When one begins to learn the art of meditation, it is often difficult to find that initial focus and sustain it. Buddhist Meditation maintains the belief that with concentration on breathing, refinement of loving kindness and following a set of principles one can become ‘enlightened’ or grow to a higher level of self and knowledge.
Ancient Buddhists believed that Buddha was able to become awakened and brought to the highest level of being through the power of strong and focused meditation. Buddha’s Awakening created a following that has taught many forms of enlightenment through various different visualizations, chants, postures and mindfulness practices. Two of the most popular methods of Buddhist Meditation still practiced today; Loving Kindness Meditation and Walking Meditation are magnificent experiences for the mind, body and soul.
Lovingkindness Meditation, or in the original Sanskrit, Metta Bhavana, is essentially the teaching to learn to love yourself and in turn, send love back out into the world. It is a beautiful, self-esteem building exercise that you can incorporate into your daily life. Aside from actually sitting in meditation you can use the basis of Metta Bhavana to create acts of loving kindness all over throughout your day, bringing about a better feeling or worth, love and acceptance. This leaves you open and ready for all sorts of new relationships to come into your life.
Sitting in a comfortable, straight posture begin to let your breath and thoughts flow. It is often helpful to create a mantra to repeat to yourself. Something like, “May I be healthy, happy and open to love”. Find a mantra that expresses the happiness that you want to create in your life. Some find visualization of someone they love helpful to their meditation. Focus on the breath and the image of your loved one. Send kind words to your loved one. Perhaps more cherished ones will enter your thoughts, each time they do – send them words of love and kindness. When you are complete with your meditation slowly rise up and smile. Try to bring these thoughts with you throughout your day to create a meditation that grows with you giving back to each part of your life.
A different form of meditation, Walking Meditation does not have you sit in meditation but instead uses nature as a connecting, grounding force for your concentration. The very act of walking busies the mind from distraction and allows for a more focused awareness to occur.
Begin Walking Meditation by just standing in nature. Just feel your surroundings, use all of your senses to be in the moment. Once you are ready, begin by walking at a comfortable pace. Take in your surroundings. Thoughts will immediately begin to flow. Think of your breathing and let the thoughts come and go. Do not judge them, just accept them and keep focusing on your body. Relax your body head to toe, focusing slowly and purposefully on each part of your physical being. Breathe in the fresh air and then let it out. Let the freshness of the air renew yourself mind, body and soul.
Buddhist Meditation creates a wonderful feeling inside of you that should not end when your meditation session is over. The sense of mindfulness and enlightenment that Buddhist Meditation brings is about a whole life transformation, not just a fifteen minute meditation sitting. Give it a try and you will definitely feel the benefits immediately.