What is the Purpose of Meditation?
Before we start – I am no ‘guru’ nor a spiritual expert. I just enjoy Meditation and Yoga and wanted to start a blog from my perspective of trying to create a daily routine that allows me a glimpse of the stillness they can bring. I try to link out to as many reputable sources within these posts as I can, some of these external links enable me to earn a commission which helps towards the running of the blog.
In recent times, there is a lot of buzz around the word meditation and mindfulness meditation in particular. It seems as if it is used very frequently in this modern world of ours.
However, many people still remain unaware of its facts and nuances. Some of them treat meditation as ‘thinking in a calm state’ and some as purely ‘concentrating on our breaths’.
In fact, meditation goes far beyond that. It is a divine feeling where the mind rests and experiences the state of consciousness within. Oneness with the Almighty, Enlightenment, and Self-Realization are the attributes which ornate the word – meditation.
In meditation, the mind is clear and relaxed and the focus is to discover ourselves and consciousness as a whole, not to dwell on worldly matters. Although an art in its practice, it still is a science that needs to follow a set of principles to produce the desired results.
I often get asked about the benefits of meditation by friends and family. Are these benefits the same as the true purpose? I don’t believe so however having a purpose for the meditation techniques you use can help you to remain with your practice and ultimately add to the benefits you reap.
What is the purpose of meditation and tips to achieve this goal
Theoretically, the purpose of meditation is to have a mind clear of thoughts but there is a more to it than that.
Human mind processes thoughts in a gamut of different ways through conscious & subconscious. Throughout the human life, we experience worldly matters, a variety of emotions and try to analyze them to solve the everyday problems we face. However, this often does not involve looking within and experiencing ourselves.
This lack of Self-Realization is the major cause for many of the physical, psychological & social complications people experience.
The goal of meditation is to completely transcend our mind and experience our essential nature.
As a result, the purpose behind your practice of meditation is to help us to achieve mental peace, happiness, and bliss.
It’s a beautiful feeling that is certainly beyond words to explain and one needs to regularly practice meditation in order to truly experience this bliss.
When we learn to examine ourselves through mindfulness meditation, we attain highest of all joys that cannot be compared to other joys in the world. The joy is immense and everlasting.
Practically, meditation helps us to calm our minds, let go of our grudges and openly accept the facts that life gives us. It trains our mind to achieve the highest emotional quotient which is an essential requirement for our body. We can achieve this by developing the techniques to remain still and by concentrating only on our breath.
How to mediate with purpose
In the ancient Indian Yoga tradition, we are guided to sit straight with our head, neck, and trunk aligned in a meditative posture (asana).
To begin with, choose a place that is free from distractions.
You can choose to sit on the floor or a meditation chair with a comfortable cushion and gently close your eyes.
Concentrate on your breath and allow the body to relax. Take the time to let go off all the worries and enjoy the process of discovering yourself.
An excellent way to improve your concentration is through the use of incense during meditation which can focus your mind on the aroma of the scent, quieting your mind in the process.
As the body is relaxing and the mind is at peace, observe your breath and heartbeats without trying to control it. Initially, the breaths and beat count may be irregular but as time passes by, they become smooth without any interventions.
The body is as calm as the calmness of a still river. To achieve this, one must practice meditation on a regular basis.
The first few days may be tough, since thoughts may distract you in the process of achieving this calmness. But, remember that without your reaction, no thought can disturb you.
If you react, you will be caught in infinite loops of restless activity.
Begin mindfulness meditation by attending to your breath and if there is a thought distracting the mind, openly accept it and move forward.
This is but just a momentary phase and you can focus back on your breath.
With a purposeful practice of meditation, you will begin to experience inner joy, relief, and satisfaction. No matter how tough your current situation is, you can learn to develop the habit of balancing your life by not allowing your mental peace vanish away.
You must learn to apply the techniques of being balanced in both difficult and happy situations.
Extreme reactions in both the conditions are dangerous. Over happiness for a success, would make you believe that you are on top of the world making it difficult to digest failures. Also, extreme sadness is not good since this would affect your health and in turn will impact your overall personal and professional life.
Hence, balancing your mind is the essential requirement and trust me, Yoga and mindfulness meditation help us achieve this. If you’re interested in discovering more about the ancient practice of yoga we have reviewed some of the best yoga books to help you do this.
What is the purpose of a mantra during meditation?
We hope, up to this point that this guide has done a good job of outlining the purpose of regular mindfulness meditation practices. This section is going to change focus slightly and address another question we often get asked and that is “what is the purpose of a mantra during meditation?”.
The main reasons for choosing a mantra to use during meditation
- Deepens concentration
- Focuses your mind
- Generates positive vibrations
How to choose a mantra for transcendental meditation
In some meditation techniques, your mantra is given to you by your mentor or yogi. The mantra will be unique and is something you should become comfortable with repeating while meditating.
If you are new to meditation and looking to choose your own mantra to repeat while meditating then there are two factors you should bear in mind, these are the sound of mantra as well as the vibration.
The sound shouldn’t be anything you already have pre-existing attachments or labels for. For example ‘tree’. This wouldn’t work because when repeated your mind will automatically generate the image you have of a tree in your mind. This means the mantra you choose for transcendental Buddhist meditation should have no meaning.
The vibration of the sound must also be factored into your choice of mantra. The vibration should be close to hum sound generated by the almighty aum. This means the sound can easily fade into silence.
As this guide has tried to highlight, a growing number of people in the world show interest in Buddhist meditation but only a few understand its purpose.
Each of us has different desires, and failure to achieve and attain these desires only leads to restlessness.
We all crave for the luxuries of life, good reputation, status and other fantasies of life. But, life is far too complex to understand. We solve one problem and along comes another one knocking at our door. Whether rich or poor, everyone must face and accept this fact.
The benefits of meditation, or overall purpose is not just to take care of our temporary physical body but to enlighten ourselves and the people around us. An effective way to do this is through ‘Mantra’.
A Mantra is a word or phrase in Sanskrit which is repeated mentally to achieve focus. It is a powerful method of training the mind that has been used in meditation for millennia.
Each and every one of us has a different reason to meditate – from achieving health benefits to attaining a spiritual connection and because of this different Mantras serve a different purpose.
This is because each mantra has a different vibration.
Repetition of a mantra can bring us positivity and disconnection from our thoughts during meditation.
Below are the frequently used mantras in meditation.
- ‘Aum’ is the most powerful mantra used for chanting. It creates powerful and positive vibrations in your lower abdomen. Chanting the mantra quickly energizes you and chanting it slowly calms the mind. Slow chanting can also aid in falling to sleep.
- ‘Maha Mantra (Hare Krishna Mantra)’ is another powerful Mantra to achieve peace of mind. Mantra words are “Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna, Krishna Krishna, Hare Hare, Hare Rama, Hare Rama, Rama Rama, Hare Hare”.
- ‘Om Namah Shivaya’ is a mantra that boosts up self-confidence and brings compassion.
- ‘Lokah samastah sukhino bhavantu’ is a mantra chanted for the happiness and freedom of all the people. It also serves the purpose of contributing to happiness and freedom through our thoughts, words, and actions.
In the world we now live, full of mundane innovations trying to simplify lives, humans are troubled by emotional and spiritual issues.
Unfortunately, this can result in physical and mental impairment and increased spending on healthcare. Meditation is a simple way of avoiding this, comes naturally and at no cost.
All it requires is a belief, practice, and patience.