I started meditating about 43 years ago at a time in my life when I was searching for something that would broaden my spiritual and intellectual perspective. Over the years, I found that meditation did indeed broaden my perspective, but surprisingly for me, it also increased my ability to function in this scary, high stress, very demanding world in which we all live. I learned that there are many forms/techniques of meditation, that everyone needs to find what works best for him/herself, and that whatever form of meditation you choose, it will have continuous beneficial consequences if you stick with it.
I have tried several different meditation techniques over the years, but the one I have used most and continue to use is to simply sit down in a comfortable position with my head up and gently or faintly think a mantra, whatever mantra feels good, at a tempo which feels natural and comfortable. If I realize I have been distracted by thoughts, I simply go back to the mantra. Usually at some point I will release the day's stress and my mind will quiet down to a place where time stops and I am just there in the moment. This state is called many things, including transcendence, and it is extremely restful and relaxing.
When you first begin meditation you will have years of accumulated stress built up, which will have to be released. Ten minutes of meditation is enough to start with and you can work your way up to twenty minutes after a week or so. It can be uncomfortable to release lots of stress too quickly. After twenty minutes put your head back and just relax for five to ten minutes to let the stress you have released dissipate. A good rule of thumb is to relax until you feel comfortable relaxing and no longer feel like you have to get right up and get back to your life. Too much meditation leads to too much stress release, which can lead to uncomfortable thoughts and emotions. That is why twenty minutes no more than twice a day is sufficient. ...[Continue reading on Inner Abode]