|Mandala by Danmala-link to more below|
There are so very many ways to meditate.Meditation is practiced by saints, mystics and common folks in all religions, cultures, regions of the world, and throughout time. Though it may not be called meditation. For example, the farmer who paused in gratitude and stared at the fields every morning for a quarter of an hour, this was his form of meditating, because he did it even in times of drought and it brought him peace.
A Christian friend of mine once said "Prayer is asking of God, Meditation is listening to God". In Zen seated and walking "practice" the idea is to be fully present in the experience of now. This may sound odd, yet in my own experience at a time when I was stressed and suffering, it was through beginning meditation and yoga that I became aware of how my mind was so busy jumping from past to worrying about the future that I was missing what was happening right in front of me, I was not present.
You may already have a preferred method, such as Transcendental meditation, guided meditations.... There are also the moving meditations such as walking meditation, Tia Chi, yoga Martial arts and dance. Moving meditation is not simply physical exercise, but, practiced daily, mindfully and with proper breathing (all these practices ideally include breath awareness) they become meditation. Creative practices such as the visual arts, Music, Poetry and theater can also become meditation, under the right intentions and with regular mindful practice.
How do you know if your practice (of anything) has become meditation? You lose track of time. You feel restored and peaceful. You have more insight and self awareness. You are not concerned with outcome or results of the practice. You are "lost in the moment", which is an odd phase because one is actually found . You also experience relief from stress.
When meditation is practiced regularly over time, this peaceful, and increased awareness begins to flow into your whole day, existence. You experience less stress, increased mental clarity, and better health. Everyone who practices true daily meditation begins making healthier life choices, often changing how they are in relationships and community, how and where they work, and letting go of unhealthy habits.
So there is everything to gain and nothing to lose -As this old Zen saying goes- "You should sit in Meditation for 20 minutes, unless you are too busy, then you should sit for an hour"
On this site is an article about a happiness study of brain activity and also a video interview with David Lynch "one of America's greatest film makers" about TM Transcendental Meditation.
I'd like to share with you the beautiful mandala's made by Danmala which are also a beautiful form of meditation.danmala.com/gallery