Stages of Meditation: A Look at Meditation
By Suzanne Glover
The stages of meditation are identified in numerous ways. When I did the research for this article, I found the number of stages varied from 5 to 21 different phases of meditation. So, how do you know where to begin understanding meditation? Let’s take a simplified look…
A LOOK AT MEDITATION
When you want to learn meditation, a good place to start is by understanding the benefits of meditation. In addition to calming mental anxiety, regular practice of meditation has been shown to result in physical benefits such as:
1. Lowered blood pressure;
2. Lowered cortisol levels (stress hormone);
3. Increased immune system functioning;
4. Better memory;
5. Pain relief.
Here are two of my other articles on the benefits of meditation. Take a minute to check them out and then come back here and we’ll continue talking about the different stages of meditation.
Despite the inconsistency in “number of stages,” understanding meditation is as simple as quieting yourself down by focusing on your breath and seeing where the adventure takes you. While that may seem “overly simplified,” the purpose of doing meditation is to “get out of your head.” Regardless of however many phases are identified, since they are not always “tangibly-defined,” each person may or may not experience one or all of them.
Once you start experiencing the different stages of meditation and are more seasoned with the process, that’s a great time to review everyone’s opinions about how many phases there are of meditation. As a beginner, however, the important thing is to experiment with the process and make it as simple as possible so you stay motivated to keep going.
MEDITATION STAGES SIMPLIFIED
For the purpose of this article, I’d like to take a look at meditation from the “tangibly-definable” stages of alpha, theta and delta, which are related to the brainwave activity of the brain.
There are two main brainwave frequencies that are used to promote meditation… alpha and theta. Alpha is a light state of relaxation when you are wake, alert and very relaxed. Theta is a deeper state and is the state the brain passes through as you go to sleep and as you wake up.
There is a third frequency called Delta, which is the state of mind when you’re sleeping. The Delta state promotes healthy immune function. This chart explains more:
As you can see, each of these stages of meditation have defined benefits. So, how do you know that you’re attaining Alpha, Theta or Delta to get these benefits? Well, the best way is to use something called a brainwave meditation. So, let’s take a look at that next…