Meditation Techniques

For Reducing Stress And A Clear Mind




The Objective Of Meditation Techniques

Quite simply the goal of most meditation techniques is to give you a degree of control over your mind and and to give you a large degree of freedom from the incessant flow of thoughts and internal chatter - your "monkey mind" as it is called.

Another major by-product of practising meditation techniques is that meditation will help you relax and relieve stress.

Ultimately, if you do enough of it, it will help you realise increased or higher states of insight and perception.

The most basic reason for wanting to understand and be able to practise meditation techniques is quite simply that the state and quality of your mind has a very large bearing on the quality of your response to the events that occur in your life, and this in turn leads to better outcomes.




Where does this all lead?

If you keep going with any or all of these meditation techniques, you start to see through - from your own direct experience - the illusion that you are a separate entity: "a separate ego in a bag of skin" to quote the late Alan Watts.

Whenever anyone, regardless of culture or belief system or point in time, persists with their meditation practise they all report the same thing (although it may be expressed in differing ways) and that is that they contact reality directly, without the filter of the mind.

When this happens, the meditator instantly knows who he or she really is "the going on of it all, and the nothingness out of which it all arises, moment by moment, endlessly".

When life is experienced from this perspective, everything changes and looks quite different.

I do not mean that the problems and issues just melt away, they don't, at certain stages they seem to increase in volume and intensity, but that how we interact and relate to and deal with these things changes.

In simple practical terms we are better able to cope - we develop the capacity for a truly adaptive response to the events that impact us in our lives and, in so doing, improve the outcomes .





    Meditation is neither about cultivating nor rejecting, but rather about learning how to be present in the face of whatever arises in our mind.




The Beneficial Effects Of Meditation Techniques

From a big picture evolutionary perspective, the current stage of the neurological evolution of the average or normal human brain is that what is conventionally referred to as the "left brain" and the "right brain" do not communicate easily or much at all.

The same is also true for the other 2 major brain centres, conventionally referred to as "the emotional centre" and "the reptile brain" or the survival instinct.

The lack of communication between these 4 major brain centres, this lack of brain balance, is the underlying evolutionary and neurological reason why we experience life the way we do.

This lack of brain balance is why we suffer so much, and it is the neurological reason why, as a species, we inflict so much suffering on each other.

This lack of brain balance is also the root cause of all of our personal internal conflict and inner resistance or immunity to change.

At the physiological/neurological level, meditation techniques are quite literally about rewiring our brains.

This is not conjecture nor is it a matter of opinion, it is supported by hard science.


The science behind how and why meditation affects the structure and functioning of your brain

Meditation changes brain structure

Long-term meditators self-induce high-amplitude gamma synchrony during mental practice

The effect of meditation on the brain activity in tibetan meditators: Frontal Lobes

Here are a number of research based reports on the neurological effects of meditation practices

Also I refer you to the work of neurologist Andrew Newberg who is regarded as one of leading pioneers in the field of neuroscientific study of religious and spiritual experiences [increasingly referred to as neurotheology] and specifically how brain function is associated with meditative states, mystical and religious experiences.




Let's Try It!

Before we talk about it let's try it. Can you spare 3 minutes? Can I ask you to take 3 gentle deep breaths and just focus on the sensation of your breath flowing in and out through your nostrils.

Take 3 more breaths and focus on the sensation of your breathing as you look at the picture below.

Try to focus your eyes on the island with the swan on it in the middle of the picture.

Then slowly read the words below the picture.






Can you coax your mind from its wandering
and keep to original oneness?
Can you step back from your own mind
and thus understand all things?

Tao Te Ching




OK what are you feeling - right now? Don't think about it. What word immediately arises? Just note it.

Do you feel slightly different after that? Maybe a subtle change in your energy level or slightly more relaxed?

Alternatively, maybe you feel irritated and a certain degree of resistance arising accompanied by thoughts of: "I don't do meditation" or "what the heck's this got to do with how to change your life?"

Or maybe you feel nothing?

The point is that it doesn't matter what you feel. The point is that you are aware - directly, of what you are feeling - and without comment, evaluation or assessment.




3 Recommended Meditation Techniques

There are many meditation techniques and meditation practises, but for practical purposes I would recommend 3 meditation techniques that all serve the purpose of developing a clear mind and reducing stress.

The exercise above illustrates the first and second of these three meditation techniques:

(1) Guided meditation with a focal point which could for example be relaxation, or engendering specific qualities such as compassion, or developing insights into the nature of time, mortality.

(2) Mindfulness meditation where you just sit and observe (without narrative or analysis) your own thoughts and internal states,you also watch the recurring or autonomic nature of your thoughts and feelings and how you get immersed in them.

(3) Binaural meditation where you take advantage of binaural beat technology by listening through headphones to a prerecorded sound track with embedded binaural beats.

If you want more detail on the wider background to this overall subject, Wikipedia have a very detailed and thorough page HERE.

Here is a free introductory download to the basics of "How To Meditate"




Recommended Resources For Meditation Techniques

Guided meditation

I have been aware of, and have used material from, "The Guided Meditation Site" for some time now.

The site is run Dr. Christopher Lloyd Clarke, B.Sc, Msc.D and I am a big fan of hs material.

Christopher is the author of numerous articles on the science of sound, Christopher regularly works with meditation teachers, holistic healers, hypnotherapists and personal development consultants to help them produce and distribute their guided audio productions.

Christopher's site is in itself a relaxing place to visit, he offers many free downloads and resources and a very wide of guided meditation material, relaxation and meditation music.

I commend it you:




Royalty Free Meditation Music




Binaural meditation

Some years ago I saw an advert for a meditation product that promised me that I could meditate like a Zen master and without 25 years of practise several hours a day.

I was sceptical, but interested, and did some research.

Here is a summary of what I found:

No More Boredom + No More Years Of Training!







Return to Techniques For Managing Stress

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