Meditation Techniques
By:Sid Williams III

Sleep and meditation are very closely related as meditation is often considered a conscious form of sleep. However, everyone sleeps and very few people meditate. Meditation can provide several benefits as it teaches you to free tour mind of negative thoughts and focus better. Although this notion might suggest a picture of meditation as something only done by monks in some far-away temple in the Himalayas, it can actually be done in countless ways depending on your lifestyle.

Basic Meditation
Basic meditation is simple by nature. First, sit comfortably, ideally in a lotus position, with your legs intertwined; place left foot over right thigh, and right foot over left thigh. Close your eyes to avoid visual distraction. Try to free your mind from all thoughts as you breathe deeply in and out. As the slightest noise can be a disturbance, try to perform basic meditation in a quiet place.

Other forms include leaving your eyes open and focusing on colors, shapes and patterns without thinking. You can also listen to sounds, identifying patterns and sound qualities.

Focused Meditation
These are many ways to reach the goal of thoughtlessness. By focusing your thought on certain actions performed in a special manner, you can minimize distractions and wandering thoughts. Although a quiet place for meditation is ideal, you can do focused meditation in a slightly noisier environment.

One well-known example is the “listening-to-breathing” technique of Hindu origin. Sit in comfortable position and focus solely on breathing. Close your eyes and listen to the sound of your breathing. Beginning with long, deep breaths from the diaphragm, your breathing will gradually become shorter and shorter as you go into a deeper meditative state.

Activity Meditation
Doing something you enjoy which takes the mind off from the pressures of work, family, and other stressful endeavors is another form of meditation. For instance, engaging in sports, such as golf or fishing, cooking or even gardening can be beneficial. Any type of activity which involves focus helps clear your mind as you concentrate on a single pursuit rather than several different thoughts at once.