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What Is Meditation?
The word meditation, comes from two Latin words meditari, which means to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind and mederi meaning to heal. Meditation also has a root in Sanskrit medha means wisdom.

Some people consider meditation as a worship or prayer, however, it is not limited to a religious practice. Many practices say "Watching your breath" is meditation, listening to the birds is meditation. As long as these activities are free from any other distraction to the mind, it is effective meditation.
There are so many forms of meditation but it can summerised into four basic stages; Relaxation, Focus, Meditation and Release.

The first and most important aspect of meditation to master is relaxation. Often we hold tension in the body that we are unaware of. By remaining still in one position the body very quickly makes it apparent where these areas of tension are. The difficult part is learning to release that tension.
Most meditation starts by choosing any comfortable position, although rarely lying down, as practicing relaxation lying down often results in falling asleep. Once you can relax in a position you can start the next stage, which is practicing relaxation and focus.

This is where the many styles of meditation differ, some use focusing on the breath, others a candle, some visualize particular symbols or even chanting. This stage is about practicing the discipline of maintaining focus and at the same time being relaxed.
In some traditions that use the breath, they say when you can count 100 breaths without distractions from the mind you are ready for the next stage.

At this stage, the idea that meditation brings peace and happiness can seem a long way away. It can be like opening a can of worms. All the repressed stress, emotions and just stuff comes to the surface.
This is where all the previous training in relaxation and focus comes into its own. Being able to observe all the things coming out without getting caught in them. To truly let go of the things the mind has been torturing us with.

The last stage is where you feel lighter, more at ease, more focused and centered. Free. If this seems appealing, then why not try meditation. It can be a tremendously powerful tool to change your life.


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