Meditation


Meditation is a form of training for the mind.

There are many kinds of Meditation but mostly their distinctions are:

Concentration – These practices involve focusing attention on one specific thing.

Mindfulness – This is about letting the attention flow freely observing your experience almost from a third-person perspective.

Transcendental – It helps recognizing your pure essence or the true nature of the self by eliminating all thoughts.


RELAXATION

Massage, Bathing, Spiritual music, Tai chi, Acupuncture are other ways to achieve Relaxation in alternative to yoga and meditation.

Massage can Decrease anxiety and fatigue, Enhance sleep quality, circulation, Improve range of motion and immunity by stimulating lymph flow—the body’s natural defence system. It also exercises and stretches muscles and increases joint flexibility and tissue regeneration.

Bathing has been synonymous with relaxation since the ancient Greeks and Romans and still plays a strong role in many cultures with the diffusion of spas, hot springs and saunas. Many benefits are attributed to bathing such as : Reducing muscle tension, Improving blood circulation, sleep and lung function, Boosting the immune system, Treating depression, Helping to reduce stress, Removing toxins.

Healing music is another concept that was well known to Ancient Cultures. Today, music is being used in hospitals to Soothe postoperative pain, Lower blood pressure, and Boost immunity because it can Balance hormones, Facilitate the release of endorphins, which could lead to faster recovery and  more profound healing.

Tai chi is a form of Meditation in Motion that increases serenity through gentle, flowing movements. It originated in Ancient China and find its focus in enabling the qi -or life force- to run smoothly and powerfully throughout the body, achieving total harmony of the inner and outer self from the Integration of Mind and Body.

Acupuncture is part of the traditional Chinese Medicine and it’s mostly used for pain relief. It consists in inserting thin needles into the skin to restore the balance of energy, which flows throughout the body. Acupuncture practitioners say that the stimulation increases blood flow while at the same time triggering the activity of our own body’s natural painkillers.


CONCENTRATION

It’s the process of focusing the attention on a single point and holding it there at will. At the beginning, the simpler the chosen object the more intense will be the concentration upon it.

Examples of concentration practices are on:

  • a physical object
  • the breaths
  • numbers
  • mental image
  • colors
  • your hand
  • walking


MINDFULNESS

Meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, and provides also cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day.

Mindfulness is a meditation technique, but also a way of thinking that refers to a state of being fully present in the moment, with acceptance and without judgement. The point is to become detached observers of our thought patterns.

It’s been proven to help in cases of eating disorder and substance abuse problems, to reduce anxiety, depression and cortisol levels, and to increase concentration of grey matter in brain regions associated with learning, memory and regulation of emotions.

To learn about this practice follow the link to Mindfulness Meditation Instruction.


TRANSCENDENTAL

Nonduality is the understanding that things are not separate and they are not the same: just that at a fundamental level, everything is connected.

Ordinarily, our busy lives tend to obscure the awareness of the consciousness that is beyond ourselves.

Meditation brings peace to the mind, by developing the ability to silence it and realizing the “state” of nonduality.


SLEEP

Sleep is defined as a natural and reversible state of reduced responsiveness to external stimuli and relative inactivity, accompanied by a loss of consciousness.

Lack of adequate sleep affects mood, motivation, judgment, and our perception of events. And healthy sleep is essential for optimal learning and memory function.

Memory is the cognitive process whereby experiences, learning and recognition are recalled. Memory “formation” is a product of brain plasticity, the structural changes within synapses that create associations between stimuli.

Memory functions are:

–Acquisition, that refers to the introduction of new information into the brain.

–Consolidation, that represents the processes by which a memory becomes stable.

–Recall, that refers to the ability to access the information –consciously or unconsciously– after it has been stored.

The formation of a specific memory occurs rapidly, but the evolution of a memory is often an ongoing process. Research suggests that memory consolidation takes place during sleep through the strengthening of the neural connections that form our memories.

Reactivations of memory representations are thought to transform new memories that are still labile and prone to decay into stable memories that are preserved for the long-term. In the standard two-stage memory model, comprised of a fast encoding temporary store (hippocampus) and a slow-learning long-term store (neocortex), reactivations are regarded as critical for distributing and integrating the newly encoded memories to long-term storage sites.


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