For concentrating and developing the health of your mind meditation is the best way. It helps in developing both your mental as well as physical health. At the same time, you develop positive qualities like resilience, patience, and the ability to focus on something. You find yourself more creative and self-awareness increases.
So, is meditation enough for all this? How many people are engaged in formal meditation? Not many! Here comes in other two concepts, listening and reflecting.
Three Kinds of Knowledge
Meditation, although practiced in the west now has its root in the east. It was Lord Buddha and his followers who preached mindfulness and awareness practices. With time as the preaching has spread across cultures, they have adapted to the changes, according to those cultures. Although there has been a change in flavor, the core teaching remains the same.
Among the core teaching, the most important is getting the most from meditation. It is based on the threefold foundation and they are listening, contemplating, and meditating. These are the three kinds of knowledge or wisdom that was preached by Lord Buddha. In Sanskrit, they call it ‘prajna.’
Irrespective of the term used it must be followed that there are three phases for practicing meditation successfully. They are hearing or listening, reflecting, or contemplating and meditating. In the first two, you get conceptual understanding and the third lets you practice the whole thing.
First kind of knowledge: Listening
Hearing or listening cannot be effective until and unless you are focused. If you want to listen to teachings on mindfulness, its better you are doing that mindfully. You may think that you do it always, but think when there are so many things for distraction. So, although you think, you may not be mindful always. Be attentive to the teachings and listen carefully, you will surely get a lot to think about.
Second kind of knowledge: Contemplating
Have you given it a thought ever that whether meditation is right for you? Are you ready to undertake its knowledge and transform yourself according to it? You need clarity about all these before you practice something and that is the second knowledge.
Reflecting means clarifying your doubts and be strong about your resolution. When you are clarified you will be free from many misunderstandings that are quite common. Like meditation will not end all your problems, but it will give you the power to face those and overcome them!
Third kind of knowledge: Meditating
Many get confused with the two terms contemplating and meditating. They are different although the line of difference is very fine. They both substitute for each other and when both are practiced you find yourself complete.
As mentioned, Meditation is a direct experience. You have listened, you have thought about it and now you are practicing it, that’s meditation. The practice can be done by only and only you, no one else. There is quite some room of experimentation and as you delve into it you will find it deeper and deeper.