Meditation — My Story and Meditation Practices
Disclaimer — This story is based on my own experiences. It is for informational purposes only. Please consult with a licensed professional instructor for the learning of your meditation.
When I was 15 years old, I asked my brother to teach me the Concentration Meditation technique as I was inspired by his meditation interest. I was able to meditate by focusing on my breathing for an hour. When I came to the States to pursue my American dream, I was in my early twenties, I enjoyed my fountain of youth, and meditation practice was dropped off from my priority list.
Many decades later, when I was in my fifties, I had a TIA (Transient Ischemic Attack) from high blood pressure. TIA is also known as mini stroke or pre stroke which is due to a blood clot that blocked blood flow in the brain. This episode forced me to re-evaluate my work life style. I learned the importance of maintaining work life balance, and started working on my recovery space. I had ways to control my hypertension, but only recently in my early sixties, I found meditation (associated within the Alpha and Theta brain wave activity) as a way to effectively release my stress which was the root cause of my hypertension and the key factor impacting my work life balance.
Yes! I meditated in my younger years, but it was only through my brother’s inspiration. Although I enjoyed it, I had limited understanding about this subject. As I learned more about this subject, I had a better understanding and more appreciation about this ancient practice.
For ease of understanding, I summarized it through some key notes.
There were three popular meditation techniques with each technique associated with different brain wave stage: Transcendental Meditation (TM) led to Alpha brain wave stage, Mindfulness Meditation to Theta brain wave stage, and Concentration Meditation to Beta brain wave stage.
I learned the latter one did not help me to lower my blood pressure, furthermore, I suspected it might negatively affect my heart rate since I felt my heartbeat somewhat irregular after each meditation session. I decided to stop practicing this technique since it would require coordination of the brain and the breath as well as the breathing technique which made it quite difficult to learn by myself.
Although I was told that Transcendental Meditation was useful and easy to learn, its practice involved a mantra through a TM teacher to guide and required registration to learn the technique. This would make me place it to 2nd place in my list should I fail to practice Mindfulness Meditation.
Lastly, I chose Mindfulness Meditation for two reasons. Firstly, it was one of the self-hypnosis techniques. Secondly, it was easy to practice. Let use my breath for the Mindfulness Meditation as an example. When I breathed deeply (see deep breathing paragraph below), I felt the air came in through each nostril and out through the mouth. I took note of the sensation of fresh air during inhalation and the warmth air came out the mouth. I simply experienced its presence and continued to breathe. I just simply viewed them as they were. It’s quite easy to practice!
Deep breathing is a critical factor in meditation. By having a deep breathing, we can fully feed the oxygen through our organs (from fresh air) and exhale to get carbon dioxide and other gases out of our lungs using the same concept as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) therapy for sleep apnea.
Of course, there are many valuable written articles on this meditation subject along with many meditation practitioners spent their lifetime to meditate. My main desire is to recover from my hypertension condition through a non medicated discipline. I found this practice helps my hypertension drop to the normal blood pressure from my age range after I conducted my meditation session daily.