holds meditation and worship hand in hand. The goal is defined as setting aside time for the remembrance of God, which ironically is what many other religions describe meditation as too. 

In Islam, there is a state of “spiritual excellence” that can be attained through disciplined practice. 

Meditation Definition in Buddhism

Buddhism doesn’t identify itself as a religion per se, but the practice of Buddhism goes hand in hand with the practice of meditation. The one entire spectrum of spiritual realization is rooted in  proper practice of the other.

In Buddhism, the intent is to achieve a point of single-mindedness, to the point of realization of the impermanence and ever-changing nature of the world. Through this, awakening is possible. 

Amelia Alvin is a psychiatrist at the Mango Clinic, and regularly references Buddhist meditation in particular. “Among other highly weighted life rituals of Buddhism, meditation is at the top of all. It has multiple ways that include music, bathing, and exercise.”

Christian Meditation

Christian meditation is where religious dogma becomes blurred with good intentions. Their meditation dates back to times before any of us were even a blimp in the universe, and it was used to essentially resolve legal disputes due to instruction from the Bible. 

In essence, it encouraged members of the region to not look for help when they had been wronged by either the church or members of it, but rather to sit in the injustice and accept it as is. In any functioning society, it can be impractical and dangerous to advise someone not to seek legal help when needed, and to suggest that meditation is the only point of order for them to turn to. 

Benefits of Meditation

Meditation brings about many benefits for an individual both physical and nonphysical. It is also possible to set intentions for specific types of benefit to arise before beginning a meditation practice. 

For example, someone struggling with feelings of fear when they get behind the wheel might meditate on specifically easing that fear experience. Perhaps the benefit of meditation is better summed up in this quote by spiritual author Ravi Kathuria: “Meditation is the Universe's most amazing gift for human beings. Meditation is not something we do, it is something that happens to us. When we quiet the mind, when it is completely silent, we enter naturally and automatically into a meditative state. This meditative state allows us to experience the ocean of bliss and peace within us. The experience of our internal bliss is more powerful than any experience in the external, material world. Regularly experiencing and connecting with our inner bliss makes our lives golden in a way we cannot imagine.”

Physical Benefits of Meditation

The physical body is very much at the whim of whatever is going on with our emotions and mental body. Since the mind creates and affects matter, the physical body only has much to gain from regular periods of peace. 

These benefits are different for every individual depending on what they are dealing with at any given point in time. Meditation has shown to lower blood pressure, correct cardiac irregularities, regulate symptoms of chronic IBS, and even build white blood cell count in people that were lacking. 

Ivel De Freitas is an MD, and notes that meditation’s physical effects are mediated in part via a delicate and sophisticated inner chemistry balancing intercellular signaling system. Meditation can be transduced into cellular and genetic changes, for which there is ongoing research happening.

Medical Benefits of Meditation

Medical professionals have kept a close eye on meditation in recent decades as it continues to grow in popularity. One of the biggest effects that meditation seems to have on the human design, is that it is able to reduce or eliminate symptoms of anxiety and depression. 

Both of these conditions plague the world of medicine, and while there are many means of treating them, there is yet to be a definitive cure. Meditation comes pretty close, when used regularly and in a disciplined way. 

Change in behavior, for long term benefit, is something that is regularly attributed to sustained periods of meditation. Marcus Antebi, founder of Juice Press, explains that through meditation we gain insights about ways we act and things we do to ourselves that aren’t in our best interests. Such behaviors include procrastination, fear of change, and inappropriate ways of reacting to things that happen to us. According to Marcus, meditation enables us to not only identify the behavior patterns but also to determine courses of action to take to overcome them.

Negative Effects of Meditation

At present, there are no known negative effects or risks for meditation practice. Those who have been meditating for significant periods of time will give testament to the fact that meditation may make one increasingly less interested in participating in conventional society. 

Meditation will shed light on a lot of questionable narratives that human beings tend to subscribe to without questioning, and once this kind of veil has been pierced it can be difficult to reintegrate and one may feel somewhat alone or alienated. 

That being said, nobody ever reflects on their relationship with meditation as something they wish they never got into. Phoebe Leona, founder of the nOMad Collective, acknowledges that meditation is not a quick fix, as it does require patience and gentleness. If you can do that, you can not really “get it wrong”. 

Meditation for Anxiety

Meditation Techniques for Anxiety

All meditation techniques will have some kind of positive effect on anxiety, however there are some methods that have gained a lot of praise as particularly effective. According to Phoebe, if we can all understand how to be with what is and respond from this space of stillness, then there will be less reaction from the chaos and chatter that is feeding our world.

