The term meditation refers to a broad variety of practices which range from techniques designed to promote relaxation, contacting spiritual guides, building internal energy (chi, ki, prana, etc.), receiving psychic visions, getting closer to a god, seeing past lives, taking astral journeys, and so forth, to more technical exercises targeted at developing compassion, love, patience, generosity, forgiveness and more far-reaching goals such as effortless sustained single-pointed concentration, single-pointed analysis, and an indestructible sense of well-being while engaging in any and all of life’s activities. Thus, it is essential to be specific about the type of meditation practice under investigation.
Meditation as a mere relaxation technique becomes extremely problematic when one attends to the details of many practices. In contrast, we should think about the term Meditation as referring to several neighborhoods of New Age practices, shamanistic lucid dreaming and astral journeying, theistic-concentration meditations, clinging to god, contemplation, visualization, hypnotherapy, aromatherapy, chakra clearing, kundalini, breathing exercises, training of single-pointed attention, training in mindfulness, training in single-pointed analysis, vision questing, chi building exercises, and so on, developed for various ends.We use Biofeedback and neurofeedback to achieve the deepest state of meditation which found to be more effective than using psychotropic medications and sleep medications with numerous side effects.
In my doctoral thesis on stress management at the University of Toronto, we found that meditation is the most effective method to reduce and minimize stress.
Meditation may involve generating an emotional state for the purpose of analyzing that state – such as anger, hatred, or cultivating particular mental response to various phenomena, such as compassion. The term meditation can refer to the state itself, as well as to practices or techniques employed to cultivate the state. In brief, there are dozens of specific styles of meditation practice; the word meditation may carry different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs.
People who meditate regularly and laugh often have much higher beta endorphins which regulates several brain neurotransmitters like serotonin responsible for happiness and dopamine for controlling sleep, appetite and sexual function.
If you feel stressed or unable to achieve deep sleep, instead of rushing for medications, I strongly recommend meditation and focusing on your Chakras:
The Root Chakra
The Muladhara is found at the base of your spine, and its color is red. This is the chakra that deals with your will to survive, and to see that your basic needs are met. It′s element is earth, and it resonates with the etheric layer of your subtle body. Physically, it relates to your legs, feet and your skeletal structure, and also your sense of smell.
Signs that this chakra is out of balance include general unrest, and perhaps heightened anxiety about your life. You hold grudges, and might even lose your temper with people. This sometimes manifests with actual physical pain in your lower back. It′s easy to bring this area back into alignment. Surround yourself in shades of red. Meditate and try to relax as much as possible. Organize a routine, and make solving any problems in your life a priority. Gentle exercise works wonders, as does keeping a gratitude journal.
The Sacral Chakra
The Swadhisthana is located near your groin, between your belly button and your pubic bone and its color is orange. It corresponds to your spine sacrum. It keeps your moods and emotions balanced and healthy. Its element is water and it relates to the emotional layer of your subtle body. Physically it rules your hormones, reproductive system, and sense of taste.
It′s easy to tell when this chakra isn′t aligned because you′ll feel anxious and have a lot of nervous energy. Sexual issues occur, making intimacy difficult. You lose interest in your appearance, and become either narcissistic or aloof. Balancing this area isn′t difficult. Surround yourself in vibrant orange colors and remember how to play and have fun. Reconnect with your inner child and do things that are creative and enjoyable. Journal what you want from life, so that you can formulate a plan to make it happen.
The Solar Plexus Chakra
This area is also called the Manipura. It′s located at your navel and its color is yellow. This is the area that maintains your spiritual growth, and where you form your opinions about life. It′s element is fire and it relates to the mental layer of your subtle body. Physically it rules your digestive system and your sight.
When this area is out of whack you′ll find yourself being critical and judgmental towards yourself and others. You swing from wanting to grow and develop to not caring about your life. You get frustrated with the way things are unfolding, and may well take it out on others. Some simple ways to bring this chakra back into harmony include surrounding yourself with any shade of yellow, and to eat yellow fruits and vegetables. Talk with a life coach or a mentor about who you want to be. Find activities that resonate with your sense of self and participate in them.
The Heart Chakra
The heart chakraAnahatais located in the upper center of your chest, right next to your heart, and it′s represented by the colors pink and green. It shouldn′t come as a surprise that this is where your ability for love, compassion and kindness are kept. It′s element is air, and it′s paired with the astral layer of your subtle body. In the physical body it is associated with your respiratory system and your sense of touch.
If you′re feeling sad and lonely, jealous or resentful, nostalgic, or even spiteful, your heart chakra could need a tune up. This area influences all your relationships. Usually you′re focusing on and clinging to others too muchor perhaps you become detached, with no regard for anyone but yourself. To bring this area of your life back on track you only need to surround yourself with love. Rose quartz is good; it′s called the love stone′ by many crystal healers. Talking out your troubles with a counselor or trusted friend also helps, because it enables you to let go of the past, and find new pathways to joy.
The Throat Chakra
The name for this energy center is Vishuddha, and it is located right in your throat. Its color is blue, and it governs the way you communicate with and relate to others in your life. It′s element is ether, and it aligns with the etheric layer of your subtle body. It′s concerned with your neck and throat, andnot surprisinglyyour sense of sound.
You′ll definitely know when this area is unstable because everything you say comes out wrong, and you misinterpret what others say to you. You′ll take things the wrong way, say too much or too little, and spend a lot of time apologizing for interrupting. Your self-expression dries up, and you′ll spend a lot of time over-thinking things. Bring things back into balance by spending some time in silence organizing your thoughts. Practice speaking in the mirror, and work on your facial expressions and mannerisms. Wear blue, and study body language, so that you know you′re conveying exactly what you want to say, and hearing what others mean, even though their words may contradict their actions.
This is sometimes called Anja, or the brow chakra. It′s located between your eyes and its color is indigo. It′s associated with eyesight and also far sightas in clairvoyance, being psychic, and having prophetic dreams. It′s element is light and it′s aligned with the subtle body′s celestial layer.
It′s so easy to recognize when this chakra is imbalanced because things just seem downright unrealistic. Delusions, fantasies, and distorted versions of the truth seem valid. Self-importance and far-fetched ideas run through everythingbut the problem is you may not even notice that it′s happening. This is the hardest chakra to work with, but you should still try. Wear indigo and meditate often. Seek out your authentic self and make every effort to birth that person into reality. Trust your intuition and your dreams, but keep at least one foot firmly rooted in reality.
The Crown Chakra
Sahasrara is located right at the crown of your hairline, at the top of your head, and it′s colors include violet and white. It′s associated with the causal layer of the subtle body, your brain, and your nervous system. This area influences your thinking, and how you perceive the world around you.
When this chakra is weak, you′ll feel like you don′t fit in. Either you connect too strongly with your divinity and have surreal expectations of what you′re here to achieve (like a messianic complex), or you are devoid of faith. You′ll feel disheartened, either way, and start to take things too seriously. Yogic breathing exercises and meditation go a long way to restore the harmony to this chakra. Pursue spiritual activities, but don′t let them consume you. Associate with spiritual leaders in whom you trust, and make sure that you′re taking care of your body′s physical needs.