WHAT IS MEDITATION?
Meditation is an ancient technique used to achieve a state of clarity and calmness.
It’s a mental exercise that involves relaxation of the mind and body to promote an inner focus and deep self-awareness. For centuries, meditation has been used for healing and well-being in all aspects of life. When an individual is meditating, they cultivate an aura of tranquility by clearing the mind and focusing on a particular object or idea. Numerous techniques can be used during meditation, such as visualization or using a mantra, but three modes are most commonly practiced:
In this type of meditation, the practitioner directs their attention to a single subject of focus. This can be internal or external, such as a mantra, a specific object or the breath. Concentration meditation is very deliberate and aids in focus, concentration and patience.
Observation meditation involves being completely present in the moment. Practitioners observe whatever thoughts, experiences or ideas rise into their consciousness without dwelling on or reacting to them. Observation meditation (also called open mind meditation) entails accepting what the moment has to offer.
In awareness meditation, practitioners focus on an object but remain aware of other thoughts, emotions and experiences. The goal is to be present and undistracted, neither concerned with focusing or observing.
Meditation is extremely versatile and can be adapted for various needs and goals. With practice, meditation can help individuals gain unique insights into their minds and promote spiritual or personal growth. For patients in addiction recovery, meditation can help them look within and better understand the thoughts and behaviors that underlie their substance use. Patients can also learn to recognize triggers and harmful patterns that may contribute to their addiction and discover healthy coping mechanisms for handling difficult situations.