Focused breathing through the heart is one way of focusing your practice. From here, one may find they are able to direct their breathing into the very zone where the anxiety feels most prevalent. After a few minutes, it may be possible to totally dissolve this feeling, giving a new perspective over the energy of anxiety and how much control one actually has of it. 

Resi Innocent is a spiritual blogger who credits meditation for the managing of her angst: “I had extreme anxiety with the slightest turbulence; after a few months of meditation - none. All these effects were not obvious since the change happens so slowly, but certain moments make me realize how much I’ve changed. I wish I had discovered meditation sooner.”

Meditation for Sleep

The best kind of meditation for sleep is any kind of meditation that you practice just before going off to bed. 

The last thing you want to do before attempting to go to sleep is receive stimulation, so cellphones or television are never a good idea. Making meditation the last thing you do before slumber will help your body and mind hold the vibration of peace, allowing sleep to come easier. 

Meditation Techniques for Sleep

Even if you already meditate first thing in the morning, take five to ten minutes right before bed to sit or lay back and zone into a meditative state. 

You want this kind of meditation to be as non-stimulating as possible. Try not to use mantras or objects for mind focus, but rather meditate on the essence of sleep and how that feels in your mind’s eye. 

Using very gentle meditation music is also recommended during sleep-time practice. 

Relaxation Meditation for Sleep

Meditation is also a great segway into a really relaxing sleep state. There are a number of fantastic sleep meditations available on Youtube. Many of these last a good couple of hours. 

Press play and settle into a comfortable sleeping position in your bed. Allow the voice or music to guide you into a meditative sleep state. Welcome to one of the most memorable sleeps of your adult life!

Meditation for Stress

Stress is one of the most destructive and damaging experiences on both the human mind and body. It is possible that every known state of illness or dis-ease is a direct result of stress energy having had no way to escape the physical framework. 

Meditation Techniques for Stress

It seems there is one thing that all spiritual teachers can agree on: when it comes to stress, there is no specific meditation technique that is more beneficial than another. 

With stress, so long as you’re meditating you’re on the right track. All practice is contributing toward the reduction of this energetic anomaly, and the less one stresses — the better. 

How does Meditation Reduce Stress

It is, quite literally, impossible to be stressed whilst in meditation. If you are sitting in meditation and you feel stressed — you’re not meditating yet.

Meditation and stress are polar opposite on the vibrational spectrum. They cannot co-exist, and you’re either participating in one or the other. 

Even if you feel like your stress kicks back in the second you come out of meditation, this is not a reason to stop the practice. The goal is to meditate long and hard enough that there are longer periods of neutral energy between practice and re-entering the real world; thus, less stress. 

How to Meditate

We’re going to give you some basic meditation tips and tricks to get you started. Know that there is no best or right way to meditate, merely many different variations and techniques. We recommend trying different styles on for size and taking the time to find your fit. 

Jenna Watson, life coach at Inner Oracle, cites that all thoughts, no matter how trivial (we need dryer sheets) or intense (I think I want a divorce) come from the exact same mechanism - our mind! And that's where meditation comes in. Meditation is a critical tool in learning how to let your thoughts flow freely, without judgment or emotional attachment.

Jenna goes on to note that, like most things, practice makes perfect. There is no such thing as a perfect meditation, even if you’ve been doing it for a while. But if you keep at it, you'll start to improve your calm and clarity, and confidence.

How to Start Meditating

You’ll want to find a quiet space where you’re relatively certain you won’t be interrupted. This might be your bed, couch, or even an empty storeroom for privacy sake. 

Have something soft to sit on, and be dressed at a temperature appropriately. For example, if it's slightly chilly, have something over your shoulders so that the chill of the air doesn’t pull your focus in practice. 

Settle in, close your eyes, and start observing any thoughts that come up. As they do, allow them to float away just as easily as they had arrived. Be gentle and easy about this; putting pressure on yourself to have “no thoughts” is unrealistic and will only create more thinking. 

How to Meditate Properly

Proper meditation occurs with rigorous dedication to the practice. It helps to be explicit about the amount of time you’ve set aside to focus on your practice, and to not let yourself off the hook until that amount of time has passed. Setting a timer is totally okay. 

Even when it feels as though you’re getting nowhere, stick it out until that timer rings! Shelly Wilson, author and intuitive medium, makes a point of reminding us that the act of meditation takes many forms. It can be sitting quietly in reflection, listening to a guided meditation with imagery, becoming conscious of your breath, repeating a mantra, going for a walk or spending time outdoors in nature. Each of these methods ultimately has the same end result - connecting you to your spirit and Spirit.

