Meditation is commonly thought of as the act of thinking about nothing or not thinking. On the surface, it is what monks practise to achieve their perpetually Zen state, but it has gone mainstream and ordinary individuals are learning the multitude of benefits that follow long-term meditators.
The relationship between power and information in the history of mankind had been one about access. Individuals that had more access to information typically had more power. As history wrote itself into the modern age, our species near-perfected our ability to access information so the relationship between power and information evolved.
Today, everybody carries on them a device with access to the internet. This concept implies access to an infinite amount of information, and that information is presented in a way to attract your attention. The key to power is not our devices alone, but our ability to focus our attention on the things that matter. Our attention has been fragmented and monetized. Without mindfulness, the subtle changes that technology has on the brain can be hard to detect. It can be likened to the process of desensitisation to caffeine but with a more extreme outcome.
The most common forms of meditation are mindfulness meditation and focused meditation. Mindfulness meditation is the practise of observing your thoughts as they arise and letting them pass without any judgement. It trains the brain to react less emotionally to thoughts and in turn reduces anxiety, symptoms of depression and blood pressure.
Focused meditation is the practise of focusing on one thing typically your breath and every time you catch yourself out of focus, bringing that attention back to the breath. This act of bring the attention back is like a bicep curl for your brain and doing enough of them with proper form will increase the size of your attention span and ability to concentrate.
Other forms of meditation include spiritual meditation which can be likened to prayer, the purpose is to feel a deeper bond with God or the universe. Movement meditation like walking and yoga to calm the mind. Mantra meditation involving the recital of a mantra to increase awareness and many more.
The general public has not come up with a consensus on how much meditating it takes to start seeing results however it is widely agreed upon that it is not instant, similar to body re composition through exercise and diet. Beginners are recommended to try sitting in silence and meditation for a minute a day and increase that as they can. Arbitrary milestones can be five, ten, fifteen and twenty minutes of uninterrupted meditation daily. Armed with this information and the perceived benefits that come alone with it there should be no excuses to not be open minded to the idea of meditation and start practising!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.