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Stop, disconnect and reflect. Meditation is a way of using your thoughts to bring about a state of calm, enlightenment or spirituality. It’s an essential part of many psychological practices as well as hundreds of religious and secular ways of life across the world. Meditation is a key element of many alternative therapies, often combined with prayer, music, exercise, self-massage and fasting.
Meditation is not just for monks. There are many types of meditation that range from the structured mental exercises of western psychology to the broad-minded exploration characteristic of Buddhism. Some of the main types of meditation you might come across if you are practicing yoga, Chinese medicine or a number of holistic, alternative therapies include:
Many forms of meditation can be learnt alone, or as part of another activity such as yoga. If you attend a meditation class, the class leader, master or guru will often teach you more about the theory behind meditation and to guide you through more advanced forms.
A meditation class will normally last 1-2 hours to give you time to shake off the stresses of the outside world and really involve yourself in the mental exploration.
Meditation is not only good for dealing with stress, depression, phobias, anxiety attacks, poor concentration and addictive habits, but it’s also incredibly flexible. There are portable meditation techniques that you can practice at any time to help you to carry over all the positive things you learn in meditation classes to your everyday life. So, whether you’re a busy executive type or you’re living the simple life in a commune, meditation can help you to feel well-balanced, fulfilled and ready for anything.