Meditation for Beginners

Meditation is difficult in the beginning. It feels unnatural and almost impossible compared to the everyday tendencies of fast-pace thought. Once you’ve practiced for a while, this experience will shift and everyday thought will start to feel unnatural, while meditation feels like something you were born to do. 

Amelia Alvin says she often finds herself asking her patients “Have you ever wished to learn a spell that could wipe away each bit of stress from your mind leaving it supremely clear? Meditation may not end up solving your problem right away but the impact will last way longer. It can be life-changing if done consistently.”

How to Meditate for Beginners

As a beginner, you simply want to focus on honoring yourself by showing up to every meditation session with an open mind and a willing spirit. 

The biggest struggle for beginners is the belief that they are doing something wrong because they have not yet “met god” or experienced nirvana. This kind of self judgement needs to be released, and you should adopt the attitude of any meditative state being a worthwhile one. 

Meditation Techniques for Beginners

The following meditation techniques are recommended for absolute beginners:

  • Using guided meditations on apps such as Headspace or Calm.
  • Following meditation guides on Youtube. 
  • Using a simple Buddhist mantra for meditation.
  • Meditating in the early hours of the morning when most of the world is still asleep, allowing an ease of practice due to lack of interference. 
  • Any sleep meditations. 

Types of Meditation

Mindfulness Meditation

Mindfulness meditation has one goal and one goal only: becoming more mindful. 

Mindfulness involves becoming more aware or conscious of something. In the case of meditation, the something is the self. Mindfulness meditation would have practitioners become fully aware and self-realized, so that they can achieve a mental state that allows for a better experience of life. 

Mindfulness Meditation Guide

The best way to self-guide your way into a state of mindful meditation is to watch and monitor your every breath while sitting. 

Become aware of each breath; it’s length, depth and how it feels. But be careful not to judge it at all. Never too long, or too short, or too shallow, etc. Accept and allow every breath to come and go as it feels most natural, and allow it to be so. 

Doing this for long enough will eventually transcend you into a state of mindfulness where you are no longer watching your own thoughts as though they are the be all and end all of existence, but rather resting as the witness of whatever arises. 

Dangers of Mindfulness Meditation

There are some dangers associated with extensive periods of mindfulness meditation in the modern world. Disassociation is one of them, as meditators struggle to reintegrate their inner world with their outer, but walk around feeling as though they have uncovered a gold mine. 

Physical ailments have also been associated with mindfulness meditation in practitioners who do not take the necessary precautions to give their bodies comfort during their practice. A meditation cushion, or soft surface, is a basic necessity for any physical body that is intending to sit without movement for long periods of time. 

Types of Mindfulness Meditation

The following are all opportunities for mindfulness meditation: 

  • Movement meditations (such as yoga)
  • Full body scan meditation 
  • Expanding awareness meditation
  • Breathing space meditation 
  • Many guided group meditations 

Guided Meditation

Guided meditation is a fantastic option for beginners, as it helps one escape the confines of their own mind and follow another’s voice instead. 

Guided meditations are available in major capacities across the internet. There are numerous apps that one can use to practice daily. Alternatively Youtube offers many free guided practices that require no subscription. 

Spiritual Meditation

Spiritual meditation is used to define those practices that derive from ancient or traditional teachings. Buddhist and Islamic meditation are examples of spiritual meditation. 

Spiritual meditations usually also involve mantra usage, instrumental accompaniment, or even Tibetan singing bowls. 

Focused Meditation

Some people need a point of focus if they have any hope of bringing their dominating thoughts under control. By focusing on something defined, the rest of the mind can come into a state of peace and tranquility. 

What is Focused Meditation

When one uses a mantra or symbol in order to go into a meditative state, they are working in the realm of focused meditation. The subject is focusing on the mantra or symbol, allowing the rest of their busy mind to fade into the background. 

Mantras are usually single words or short sayings that are repeated in the mind. As for symbols, one can focus on any kind of sacred imagery such as a pyramid, lotus, flower of life or even a mental mandala. 

Movement Meditation

As previously stated, movement meditation are meditative states that can be accessed with the eyes open and body in motion. 

This depends on the person in question, and can be anything from a stroll through nature, gardening at home, or even a yoga class. Most people begin to explore movement meditation after accessing more basic states first. 

Transcendental Meditation

Transcendental meditation is a very refined type of practice that uses a guru-given mantra during two periods of meditation per day, of at least 20 minutes each.

The overall goal for this kind of meditation is the attainment of inner calm, and the increasing of one’s vibratory state to something more higher and “universally attractive”. 

