A Quick Guide to Meditation

Quick Guide to Meditation

Most people find this subject to be sort of esoteric and controversial, but let me tell you, I found it to be very dynamic and powerful in my life. Meditation is part of Self-reliance, simple, but yet super dynamic and the results are spectacular. You can use meditation as a tool to help with health issues or just to to focus, and problem -solving life issues.

No matter what your believes are, or what philosophical background you have, meditation can certainly help you. Meditation is a simple tool yet very powerful. I personally use meditation to help me organize my day. I also use meditation to assist me when I have a problem or situation that I need to resolve. More importantly I use it just to relax and recharge.

According to Wikipedia – The word meditation carries different meanings in different contexts.[6] Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and believes.[7] Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way.  Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health issues, such as high blood pressure,[8] depression, and anxiety.

The Tibetan word for meditation “Gom” means “to become familiar with one’s Self” and has the strong implication of training the mind to be familiar with states that are beneficial: concentration, compassion, correct understanding, patience, humility, perseverance, etc.[17]

Experience MeditationJonathan Shear, wrote “The Experience of Meditation”. St. Paul, MN: Paragon House an edited book about “meditation,” published in 2003.  In the book you will find chapters on how meditation contributes on all different philosophical religions such as Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist, Jewish, Christian and Islamic traditions.

Meditation has been linked to a variety of health benefits. A study of college students by Oman et al. (2008) found that meditation may produce physiological benefits by changing neurological processes. This finding was supported by an expert panel at the National Institutes of Health. The practice of meditation has also been linked with various favorable outcomes that include: “effective functioning, including academic performance, concentration, perceptual sensitivity, reaction time, memory, self control, empathy, and self esteem.”(Oman et al., 2008, pg. 570) In their evaluation of the effects of two meditation-based programs they were able to conclude that meditating had stress reducing effects and cogitation, and also increased forgiveness. (Oman et al., 2008)

The Relaxation ResponseAnother Great Book to Read – The Relaxation Response by Dr. Herbert Benson introduced this simple, effective, mind/body approach to relieve stress. This is a book that created lots of controversy twenty-five years ago, and still creating controversy today, but the health benefits is why the book became an instant national bestseller. Since that time, millions of people have learned the secret of the relaxation response–without high-priced lectures, drugs, or prescription medicine. The tremendous success of this approach has turned The Relaxation Response into the classic reference recommended by most health care professionals and authorities to treat the harmful effects of stress.

With the hectic pace and demands of modern life, many people feel stressed and over-worked. It often feels like there is just not enough time in the day to get everything done. Our stress and tiredness make us unhappy, impatient and frustrated. It can even affect our health. We are often so busy we feel there is no time to stop and meditate! But meditation actually gives you more time by making your mind calmer and more focused.

How to Meditate

A simple five to fifteen minute breathing meditation as explained below can help you to overcome your stress and find some inner peace and balance. Just try it!


  1. If you are time conscious or if this is your first time meditating, then set a stop watch to 5 minutes.
  2. Then sit or lay down comfortably;
  • On a chair with your back straight and hands on your lap
  • Or Lay in bed with your hands on the side
  • Or if you want, on a lotus position on top of a comfortable cushion
  1. Then close your eyes and focus on your breathing.
  2. Think of nothing but your breathing.
  3. Just pay attention to your breathing.

That was a great start. See, very simple!

Meditation can also help us to understand our own mind. We can learn how to transform our mind from negative to positive, from disturbed to peaceful, from unhappy to happy. This is a profound spiritual practice you can enjoy throughout the day, not just while seated in meditation. For deeper research start by checking out this website http://www.how-to-meditate.org/

Happy meditation journey!

by Vagabond Elmer, founder and curator of the Vagabond Lifestyles blog, a community for those people interested in living a simple, economically sustainable, and nomadic lifestyle.

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