The word meditation (from the Latin meditatio = "to think, contemplate, ponder"), refers to a wide variety of exercises for the mind. Partially they are thousands of years old and an integral part of Eastern or Western religious practices, partially they are modern methods outside of any religious context.
Generally spoken, the goal of meditation is to achieve a state of consciousness different from the usual state of mind, in which a special form of mindfulness and a deep relaxation are brought about simultaneously. In order to be effective, meditation requires a regular practice.
From a scientific point of view, many studies undertaken in the field of meditation have suffered from bad study design or a small sample size, therefor unable to really prove effects of regular meditation (especially the studies on transcendental meditation); however, there are numerous studies which suggest that through meditation, it is possible to
- lower high blood pressure and pulse rate
- positively influence diseases of the heart and the circulatory system
- reduce stress and sleep disorders
- improve the subjectively perceived quality of life as a whole.
I myself started meditation at a young age. Meditation has helped me cope with stress and during major changes in my life. For me personally, meditation is an essential source of inner strength as well as a path to more self-awareness.
The meditation techniques that I teach in order to cope better with stress in daily life are specifically breath-focused meditations and mantra mediation.
Within the energy work and the coaching that I offer, I teach certain exercises that result in better centering, grounding and protection.
In my experience, it is necessary to learn meditation from an experienced and qualified teacher. For a better analytical understanding of the background and the mechanisms of meditation, I recommend the following book, which currently unfortunately can only be found second hand (and in German) Rupert Lay: Meditationstechniken für Manager.