Meditation Tips from Around the World2 min read
Learning about other cultures isn’t only a great way to discover more about the world; it’s also a great opportunity to introduce yourself to new foods, beliefs, and practices that can better your life.
Meditation, for example, is an ancient practice that originates from Eastern cultures, but has been embraced by people all over the world. In the most general sense, meditation refers to different techniques that people use to help relieve stress, relax, improve their health, or increase their self-awareness and concentration.
Although researchers are looking into the claims that meditation can help manage health issues, including asthma and high blood pressure, as well as chronic pain in those with conditions such as arthritis, the larger medical community respects it as being a complement to standard care.
If you’ve been considering meditation, here are some of the most popular practices from around the world:
In Thailand, samatha and vipassana (two elements of Buddhist meditation) are the most common meditation techniques. During samatha, the focus is to achieve calmness and concentration. Although there are many ways to do so, the most commonly practiced is anapanasati, which entails paying attention to your breathing. The goal for vipassana is to achieve mindfulness through self-observation. To do so, people train themselves to be aware of their body’s actions, such as the movement of their feet when they walk, as well as their feelings, thoughts, and state of mind.
In the mid-1950s, a man named Maharishi Mahesh Yogi founded Transcendental Meditation (TM), which is a specific type of mantra meditation that has become one of the most widely practiced techniques in the world. Mantra meditation entails repeating a few words over and over to focus the mind. TM involves the use of a sound or mantra and is practiced for 20 minutes twice a day to help relieve stress, anxiety, fatigue, and increase alertness of the mind and body. This form of meditation is taught by certified teachers around the world and has been popularized by celebrities, especially the Beatles back in the 1960s.
Unlike yoga and other types of meditation techniques that focus on specific postures or certain feelings, the goal of Taoist meditation is to help people further connect with the world around them. Although there are many different techniques to Taoist meditation, one of the most popular is Tai Chi. This form of meditation is often referred to as “meditation in motion,” and involves a variety of gentle movements and deep breathing exercises to help relieve stress and other health conditions.
What’s your favorite form of meditation?
Photo from Lifescape Solutions.