Best meditation book: Meditation: How to Reduce Stress, Get Healthy, and Find Your Happiness in Just 15 Minutes a Day by Rachel Rofe
Why this meditation book is inspiring:
Have you ever wondered how many different types of meditation there are? I don’t think this book covers them all, but it gets pretty close. I enjoyed identifying the ones I might someday add to my repertoire.
What this meditation book is about:
Rachel Rofe’s book is a basic meditation primer. According to her, meditation isn’t about letting your mind go blank, but rather is a way to control your thoughts. You do this by either focusing your thoughts on one thing, or by observing your thoughts in a detached way.
The book lists a large number of health benefits of meditation, from weight loss and slowing of aging to better sleep and less depression. Meditation also reduces cortisol and changes brain activity, bringing it away from “. . . the frontal cortex (which is linked to anxiety and depression) as well as the amygdala (which is where fear is processed).”
There are two main types of meditation techniques:
- Concentration meditation (structured meditation), and
- Mindfulness meditation (unstructured meditation).
Concentration meditation is when you focus on one thing, gently bringing awareness back to it over and over: a sound, a visual object, an activity (like walking), a chant, a concept, a mantra, a feeling (like energy coursing through your body), an emotion (like love), a visualization, or your breath.
Mindfulness meditation is paying attention to your actions and thoughts (i.e. being in the moment). This includes body scan meditation, writing meditation, walking meditation, eating meditation, chakra meditation, Zen meditation (living in the now).
A third type is transcendental meditation. TM is restful awareness, and effortless. There is no need to follow your thoughts; instead, you just let them flow while maintaining a mindset of peace and rest.
For more information on this meditation book, see:
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