Updated: May 29, 2020
Meditation has been practiced all over the world for thousands of years in different forms. But the most popular form of meditation practiced today has its roots in Buddhism. Traditionally, meditation was primarily practiced by Buddhist monks in search of inner enlightenment. But over time, meditation was popularized and spread to the public and it is now used in a variety of different therapeutic contexts. Meditation is essentially any practice that encourages people to develop their focus, enhance their awareness, and tap into a state of inner peace and serenity. But within this broad definition there are also particular styles of meditation that emphasize different points of focus.
Regardless of the particular style of meditation, the benefits of this practice are wide-ranging due to the combined effect that it has on the body, mind, and soul. By offering meditation to people through YouTube or meditation apps, this has allowed more and more people to gain the benefits of this healing practice. But the most important element of a high-quality meditation is an effective voice over narration to effectively transmit the healing sounds of meditation and affirmations.
The Historical Origins of Meditation
Meditation has been practiced all over the world and in many different religions in various unique ways. However, the vast majority of meditations that are practiced today have their roots in the Buddhist forms of meditation. The most popular style of meditation today is known as mindfulness meditation and it was co-opted from the Buddhist Vipassana meditation. Vipassana meditation is a unique form of Buddhist insight meditation that incorporates elements of breath awareness, body awareness, and loving-kindness meditation. As Vipassana meditation became increasingly popular through the creation of worldwide teaching centers, the psychologist Jon Kabat-Zinn took one of these courses and realized that this meditation style could also have many therapeutic applications.
So, Jon Kabat-Zinn then created the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program that is widely practiced by psychologists around the world today. The creation of this program led to the popularization of mindfulness and pushed meditation into the mainstream. Besides mindfulness meditation, there are also numerous other styles of meditation in existence, and meditation itself is quite a broad term. Over time, meditation spread through many other famous meditation teachers, such as Deepak Chopra and Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. These days, you can hardly turn a corner without seeing an advertisement for a meditation session, and nearly every business offers meditation in some form to its employees.
What is Meditation?
Meditation is essentially any practice that incorporates some techniques to focus the mind and attain a calm inner state. Some of the most popular ways of achieving this are by focusing the mind on the breath, on a mantra, or on an affirmation. Although there are numerous styles of meditation, some of the most popular forms of meditation are:
· Mindfulness Meditation: A style of meditation that focuses on the breath and developing awareness of sensations in the body.
· Mantra Meditation: A style of meditation that incorporates the use of a mantra or affirmation that is repeated or chanted either out loud or mentally.
· Walking Meditation: A style of meditation that involves elements of mindfulness meditation but in a moving format.
· Yoga Nidra: A style of meditation that includes elements of breath and body awareness, but primarily focuses on the use of visualizations in a dreamlike state.
For someone who is just starting out with meditation, it is best to begin with a more basic style like mindfulness meditation. But over time, you should try to explore different types of meditation to find which one works best for you. Not all meditation styles involve long periods of sitting. There are also moving styles of meditation like walking meditation and even ecstatic dance meditation as well.
Depending on your preferences, you can practice meditation on your own or in a group. If you are more experienced in meditation, you can practice without any guide or teacher, however, most people practice guided meditation. Meditations are typically led by an experienced voice over artist who is skilled in the unique form of meditation narration in order to tap into a deeper relaxation response. It is very important to follow a meditation from someone with a relaxing narration style because this can allow you to get deeper into a meditative or hypnotic state.
The Benefits of Meditations
Meditation is a unique practice because it has benefits for the body, mind, and soul. Meditation can be practiced by people of all ages and abilities and this practice is commonly used in many therapeutic contexts as well.
· Improves cardiovascular health
· Decreases blood pressure
· Relieves symptoms of physical pain
· Boosts the immune system
· Assists with weight loss
· Can treat headaches
· Reduces age-related memory loss
· Reduces anxiety and depression
· Relieves stress
· Increases empathy
· Improves sleep
· Enhances focus and concentration
· Enriches creativity
· Improves self-awareness
· Generates greater kindness and compassion
· Can bring you closer towards enlightenment or self-actualization
Plus, so many more! Although you can certainly gain the benefits of meditation simply by practicing for 5-minutes, it is best to try practicing meditation for longer periods of time. When practiced every day, meditation can cause profound changes in your life.
Meditation is accessible and beneficial for people of all ages and backgrounds, making this a highly effective practice that should be incorporated in everyone’s daily life. Thankfully, through high-quality voice over narration and guided meditations, you can begin gaining the benefits of meditation by simply putting in your headphones. So, start your journey with meditation and check out my offerings for voice over and narration for meditation today!