You’re no idiot, of course. Sometimes you just want to relax, clear your head, rest your aching muscles, and rejuvenate your weary soul. You’ve heard meditation is a great stress reliever, but sometimes it seems so complicated it makes you downright uptight.
Relax! Meditation is easy to learn—especially if you rely on The Complete Idiot’s Guide® to Meditation, Second Edition, as you follow the path to inner peace. In this Complete Idiot’s Guide®, you get:
--Zen techniques, including guided imagery and mindfulness, to help you meditate effectively.
--Tips for learning how to use meditation in daily life, including stressful situations, exercise, and fatigue.
--An easy-to-understand explanation of the connections between meditation, sleep, and dreams.
--Expert advice on how and when to meditate and detailed drawings and diagrams for breathing, positions, and more.
--Techniques for meditating to music or modern chants.
Part 1: Feeling Great? Meditate!
1. Flexing Your Mind MuscleWhat is meditation? It's a great mind-body workout, stressbuster, and reservoir of healing power.?i>
2. Meditation Power: Your Personal Mind-Body Exploration
Take some quizzes and experience our other personal analysis tools, including a tell-tale mind-body scan, to help you determine your individual meditation needs.
3. In the Spirit of Yoga Meditation
The ancient Indian tradition of yoga can help you meditate better today.
4. In the Spirit of Zen Meditation
Try zazen and other Zen techniques from ancient Japan to help you live your life mindfully and meditate more effectively.
5. Say a Little Prayer
The meditative path is a journey of soul. Meditations in many traditions use prayer for spiritual and even physical benefits.
Part 2: The Physical and Beyond: Meditation Mind-Body-Spirit Union
6. Neurophysiology: This Is Your Brain on Meditation
All about neurotransmitters, brain waves, and how meditation makes your brain stronger.
7. Prana, Chi, the Force: Meditation Is Energy Central
Meditation enhances the mind-body's natural energy field. Find out about prana, chi, chakras, auras, and energy healing.
8. Sleep, Dreamwork, and Meditation
Explore the relationship between meditation, sleep, and dreams.
9. You and your Three Bodies
Find out about the three levels of "body" you didn't know you had and your five Sheaths of Existence, then try meditations for the physical, astral, and causal bodies.
Part 3: Get Ready to Meditate
10. Stress: Is Your Mind Too Full?
Using mindfulness meditation to combat stress and calm your busy thoughts.
11. Starting Your Meditation Practice: When, Where, and How
Where, when, and how to meditate, plus how to dress, what supplies you might like to use, and how to find the right meditation class for you.
12. Focus on the Breath of Life
Why breathing is the essence of meditation, how to do it properly, plus some meditative breathing exercises to try.
Part 4: Ommmmmm: How to Meditate
13. Seated Meditation: Finding Center
The zazen tradition, chair meditations, seated meditation poses from easy pose to the Lotus pose, plus how to use mudras-hand positions-to rechannel energy for the mind-body's benefit during meditation.
14. Movement Meditation: Go in Peace
Mindful walking and other movement meditations such as yoga, tai chi, dancing, and whirling.
15. Shavasana: It's Not Just Lying Around!
Yoga's corpse pose is the ultimate, relaxing mind-body scan meditation. Learn about the benefits of the relaxation response and hot to really concentrate on relaxing.
16. Mantras: Sacred Formulas to Live By
using mantras and creating your own healing sounds for meditation, including music, instruments such as bells and chimes, and chanting. Ommmmmmmmmm!
Part 5: More Ways to Meditate
17 Seeing is Believing: Guided Imagery, Mandalas, and Creative Visualization
how to use mandalas, guided imagery, and other visually based meditation techniques in your practice.
18. Achieving the Flow State: Meditation and Creativity
Using sports, automatic writing, and automatic drawing as techniques to evoke meditation's flow state of peak performance and total concentration.
19. Meditations You can Do from Around the Globe
Try a Mayan ceremony, design an African altar, pray to a rosary, meditate on the Tree of Life, contemplate a Zen koan, make a Native American medicine wheel, and more.
Part 6: Meditation for Your Life
20. Food for Thought: Fueling Your Body and Your Mind
The best foods for meditation and the scoop on herbs, botanicals, vitamins, and supplements. Plus, is fasting conducive to meditation?
21. Meditation for Women, Men, and the Whole Family
Meditations specifically designed for women (including those who are pregnant, breast-feeding, and going through menopause), men, children, and seniors, too!
22. Rx: Meditation
How to use meditations to benefit health, boost the immune system, and address conditions from back pain to digestive problems to more serious problems such as heart disease.
23. Healing the World with Meditation
Are we part of an earth consciousness? A collective unconscious? Explore your role as a member of a planet-wide community and your responsibility toward Mother Earth. Learn about some of the earth's most sacred places and consider how you can meditate, alone or with others, to further world peace and global unity.
Appendix A: From A to Om: Glossary
Appendix B: In Search of Nirvana: Suggested Reading