Frequently asked questions
1. What is meditation?
Meditation is a journey within, or more simply put it is a tool used to achieve a relaxed state. It has been around for 5000 years and documented since 1500 BCE. It is now spread throughout the world. Each culture has left their own imprint, leading to different types of meditation techniques.
Meditation is considered a type of body, mind, and spirit complementary medicine. It’s about training to become aware of your body (feelings), mind (thoughts), and spirit (energy/intention).
2. What types of meditations are there?
There are a lot of types of meditation techniques available. Some of the most common are: breathing meditation, guided meditation (visualization), mantra meditation, “Be in the NOW’ meditation, spiritual meditation, meditation in motion (tai chi, qi gong, calligraphy tracing), etc.
They all have common elements, one of the most obvious being that you direct your focus towards something: a mantra, your breathing, your body, a goal or just being present in the moment.
3. What are the benefits of meditation?
For the modern world it has become a way to relax or relieve stress. It reduces the intensity of the brain waves, leading to reduced negative emotions, reduced cortisol levels, increased creativity and patience and much more.
It can also help manage symptoms of certain medical conditions (anxiety, depression, asthma, sleep disease, etc.).
On a mental and emotional level, it can create wellbeing. You can use meditation to increase awareness of yourself, your surroundings, and gain a new perspective. It can increase your introspective abilities and sense of observation.
4. Why do people meditate?
Some people use meditation as a way to relax, some use it like a prayer, some use it to study consciousness by studying the thoughts that come and go, the feelings that arise and fade off, some use to manifest new things in their lives or change mind-sets or patterns of behavior.
5. How long should I meditate?
There is no specific time. 10-15 min is a good starting point. The more you practice the more you will be able to sustain a relaxed state throughout your day.
6. What is a mantra?
A mantra is a word or sound you repeat during meditation. Its purpose is to create focus and train one’s mind to let go of other thoughts. If repeated for a longer period of time, that word can also go into your subconscious mind, creating therefore new neuronal connections, new types of thoughts and behaviors. In spiritual meditation, the aim of the meditation devotee is to become one with the meaning of that word.
7. How do I learn to meditate?
You can start with guided meditations. It’s the easiest way if you want to experience it on your own. Or you can take some courses. As there are many types of meditation available, and not all could resonate with you and your intentions, it is good to first do some research and see what fits.
8. Do I need a special place?
For beginners, a quiet place is recommended. The more you practice, the easier it gets to integrate it in your day to day activities and not get distracted by noise.
9. What is it like to meditate for hours?
The most common experience is that you can lose track of time; you could meditate for hours and feel only a few minutes have passed.
Dissolving into nothingness: your awareness increases to the point you do not even feel your body anymore. This is one of the many “spiritual ” experiences you could have.
10. How can meditation be used for healing, therapy, etc?
When you meditate, the brain goes into lower states such as alpha, theta and even delta waves. These states are similar to light to deep hypnosis. You can change mindsets, alter feelings and behaviors.
In these states, one can access deeper levels of consciousness and gain insights on topics that interest you.
It can also decrease the cortisol level, therefore it is very used for dealing with anxiety, etc. It has a calming effect. You can feel more grounded or balanced after a meditation session than when you started.