How Do You Do Transcendental Meditation?

Following these steps to move into a transcendental meditation state:

  • Sit comfortably in a chair of your choosing. Feet flat on the ground, back straight, and hands in your lap. 
  • Eyes closed, take a few deep breaths to relax the body. 
  • Open your eyes briefly and close them again. This signifies the start of the transcendental period. 
  • Repeat a Sanskrit mantra in your mind, one that you selected pre-meditation. 
  • Every time a thought attempts to infiltrate your peace, go back to the mantra. 
  • Do this for 20 minutes straight, and then start to wiggle your fingers and toes to bring you back into lucidity. 
  • Open your eyes. 

Yoga Meditation

Yoga and meditation go hand in hand, which makes yoga a type of movement meditation. There are some yoga teachers who will actually incorporate meditation into their teaching sessions, either having students sit quietly in the beginning or at the end of the class. 

Mindfulness vs Transcendental Meditation

In essence, mindfulness and transcendental meditation are incredibly similar. They both seek for the attainment of a quiet, focused mind, but the one uses a mantra and the other uses sheer will power. 

In transcendental meditation, the mantra brings the individual back into focus. In mindfulness meditation, the mind itself brings the individual back into focus. 

It’s simply a case of different strokes for different folks. Neither one is better nor more effective, it depends on the person in question and their response to each unique practice. Deanna Denman is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and has found a mindfulness meditation practice that centers self-compassion is helpful for people living with chronic illness and pain.

Meditation Techniques

Zen Meditation

This is the primary technique of the Zen Buddhist tradition. This kind of meditation seeks to attain insight into the nature of existence. It is considered to be similar to mindfulness meditation, however the goal is to think about nothing: No symbols, no mantras… nada. 

10 Minute Meditation

A 10 minute meditation is a very general style where an individual slips into their most accessible meditative state for a short period of time. This kind of technique makes meditation accessible at virtually any point of the day. 

One can gain the benefit of a meditation practice during their lunch break, between meetings, or even sitting in their car before heading off into rush hour traffic. 

20 Minute Meditation

A 20 minute meditation is a more substantial practice whereby the mind is given a real opportunity to attain true silence. Most spiritual teachers attest to the fact that 20 minutes is the minimum that one should meditate in a day in order to reap the rewards. 

20 Minute Guided Morning Meditation

Regular practicers of meditation all seem to agree that the first few hours of the day are the most optimal time in which to settle into meditation. 

For example, a great practice would be to wake up, have a drink of lemon water (for obvious health benefits), head off to shower and wake the body, and then settle into a comfortable seated position for 20 minutes of a guided morning meditation. 

20 Minute Guided Meditation for Anxiety

Guided morning meditations have shown to cause significant decrease in anxiety levels of various individuals. The logic is that returning to the physical body each morning is somewhat traumatic for souls that are accustomed to being nonphysical balls of energy. 

Upon waking, there is an instant wave of anxiety that kicks back in all of the troubles that daily life tends to carry with it. By beating it to the finish line using meditation first thing in the morning, anxiety has less and less reason to kick in so abruptly. 

Calm Meditation

While some seek to attain Buddhist-level enlightenment, others seek only for the experience of calm in their daily life. 

Basic meditation techniques may not put you in the realm of the gods, but they will invite some level of calm into your physical experience. 
It is thought that from the experience of calm, a human being is far more capable and emotionally equipped to deal with the things that may come their way. 

Deep Meditation

The notion of deep meditation is largely subjective. For a person who has meditated for just a month, their first experience with transcendental meditation for example, will likely be perceived as incredibly deep. 

In comparison to a meditator who has spent more than 10 years in regular practice, deep meditation will have much higher stakes. This aside, people can also use devices such as flotation tanks (sensory deprivation tanks) to access those deeper states. According to Dr. Dan Engle, “In a float pod, we have an opportunity to relax and let go of the mind. We get better at meditation practices. Then vistas open; it becomes a part of the practice of self-discovery—of being able to sit across from your internal guidance system. You enter a level of deeper awareness and start to ask active questions; it’s like an active meditation practice.”

What Happens in Deep Meditation

In deep meditation, it is impossible to say what one’s exact experience will be. Buddhists speak of a state known as “bhanga” where the physical body somewhat dissolves entirely, and there are no more sensations to be felt on a physical level. 

In other deep meditative states, one may experience the oneness of the universe, or non-duality with all that surrounds them. This could involve sensations that are difficult to describe from a human point of view. They could also include involuntary movement of the physical body. 

