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How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

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What is Meditation?

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Meditation is one of the most powerful mindfulness-based practices available. Over time, it actually changes how our brains process and respond. It can be done by anyone, anywhere, any time, and there are dozens of approaches that can help you navigate life with greater ease, satisfaction, and joy.

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The mind is definitely something that can be transformed, and meditation is a means to transform it.

—Dalai Lama

What is Meditation?

Meditation is the practice of turning our attention inward, to gain insight into the processes of our minds, which are always at work and influence how we experience life.

Meditation is not about stopping all thoughts or even about changing them. It is learning to observe your thinking mind in order to gain greater perspective about what makes you, well, you.

The practice has been used for thousands of years, and is perhaps most well known for its use in Buddhism as a tool for seeking enlightenment. In fact, most religious and spiritual traditions use meditation in some form, through prayer or contemplation for the quality of inner peace it creates.

Despite these uses of meditation, the practice itself is not inherently spiritual. Anyone can benefit from meditation, at any time. And it is just as powerful a tool for reducing stress and anxiety, increasing resilience, managing pain, improving focus, and for supporting emotional well-being as it is for cultivating serenity.

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