Meditation Explained 

 Originally Written: May 14, 2010

By  Hanna Trafford

Last Updated on May 15, 2010 by Hanna Trafford

There is a good saying: “Meditation is the tongue of the soul and the language of our spirit”. I had just recently experienced the benefit of mediation and decided to find out more about this newly popular way to feel better.

Meditation is thousands of years old; it’s a key practice in many spiritual and religious traditions as well as being physically and mentally enriching. If you have thought that meditation could be beneficial to you, but are not sure what method to turn to, here are techniques most commonly used:

Centering Prayer:

Tradition: Christian

Your intention is to let go of intruding thoughts – you sit in silence and surrender thoughts to gently clear the mind. In a confortable position – sitting or kneeling straight backed – quetly concentraqte on a chosen meaningful word – such as Love, peace ot joy.

If a negative or unwanted idea emerges or you feel restless, repeat the word and gently let go of the thought. This can be a difficult method, but it is more important to feel peace rather than master the technique.

Sufi Mediation:

Tradition: Islam

For Sufis – who follow esoteric tradition of Islam – the goal of meditation is to “polish the heart which is rusted” The idea is that to achieve spiritual realization is an inward journey. So – where you meditate is doesn’t matter. It could be in your car, on the bus, at your desk…. because the idea is to live in a state of complete taqwa – awareness of God in every aspect of your life. During this type of meditation session, tractitioners ignore all distractions and focus on one or two divine qualities like beauty, mercy or compasion. The phrase often used is “No God but God” it is affirmation of of the oneness of God, there is no reality but God’s reality and other power, truth or beauty. It the recitation is an awareness that your reality is divine reality and that becomes very comforting.

Raja Yoga:

Tradition: Hindu

Based on traditions thousands of years old. raja yoga combines day-to-day moral living with sessions od concentration and controlled breathing to help the sould become free of physical distraction. The specific techniques take years to master and are usually only taight to serious students. Raja yoga practitioners begin by learning to sit absolutely still. concentrating on breathing and emptying the mind of all feelings, thoughts and perceptions to experience the true “self”. Along the way, these various techniques help, slowing down the breathing and the heart, putting practitioner ahead physically, mentally and spiritually.


Tradition: Buddhist

Considered one of the most accessible techniques, mindfulness puts distance between you and your thoughts. the first step is to empty your mind by focusing on your breathing – then the body and mind are doing the same things. Once in this state, the practitioner deliberately takes notes of thoughts and feelings that arise – but form a removed point of view. It is like being a witness to your thoughts, rather than allowing them to take over. Instead of being angry, think , I am witnessing anger.Then you observe with a keen mind what is happening, what emotions and sensations you have with detachment. You can get over your gut reactions, open your mind and have insights about yourself and what causes other to act the way they do.

Guided Imagery:

Tradition: Modern Psychology

If you are looking for a meditation technique that is not based on spiritual tradion, consider quided imagery. It could be referred to as psychology’s modern angle on an old idea.

It’s simple: Close your eyes and breathe deeply from your diaphram. With every exhalation, release anxiety. Once relaxed, envision you are in a tranquil environment – on the beach, floating in a warm bath or relaxing by a fire. Involve all your senses, so you can hear, smell, feel,m even taste your surroundings. let your vision relax you deeply. When youa re ready, count backwards form 10 or 20 and return to alertness. It’s like taking a mini-holiday.

Hope you have enjoyed reading this article and if you have thought of trying meditation to get help with whatever life throws at you, this may be the time to do it. Please send in your comments and experiences – your input is always welcomed!

Hanna Trafford

Hanna is the mother of two grown sons Dan and Dusan Nedelko, and is also the Grandmother to Jax, Cohen and Mila. She is the lead editor of Mama Knows and is hoping to create an exchange of communications with other grandmothers, mothers and daughters - giving everyone the opportunity to learn and share about everything that is "Mama"

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