For some years now, they have been back in vogue, the mental exercises for relaxation, balance and self-confidence. Stressed people are looking for a balance, others want to get to know each other better and still others want to shape and enrich their lives more consciously.
As a newcomer to this topic, however, it is easy to feel overwhelmed and overwhelmed. Not only are there many websites and countless literature on meditation techniques and mindful perception, there are also trainings, seminars, video courses, online courses and entire shops full of useful products.
In this guide, we provide an overview for beginners, where you will find everything useful to know for an easy introduction to relaxation and mindfulness.
What is mindfulness?
The idea of mindfulness is to sharpen one’s own perception and thereby make life more conscious. The mindful person consciously perceives his emotions, thoughts, his environment (the outside) and his feelings (the inside).
Mindfulness means consciously experiencing the little things of everyday life, in peace and clarity. Without being distracted by overwhelming feelings or other thoughts.
If you are mindful, you perceive your life more intensely and can get involved more consciously in all situations. Mindful people rest within themselves in all their actions and decisions. They differ from people who do everyday life on the side, are primarily guided by feelings, primitive needs or external stimuli.
What is meditation?
Meditation or meditation exercises are understood to be all techniques with which the outside world is released, which are directed inwards. In meditation, the mind is explored, calmed or emptied. The goals of meditation can therefore be very different.
What all meditation techniques have in common is that attention is consciously controlled. In this respect, meditation is very similar to mindfulness, but meditation is detached from the outside world, ignoring it as much as possible.
A distinction is made between meditation either according to tradition or method of execution. Accordingly, one can traditionally distinguish between Far Eastern meditation, Buddhist meditation, Christian meditation and anthroposophical meditation. In terms of execution, a distinction is made between passive and active meditations, the latter involving the body in their exercises in a ritualized way.
Combining meditation and mindfulness
Mindfulness and meditation have a lot in common. Both exercises are intended to help consciously direct concentration.
In mindfulness, perception remains unclouded and free of foreign influences that interfere with our environment and mind from making clear and free decisions and acting. We learn to see our world and our lives clearly.
In meditation, the mind remains unclouded and free from internal distractions. Here we learn to clearly perceive and consciously control our inner self, our emotions and our consciousness.
Meditation and mindfulness are thus two schools of the same, conscious way of life. One and the other almost inevitably arise from each other. So it is not a mistake even for beginners to learn both concepts at the same time and increase them in interaction.
What meditation for beginners?
As a beginner, you sometimes wonder what types of meditations there are and which is the best meditation. As a beginner, you should not put too much thought into this, but make a gut decision! As a beginner, it is best to choose a form of meditation that appeals to you intuitively and where you can easily find professional guidance. This is important so that motivation is high, daily meditation is enjoyable, and advanced guidance is available when needed.
Popular forms of meditation
For orientation, we will provide you with a list of popular forms of meditation and briefly describe the essential characteristics.
- Zen Buddhism
Zen Buddhism is lived mindfulness in its exercises. His exercises are, for example, the walking meditation Kinhin, the tea ceremony, the art of writing, making music or archery. The exercises are performed with conscious calm and precision.
The postures of yoga usually instill respect in beginners. They are focused on the wholeness and balance of body and mind. Just as important as posture in yoga is fasting and breathing techniques.
Tantra is a meditation technique related to Zen Buddhism. It is relatively well known for the inclusion of sexuality, but this only plays a role in higher tantras. Other aspects of this form of meditation are the teaching of chakras and the visualization of deities. An inclination towards spirituality is definitely required for Tantra.
- Martial art
As probably the most physical form of meditation, martial arts should not go unmentioned. The martial origin of combat training is hardly recognizable in Tai Chi Chuan, for example. The physical confrontation then serves to focus mind and soul. In other forms of martial arts, meditation is used for mental control in order to remain conscious and focused in combat. In martial arts, body and mind form the unit that is trained.
- Resting meditation
Resting meditation is a Christian tradition and is considered “the way to God”. It begins with spoken and thought prayers and leads to the fusion of daily and meditation consciousness.
- Mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness, which is popular in the West and has already been described above, comes from Buddhist mindfulness meditation. The meditator moves into an upright sitting position in order to linger in the here and now without judgement or intention. In conventional medicine, there are forms of therapy based on this, which are detached from the Buddhist worldview and serve to reduce stress.
- Concentration meditation
Finally, we would like to introduce the concentration meditation. Concentration is directed to a single object, the breath, a thought or a symbol. In this way, the meditator switches off all other thoughts of everyday life. As a result, other thoughts fade into the background, the mind becomes calmer.
Healthier with meditation and mindfulness
In people’s everyday lives, there is a lot of room for physical well-being, which is reflected in escalating consumer habits. The mental and spiritual well-being is usually at a disadvantage, because it is more difficult to achieve. The unity of body and psyche is inextricably linked. There is no health for the body without a healthy mind. And a healthy psyche is also much easier to achieve in a healthy body.
Meditation and mindfulness are part of a healthy lifestyle. They also help to behave healthily in other areas of life, as we have already been able to explain vividly in our health tips . If you shop carefully, you buy good food. Those who are mindful in their dealings with others develop healthy social relationships. Those who know the mind and psyche well, are well versed in them, can endure stress, will sleep well and can give strength to those around them.