If you’re interested in meditation, you’ll have to start somewhere. For some people, that’s the beginning of the practice of yoga, or deep breathing, or maybe a different sort of exercise that they’re already familiar with. But for others, that first step is to learn meditation techniques, which can be used as you develop your own meditation practice.
When starting out with meditation, there are three basic types that are often used, and these come in two different flavors: conventional meditation (yoga, T’ai Chi, or mantras) and NLP-Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP, CBT, and many other more specialized methods). These are often called body-mind relaxation and focus, which can take any form: physical (i.e. time, space, and other physical aspects), mental (i.e. the way we respond to stressors, and our reaction to them) or spiritual (i.e. developing the idea of mind as a whole, and not limited by matter).
NLP and CBT are all quite similar – they’re both based on a theory of how the mind operates, with NLP emphasizing the thoughts and reactions and CBT stressing the actual action. Though some people use NLP and CBT separately, it’s often the case that NLP focuses more on improving focus, and CBT focuses more on learning how to relax.
There are two important points about NLP, which people may be surprised to learn. First, the basic technique focuses on two areas: feelings and body. These two things are the foundation of everything we do in life, and NLP uses this fundamental insight to help individuals learn to focus on the present moment, and not be distracted by pre-existing issues, or by wanting to rush through the experience of being alive.
Second, the techniques are designed to focus on the sensations in our bodies, and even those that occur without awareness – so we can think of these as feelings that we’re trying to feel. The various levels of consciousness are dealt with using NLP techniques, which are then used to focus individuals on areas where they are suffering, and what needs to be done to heal them. For example, they may be looking for relief from pain, or they may be looking for a sense of meaning in life. Or, they may need to learn how to gain new insights or even new perspectives on the way they see things.
As soon as we start focusing on the body, we realize that the body is always there, and yet we cannot feel it. It is a little like the old “line of sight” scenario in Star Wars. When we see something, we cannot physically see it.
Visualizing is an important part of NLP and CBT, as it helps people realize that they do in fact exist. Instead of just thinking they’re not there, and seeing them, they should actually see them. When we visualize, we’re actually becoming aware of ourselves, and we can then begin to recognize areas where we need to be working on.
This technique works best when people are familiar with an object or are at least comfortable with the idea of being able to imagine it. They can pick up a pencil and draw a face, for example, and be sure to note down their first impression. It doesn’t need to be anything more elaborate than that.
They may then repeat this exercise, as many times as they like, and begin to create images that they’re comfortable with. In time, they will realize they are able to evoke images that help them relax, they can feel stronger connections between their bodies and their minds, and so on.
This is why meditation is so much more effective because it can help people become comfortable with a variety of different senses, including sight, sound, touch, smell, taste, and the many emotions we experience. It can also help us gain new insights and perspectives on everything from the way we feel about certain situations, to the way we deal with certain obstacles.
This is something that, in its very nature, is very beneficial. Meditation can help to ease the process of adjusting our conscious perception, and emotional reaction, and this, in turn, can help people become more flexible, more mentally agile.