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Concentrative Meditation

Concentrative meditation can be practiced with the aim of spending time in contemplation over a certain issue or matter affecting you.  A good reflection practice is to write down your concern or question prior to beginning your concentrative meditation, and then allow yourself to forget about it, trusting your subconscious mind to find a resolution.  Of course the deeper your meditation, the more effective the rumination will be.

There is a concentrative meditation aspect to all relaxation and hypnosis techniques.  Each one begins by drawing your focus and attention along a particular thought path, allowing no room for consideration of anything else.  Consideration is given to the importance of the concentration aspect of meditation because it is this very deliberation process that causes your brainwaves to slow down, allowing you to relax.

This type of meditation doesn't only encompass lying down with your eyes closed, and many choose a form of concentrative meditation where they sit with open eyes.  You could stare into the flame of a candle, simply observing the warm glow and dancing flame.  Another option would be to focus with great deliberation on something beautiful in nature such as a flower or the ocean.  Having the single focus, along with your usual meditative breathing makes for a very deep rumination session, and if there is a problem you want to solve, concentrative meditation is the way to an answer that is true to yourself.

Everyone has seen some of the unbelievable acts performed by some traditional Buddhist monks; walking over hot coals, pulling machinery by their own hooked skin, hanging from nooses in high tree tops while meditating and even meditating for hours on their heads.  Without strict concentrative meditation practice, they would never be able to perform such techniques and most people would find them unbearable and excruciating.  These monks have the ability to hold such disciplined deliberation on a single focus; they no longer feel any pain or discomfort. This is only an example of what is thought to be concentrative meditation, and most people will never reach this level of skill.

Although there are many different meditation types and practices, the aim is always to clear the conscious mind to allow access to the depths of the subconscious to be communicated with.  When the conscious, thinking mind steps aside, concentrative meditation becomes easy as you turn your focus to one single topic for contemplation.  When the meditation is over and you continue with daily duties, the thought and idea you deliberated on will be planted deep in your mind.  If it was a question you used as your main focus, concentrative meditation may not provide immediate answers.  However, the seed of contemplation and rumination has been planted, and the answer will be likely to pop into your mind when you least expect it to.

If you are a beginner to relaxation and meditation practice, concentrative meditation is a great place to start.  The simple candle burning or watching a rose swaying in the breeze are a good basis for any meditation, reminding you of the natural wonders of the world.  To do concentrative meditation, you don’t need to have what you are focused on physically in front of you because imagining it has been found to be just as effective.

By Simon Hughes

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