The word meditation originally comes from Latin meditatio to meditari "to think, ponder, reflect" and from ancient Greek medomai "to think, reflect".
Meditation techniques are exercises that increase mindfulness and concentration with the aim of calming and gathering the mind.
By the word mind we mean here the mental and emotional processes in the human brain such as thoughts, feelings, thought patterns, evaluations of the mind, beliefs, etc.
Meditation is in the first step "an observation" of oneself. To decide consciously, to do nothing for a moment, to sit down and simply perceive the body and breath. Observing one's own thoughts
and feelings and keeping one's concentration focused on the breath, for example. This sounds easy for the first time, but those who have tried this before know that this is not so.
Our mind gets bored very quickly and probably gets lost somewhere else quite quickly. Perhaps your mind is jumping to a to-do list that needs to be done or to a problem for which no solution is in sight. Or a feeling comes up that you are not really aware of, where it comes from or the mind comments on a situation or a person and, and, and, and...
Therefore our mind is often called monkey mind. A monkey can be very restless and jumps up and down the tree, bouncing from branch to branch, just like our mind moves restlessly from one thought to another.
Numerous scientific studies prove that regular meditation has a positive influence on our brain. Brain regions that promote compassion and empathy are strengthened.
At the same time, activities in the amygdala region are reduced. The amygdala region, or almond kernel complex, is responsible for emotions such as anger and fear and also memories.
Brain waves show that the electrical activity in the brain changes with the activity of a person. The brain waves of a sleeping person differ from those of an awake person.
Beta waves (12-38 Hz) occur in a wide awake and alert state during the day. Alpha waves (8-12 Hz), on the other hand, occur in an awake but deeply relaxed state, for example early in the morning, before falling asleep or during daydreaming. Alpha waves make it easier to reach a meditative state. Information can even be called up in the subconscious.
We experience theta waves (3-8 Hz) in light sleep or deep relaxation or a conscious state in meditation. Through regular meditation we can train our brain wave frequency to change.
The breath is an important element in many meditation techniques. Especially yogic techniques emphasize long exhalations. During exhalation, the parasympathetic nervous system, which is the part of the autonomic nervous system that is responsible for relaxation in the entire human system, is stimulated.
Marco has been meditating for over 20 years. He has participated in several 10-day Vipassana Retreats.
He completed the MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) Instructor Training and shares his passion for meditation in the retreats and workshops. In the MBSR mainly three different variations are practiced: the body scan, the walking meditation and the sitting meditation.
Meditation is an important part of the yoga training, because meditation (dhyana) is one of the eight limbs on the yoga path of Patanjali. In one of the first verses it says: "yoga chitta vritti
nirodha" and means Yoga is the bringing to rest of the mind (or the activities of the mind).
Sandra also likes to call meditation mental training, because in the first step it is practiced to focus the attention on one point.