Meditation in recent years has been a huge cultural topic, mainly because of its mystical and spiritual connotations. There are many different types of meditation out there, with some being more focused on specific goals than others. However, the most basic types are calm, which is used for concentration; flow, which is the most general type of meditation; and guided meditation, which involves a master practitioner.
Calm is not necessarily quiet, although it is sometimes just that. Rather, it is simply focused on awareness, deliberate attention to the present moment. Some forms of the guided process are carried out using calming music, such as nature sounds or gentle breathing. Other forms of guided meditation require you to meditate with your eyes closed, to silence the mind from external stimuli.
In meditation, tranquility is the state of deep in-betweenness, the place where the innermost nature and outermost thoughts meet. This peace is what all the students of Buddhism want. It is the natural state of being, the all-encompassing presence of the mind, the place where we find it hardest to relax and become calm.
The terminology for calm meditation has been different throughout the history of meditation. In ancient Sanskrit, the word “chitta” is translated as “that which is thought.” However, the term is now generally translated as “thought itself.”
It is not so much that we cannot think at all, because it is hard to think. Instead, our thinking is so circumscribed by the idea of calm that we hardly ever feel it. Meditation for beginners can be as simple as being able to calm the mind, or for a more advanced student, it can be a regular practice that gets the mind in balance.
The art of meditation is the art of leading yourself through a sequence of breathing exercises. So that your head falls into a completely relaxed state of consciousness. Without realizing it, the conscious mind is the gateway through which we choose our conscious states. Hence, without a clear idea of what is needed, it tends to jump from one thought to another.
The conscious mind is powerful; we can use it to bring about any state of mind, including calm. However, it can be very difficult to use the unconscious mind because it can only listen. And when the conscious mind finds it easier to listen than to do, that is where the subconscious mind tends to take over.
It is our conscious mind that is in charge of how we feel at any given time, and we need to be able to use it in a subtle way so that we can achieve a certain state of calm at will. The best way to calm the mind is to put it into a relaxed state using guided meditation.
Sound & Silence: Mediation
Sound and silence are used as the background which is sometimes called a CD type, or a guided meditation. The beginning of meditation is usually very simple. Using silence or sounds like the sound of the rain or the wind blowing the leaves. This serves as the ‘trance,’ or as relaxation, and it can also help to guide the entire process.
When the trance is over, the beginner meditator can move on to the next level, which is an increased awareness of their body and how it feels, and of their mind, so that the conscious state becomes coarser. In this state, each action or thought can be approached very carefully. As the learning process becomes greater, it becomes less difficult and the mind can wander from thought to thought more freely.
Final Verdict: Meditation
Some people may think of meditation as a path to self-realization, but it is really more a mind-set that can guide a person’s everyday life. Guided meditation teaches the beginner how to exercise control over their own minds so that they have control over their own states of consciousness. The rest is up to them.
We should be careful to not turn meditation into a religion, although some new practitioners may be drawn in by this kind of symbolism. It is always good to go back to the basics.