Meditation is a natural alternative therapy that can be easily classified under body and mind medicine. A large number of doctors are now prescribing meditation as a method to reduce the level of blood pressure, enhance exercise performance in individuals with angina, helping people with the asthma problem, relaxing the everyday tensions of life and relieving insomnia.
The first type of meditation is the mindfulness meditation. It involves the opening attention to be aware of constantly passing sensations as well as thoughts, smells, sounds, images and feelings and that too without becoming engrossed in the thinking process about these things. The individual sits calmly and witnesses what all goes through his or her mind, not becoming engrossed or reacting to these thoughts and emotions. This in turn helps to have a clearer, non reactive as well as calm state of mind. This mindfulness meditation can easily be likened to the wide angle lens.
The other type is that of the concentrative meditation. It focuses the overall attention on breath, sound or image to still the person’s mind thereby allowing greater clarity as well as awareness. This is just like a zooming lens in the camera that narrows the focus to the selected path. The simplest types of concentrative meditation are to quietly sit and then focus attention on breath. Meditation and yoga practitioners hold the belief that there is some correlation between the mind and breathing process of every person. When an individual is frightened, distracted, agitated or anxious, the breath will seem to be rapid, uneven as well as shallow. On other side, when one’s mind is all calm, the breath will be deep, regular and slow.
Focusing one’s mind on constant rhythm of the exhalation and inhalation offers a natural sense of meditation. As one focuses on awareness on the breath, the mind becomes totally absorbed on rhythm of this inhalation and exhalation. Due to this, the breathing becomes deeper and slower and the mind then becomes all the more aware and tranquil.