What is meditation?
- The use of a clearly defined, specific technique: The initial meditation technique must be communicated by a teacher as if it were a recipe, but the effect and evolution of the practice can be different from person to person.
- Muscle relaxation: Throughout the process, or at some point during the process, there needs to be some form of muscle relaxation.
- Logic relaxation: You must not intend to analyze, judge, or create expectations throughout the meditation.
- Self-induced state: The practice is taught by an instructor but you apply it yourself, such that it could be practiced independently at a later time.
- The use of a self-focus skill (i.e. anchor): There needs to be a concentration point (i.e. anchor) to focus the mind and avoid sequels of spiraling thoughts or sleep.
How do I practice meditation?
As opposed to formal meditation practices, informal practices integrate meditation into your everyday life. For example, you may informally practice meditation while doing repetitive and simple activities such as cleaning, cooking, colouring or walking. As you participate in these activities, focus on your breathing, remove distractions, and find stillness inside. Micro-meditation can also be a great informal meditation practice. As suggested by its name, micro-meditation is a great way to de-stress and re-energize in 30 seconds or less. Taking five deep belly breaths, repeating a mantra, or grounding your feet and imagining energy flowing through your body, are just a couple of suggestions.
Regardless of whether you are formally or informally practicing meditation, a common misunderstanding is that the purpose of meditation is to have an empty mind or to never have wandering thoughts. It’s not. Meditation is about bringing your mind back from wandering. This is reflected in the traditional Buddhist saying, “A thousand times my mind wandered. A thousand and one times I brought it back”.
What are the benefits of meditation?
Where can I learn more?
What will students learn?
By the end of this lesson, students will be able to…
- Debunk the most common myths of meditation
- Define meditation and explain the benefits of meditation
- Recognize and practice a wide variety of meditation techniques
- Identify which meditation practice works best for them
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