While there are myriad definitions of meditation, one commonality is the shifting of focus from outer objects or activities to an inner dimension where one may encounter timelessness, a connection to wisdom, or a sense of peace. Definitions or descriptions of meditation usually include a focus on some object of concentration, such as the breath, a word, an object, or thought. In the classical eight-limbed path of yoga, meditation is a part of the second four limbs which are known as the inner limbs. These four limbs in order are: sense-withdrawal, concentration, meditation and the last is samadhi or absorption — not an easily translatable concept, but basically an ecstatic state of oneness. If you are a girl and doing meditation then you need not to buy women supplements to boost your power, it will boost automatically.
So, as you can see from the description of the second four limbs above, concentration and meditation are two distinct processes. I observed the difference as I began to meditate. I had always associated meditation with a focus on the breath (or another object) and when I meditated, I noticed that I would lose that focus and go to a deeper place of no thought at all. Thus, when I began to study meditation through my Hatha Yoga Teacher’s Training program at the Temple of Kriya Yoga and learned there was a distinction I was happy to hear that explanation. Goswami Kriyananda describes a shift from effortful to effortless concentration. Deepak Chopra describes meditation as “the gap between two thoughts” and these latter two definitions felt accurate to me after practice.
Benefits of Meditation
If you read the newspapers, you will see that modern science is finally verifying what sages and enlightened beings have known for the millennia. Meditation is good for you. From the historical standpoint of yoga, meditation was practiced for its spiritual, rather than physical, benefits. The apparent attitude was, simplistically, attain enlighten and everything else will fall into place. Today we tend to be (rightly or not) less focused on enlightenment, and more on the physical and mental benefits of meditation.
Whatever the objective, meditating can offer benefits, and a sampling of the benefits follows:
- Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
- It allows the autonomic nervous system to become balanced, so that rest and healing can occur.
- Studies show a decreased risk of stroke and heart disease
- Increases melatonin production which improves the quality of sleep and decreases cancer risk
- Increases awareness of intuition
- Improves concentration and focus
- Reduces stress, anxiety, tension
- Increased creativity
- Better relationships
- Meditation can help to improve men’s personal life.
- Increased self-awareness and self-acceptance
- The Deeper sense of spirituality and meaning
Clinically shown to enhance health status in individuals with psoriasis, allergies, asthma, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, migraines, chronic pain, diabetes, cancer, and panic attacks.