Om: The Benefits of Meditation
Meditation is the practice of thoughtless awareness (freemeditation.com). The practice of meditation is documented as far back as 1500 BCE, through the teachings of vedas in ancient India (chopra.com). In the 18th century, these teachings were translated and sent to scholars in the west (chopra.com). Since then meditation has been growing in popularity as a part of daily life. Many people who are not aware of the benefits of meditation, see it as Buddhist spiritual prayers. This is true to some degree, Buddhism uses meditation as a spiritual journey to reach “Enlightenment”. They do this following the acts of the original Buddha Siddhartha. Buddhist do not see Siddhartha as a god, but as a real person who lived and introduced Buddhism. A Buddha is a presence that lives in their lives, and serves to them as a reminder to remain mindful to be able to obtain enlightenment. There are several Buddhas, a buddha is defined as anyone who has ever reached the enlightened state according to Buddhism. Buddhism is a religion that centers around peace and compassion. In today’s century, there are many reform Buddhist temples that are open to outsiders, and share their teachings of meditation and mindfulness with the outside world. They usually do not expect a non-buddhist to meditate as vigorously as they do. They encourage people to take what they want from Buddhism and use meditation in their lives to lower stress-levels and be fully present. I first came across meditation about two years ago when I began college. I was developing high anxiety and was looking for techniques to reduce stress. I came across a Buddhist temple in my area that is actually a non-profit organization that hosts several meditation classes and buddhist teachings each week. I obviously did not become fully mindful right away, but I did enjoy the meditation and the teachings that they incorporated that I found I could use in my daily life. As I continued to attend these meditation classes each week, I noticed my anxiety began to decrease. I would meditate each night and any time during the day when I felt myself getting overly anxious about something. I think everyone should incorporate meditation in their life in any form they choose. Meditation can be done along with prayers for several different religions, or simply just to become aware of your breathing and relax. I now young girls experience more stress and anxiety than people think. I think incorporating meditation in your lives at this young age will help you deal with stressors now and in the future. If you are interested in trying meditation on your own, hopefully this will help you find a place to start:
1. Find a local meditation class: meditation classes are being incorporated in many schools and college campuses where you can learn many different techniques on how to meditate. Also, look at any Buddhist temples in your area and see if they offer meditation classes.
2. Look up videos on how to meditate: If you rather teach yourself how to meditate, there are thousands of videos online on meditation. Including guided meditation where they literally tell you what to picture and how to clear your mind.
3. Include your friends and family: as I said, meditation can benefit anyone, ask your friends or loved ones if they would like to join you in your practice.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: NICOLE PEREZ
Nicole is a psychology student at the University of Central Florida. She has always had a passion for psychology and helping people overcome the challenges in their loves. She especially has a passion for working with children and families. She plans on continuing on to receive her PhD in clinical psychology specializing in children and their development.