When you experience pure meditation, you will experience a state of stillness that flows with ease. Your body will be still, resisting sensations. Your mind will be still, no longer jumping from one thought to another. And finally, emotionally, you will have a sense of peace and stillness. This is what it means to meditate properly.
If you did not experience any thoughts during your meditation, then you have practiced proper concentration. If you occasionally had thoughts but they did not disturb your meditation, then you have practiced mindfulness. And if you constantly had thoughts and emotions while you were meditating, then you have practiced shamatha-vipasyana (concentration-awareness).
These are all important aspects of meditation. It is useful to know how you performed so that you can repeat your practice tomorrow. Here are the common methods used by people to measure their meditation progress:
1. Self-assessment: By simply looking at your own behavior you can estimate your progress in meditation. Did you notice any changes in your personality after some time? If you are more patient or less anxious than before starting meditation, then you have made progress.
2. Psychometric tests: Scientists have developed many psychometric tests to measure different aspects of meditation. These include self-report questionnaires and behavioral experiments. Questionnaires are simple to use and can give you an overall idea about how well you are doing in meditation.
Meditation involves not just the mind, but also the body (8). At the start of the session, you may experience odd aches, scratchiness, or tingling. The body feels the disappointments of the mind, and you may desire to stand up or even give up. You may feel fatigued at times, with your body feeling heavy, drowsy, and sluggish.
When meditation begins to work its way into your daily life, you may find that you're more patient with yourself and others. You may also begin to feel less anxious about some things in your life. Overall, though, meditation is hard work. It requires consistency and diligence.
Have fun playing around with different types of meditation! For example, you can try thinking about something that makes you happy, watching your breath go in and out, listening to music, or doing any of the other activities described in this guide.
The most important thing is to be gentle with yourself if you don't feel like you're getting anywhere. Everyone's meditation journey is unique. Some people think about nothing else but themselves, their feelings, and their problems. For them, meditation is very difficult and sometimes feels pointless. Other people find that by focusing on their breaths or sounds, they are able to gain some control over their minds and bodies. Still others learn to relax completely into the present moment and let go of thoughts and feelings they used to hold onto so tightly.
Ultimately, what works for one person may not work for you.
Meditation is a specific technique for relaxing the mind and achieving a state of awareness that differs significantly from the regular waking experience. It is the way of comprehending all levels of ourselves and, ultimately, experiencing the core of awareness inside.
The aim of meditation is to reach a place where we are free from mental fluctuations, emotions, and thoughts completely. This state is called "Samadhi." In other words, meditation is the means by which we can achieve enlightenment.
In modern-day terms, meditation is a practice that involves focusing your attention on one subject or idea for an extended period of time. As you concentrate on this single topic, you release all other thoughts except for the one that you have chosen. The goal is to develop the capacity to focus your mind without any distraction for longer periods of time.
When you meditate, you enter a state known as "Trance." Your normal waking consciousness becomes replaced by a feeling of deep relaxation. The mind is no longer distracted by daily concerns; instead, it is focused exclusively on what you have asked it to think about.
This exercise makes us more aware of how our mind works. It also helps us control our emotions and respond rather than react to situations that arise in our lives. Last but not the least, meditation is essential for our spiritual growth.
Meditation produces emotions of peace, relaxation, and even ecstasy after some practice. This "natural high" enables you to better manage your emotions and endure stressful situations. The feeling is similar to that produced by drugs such as morphine or cocaine.
In addition, research shows that meditating for just 20 minutes a day can make you more patient, tolerant, forgiving, and able to control your impulses.
Finally, meditation can help reduce stress and improve your overall health. It can help you deal with problems when they arise and keep you focused during difficult times at work or home.
All in all, meditation is known to have many benefits for our mind and body. It can help us cope with stress, discover new perspectives, and feel happy.
However, it's important to remember that meditation is not a replacement for professional medical care. A meditative state can be fully achieved only through persistent effort over a long period of time. If you suffer from any medical condition, it's recommended that you discuss with your doctor before beginning a meditation program.
Meditation might help you feel less isolated and more connected. It's ironic (or perhaps not) that in this day of 24/7 communication, isolation and loneliness can feel even more painful. But it occurs, and when it does, the feeling of solitude may be crushing.
When you meditate, you're actually becoming more aware of your surroundings and those around you. You are learning to live in the moment and let go of the past and future. This exercise helps you deal with stress and anxiety related to disconnection from others. It also promotes kindness and compassion for others.
Meditation can help you feel more connected to people on a personal level too. When you learn to quiet your mind and focus on yourself instead, you begin to understand how other people feel. This insight comes from practicing mindfulness, which is one of the main goals of meditation.
You also learn to appreciate others' differences. If you only knew how many people I hurt every time I move my eyes away from yours... But that's another story. In short, meditation teaches you to connect with others by focusing on yourself instead. It opens your heart and makes you kinder.
The serenity that results through meditation is a profound and serene kind of tranquility. It gives the impression that time is slowing down. For a moment, or maybe a few hours, your thoughts settle down, your mind stops racing, and you feel a deep feeling of serenity.
Serenity comes from within you. There are many levels of awareness you can be aware of. Some people say they're only aware of the physical world, but really they're also aware of their feelings and thoughts. With practice, you can expand your awareness to include everything around you and even beyond what's visible.
As your awareness increases, you'll find it easier to stay focused on your breath, or body sensations, for longer periods of time. This is where most people start having meditative experiences. The more you focus on your breath or body sensations, the more you realize there is no "you" observing them. It's all just objects experiencing events over time.
As your meditation practice progresses, you may want to try including other things in your awareness such as sounds, feelings, memories, or questions about life. You can always come back to your breathing later.
Some people call this expanded state of awareness "clear thinking", because they feel like they have clearer minds when they meditate.