In deep meditation, you are also actively raising your vibration. Author of numerous meditation books, Shira Plotzker, links meditation to the Law of Attraction. She recommends the following technique in particular:

While in deep meditation, picture yourself as a multi-millionaire. See yourself in your new car.

What color is it? Now picture the symbol or letters in the middle of the steering wheel. What type of car is it?

“When I did this exercise, I saw myself in a Blue BMW. I now own a Blue BMW.”, says Shira. 

What is the 4 7 8 Breathing Technique?

This technique is also known as “relaxed breathing”, and it involves breathing and holding one’s breath in stipulated increments. 

One should breathe for 4 seconds, hold the breath for 7 seconds, and then exhale over 8 seconds. Repeating this technique while in a meditation position will work to reduce stress and anxiety, and is said to help insomniacs invite sleep in a very natural way. 

What Can You Use to Meditate On

How you set yourself up whilst you meditate is both the least and most important part of the practice. Allow us to elaborate: 

Yes, the goal of meditation is to get to such a state that nothing could distract or pull your focus from the practice itself, not even your physical comfort. That said, in trying to get to the level of experience that allows for this kind of ease, one first needs to be able to meditate! This is difficult if you’re constantly being pulled back to your physical body because your legs are cramping, or your buttocks is uncomfortable. 

Meditation Pillow

A meditation pillow is a worthwhile investment if you’re intending to make this practice a part of your daily life. Meditation pillows range from cheap to exorbitant, and experience tells us that the latter does not always mean quality. 

Only you know your body and the elevation it needs in order to sit for long periods of time. For some, a well-padded circular cushion does the trick. For others, log-shaped, hard cushions between the legs might be a more comforting choice. 

Meditation Chair

Meditation chairs look a lot like hobbit stools in that they are usually low-rise pieces of wood on two legs. A meditation chair is ideal for individuals who find it difficult to sit cross legged for long periods of time. 

With meditation chairs, your legs will tuck under your body in a kneeling position. The rest of the body rests on the stool. 

Meditation Music

If you’re not going to be using guided meditations for your practice, it may be a good idea to invest in some meditation music for your daily sessions. 

There is a plethora of meditation music available online and in esoteric stores. The best meditation music is purely instrumental, as lyrical music has the tendency to create thought or judgement. 

Meditation Music for Sleep

A simple search on Youtube will bring about a list of sleep-based meditation music. If you’re going to listen to specific music for the purpose of sleep meditation, always go with something that has at least two hours of play time available. 

Meditation App

Meditation apps are taking over, and they are possibly fulfilling the mission of igniting global peace at a more rapid rate than any endeavor has been able to thus far. 

Apps such as Headspace, Calm and Buddhify give users access to masses of meditation content ranging from a few minutes to lengthy hours. The apps break down the meditations depending on their intention, which makes it easier for users to choose what it is they want to address. 

Examples of app meditations include: Meditation for unblocking the heart chakra, meditation for anxiety in the workplace, meditation for world peace. 

Meditation at Home

Out of all the places one could meditate, we’ve found that this kind of practice takes great shape when done from the comfort and safety of one’s humble abode. 

The place where one lives should be a sanctuary; a place where one is in full safety to escape the physical world, and delve deep into their inner one instead. Home meditation should be something you strive to be very comfortable with. Needing to leave your home every Time you want to meditate could prove to be problematic long term. 

How to Meditate at Home

The best way to meditate in your home is to set aside a space where you can always retreat to for your practice, no matter the time of day. For example, your bed is not a good meditation spot if you share a room with another person. This means that you’ll be restricted in your times of practice. 

A quiet corner, with cushions, gentle light, and perhaps some incense will do just the trick. Alternatively, under a tree in your garden is always a welcome escape. 

Meditation Near Me

You don’t have to take your meditation endeavor into your own hands if it feels too overwhelming. Just like you can attend yoga classes, so too can you attend meditation sessions with other like minded individuals. 

Meditation Classes Near Me

Start by searching your local community pages for meditation gatherings that are happening in your area. You may also find that people you know are already involved in some of these groups and can include you in all future sessions. 

Conclusion

We hope you enjoyed this guide to meditation! While it can seem overwhelming at first, all it takes to start on your meditation journey is a few minutes each day. Give it a try and enjoy the incredible benefits of meditation on your body and mind! 

Did You Enjoy This Article?

Thank you for reading! If you enjoyed this article, you might also like the following articles: Guided Meditation with a Tibetan Singing Bowl, Sound Bowl Meditation and Healing: Recent Studies, and Singing Bowl Meditation.

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