Meditation is a staple of various religions, but America’s secular society has lost its taste for quiet contemplation. Scientific research proves that a consistent morning meditation schedule offers copious health benefits and could save your life. Are you game?
Unless adhering to a specific meditation-friendly faith, most any American associates the practice with chanting Hare Krishna faithful at the airport. Sure, once in a while there is the meditation music track that catches the eye, but who can listen to 120 minutes of ocean sounds without falling asleep?
All kidding aside, there is a lot more to the kind of contemplation that offers the previously mentioned health benefits.
Generally speaking, common forms of the practice include transcendental- (or restive alertness), concentrative- (or single stimulus) and guided meditation; the latter relies heavily on the use of chants or repetitive mantras. Within the spiritual realm, morning meditation takes the form of contemplation that may include reading from sacred texts and connecting with the deity via prayer.
Science Proves That Morning Meditation is Healthy
A study from the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education (published in Current Issues in Education) shows that children diagnosed with ADHD greatly benefit from meditation when it is applied as “mindfulness-based stress reduction.” The practice enhances the youngsters’ self esteem, makes inter-familial relationships easier to handle and improves behavior.
Even children who do not fall under the ADHD diagnosis show marked improvements in their well-being, most notably in their ability to pay attention. Not surprisingly, these children evidence higher academic performance and accelerated conceptual learning experiences.
Adult subjects who practice transcendental meditation twice a day – 10 to 20 minutes in the morning and afternoon – greatly improve emotional stability and the ability to focus. Within the clinical setting, this form of meditation proves to be highly effective in subjects with anxiety-related conditions.
Dr. Michael McGee from the McLean Harvard Medical School explains in “Meditation and Psychiatry” that a review of literature highlights the usefulness of meditation in conjunction with the treatment for insomnia, chronic illness, addiction, depression, aggression, suicidal tendencies and overall stress reduction.
Morning Meditation for Beginners
There is no one true way of meditating. Guided meditation works for one practitioner but does precious little for another. Meditation music is a must for one, while still another practitioner requires absolute peace and quiet.
The Personal Counseling Center at Brooklyn College suggests that first-timers should begin their morning meditation by choosing a phrase or word on which to focus. They are then to sit in an area where they are unlikely to be interrupted. Sitting in a chair with a straight back works fine.
At this time they concentrate on each breath. The goal is to relax. As the subjects succeed at calming the body through breathing, it is now time to close the eyes and repeatedly recite the word or phrase that will guide the morning meditation during each exhalation. They continue in this manner for about five to 20 minutes.
They finish the meditation with a deep breath, slowly open the eyes and take time to get up.
Benefits of Practicing Morning Meditation Using the Tratak technique
This topic might interest those who want to develop their intuitive capabilities as well as those who want to restore energy in their body. Lets first start with the meaning of Tratak/ Trataka. You can say it in either way you feel comfortable.
What is Tratak Meditation?
Tratak means gazing constantly at a fixed object without the blinking of the eye. The object could be a candle flame or a Gods image or any image that you like. It is a form of meditation where the practitioner gazes at the particular object for a certain duration and then closes the eyes and visualizes the same object in the mind. When the eyes are closed, he/ she should visualize this object in the space between the eyebrows. It is best to practice this technique by using a candle flame, as you will be able to hold the after image of this flame in your mind when your eyes are closed. This is done in meditation posture and should be done sitting in a position in which you feel comfortable.
Our mind is always active and does not remain stable for a longer time as some or the other thoughts keep coming in it, which in turn results in decreased focus and mental stress. So in Tratak, when we gaze at a fixed point, our eyes remains fixed and so the thought process comes to a standstill thus making the energy of the mind to stay focused on a single point. This is the best technique to bring the restless mind to stay at peace as well as increase your concentration and improve your eye vision.
Benefits of Tratak
With regular practice of Tratak, one might experience various health benefits associated with it. People of all age groups can practice it. It is good for those who have sleep problems, and it is beneficial if practiced before going to sleep. It is also helpful in releasing the stress of the entire day as well as providing relaxation. Children above the age of 10 years can practice this under guided supervision to increase their concentration as well as sharpen their memory, which is very much essential at this stage. It is an ideal technique to discover the tranquility within self.