Meditation is a set of practices that self-regulate the body and mind, thereby affecting mental events by engaging a specific attentional arrangement (Cahn & Polich, 2006).
Considering that regulation of attention is the central commonality across the many divergent methods, meditative styles can be classified into two types — mindfulness and concentrative — depending on how the attentional processes are directed. Most meditative techniques lie somewhere on a continuum between the poles of these two general methods. Notice that meditative traditions often do not characterize themselves according to this schema but rather place more emphasis on the benefits from the practice.
Mindfulness practices involve allowing any sensations, feelings or thoughts to arise while maintaining a specific attentional stance: awareness of the phenomenal field as an attentive and nonattached observer without judgment or analysis. Examples include Zen, Vipassana, and the Western adaptation to mindfulness meditation (just to mention a few).
Concentrative practices involve focusing on specific mental or sensory activity: a repeated sound, an imagined image, or specific body sensations such as the breathing. Examples include forms of yogic meditation and the Buddhist Samatha meditation (among others).
Mindfulness practices require the maintenance of attention in a state of open perceptivity, and concentrative practices require narrowing of attentional focus. Mindfulness-based practices demand a continual return to an attentive set that is characterized by open, nonjudgmental awareness of the sensory and cognitive fields and include a meta-awareness or observation of the ongoing contents of thought. Concentrative techniques incorporate mindfulness by allowing other thoughts and sensations to arise and pass without clinging to them and bringing attention back to a specific object of concentrative awareness to develop an internal “witnessing observer.” Thus, the methods used to elicit specific states differ across practices, but the results similarly produce reported trait changes in self-experience: eliciting shift toward expanded experience of self not centred on the individual’s body schema and mental contents (Cahn & Polich, 2006).
Along with the meditation process one is freed from tensions and conditionings which may be embodied in his/her being, consuming energy. When finding a natural and peaceful state of being, one usually becomes more aware of a set of habitual emotions and thought patterns recurring in the mind and notices that it is possible to liberate oneself from the unwanted ones. Along with the realization of the “witnessing observer” the experience of the self expands to encompass more than just the changing contents of one’s body and mind. Self-knowledge and better conduct of mental phenomena will develop. Similarly, the flexibility and the ability to examine things from different sides. Slowing down the mental whirlwinds allows one to experience a deeper peace, balance and joy, the impact of which is also reflected in everyday life - and, of course, the development is also visible in brain activity. BrainMind Audit™ profile turns into a balanced one and more and more of the evaluation metrics will reach the optimal level.
On KalpaTaru’s EEG-guided meditation course each participant will quiet down for 20 minutes every day to perform their own relaxation, breathing, mindfulness or kriya-practice, which is chosen to meet individual requirements and preferences. In addition to personal guidance the course includes four seminars orienting towards a deeper meditation, and providing an opportunity to discuss and share experiences, too. The busier and more stressful one’s life situation is, the more important it is to preserve a moment for one’s internal well-being - calming the mind either through meditation or by some other appropriate manner.