Are you overwhelmed by meditation advice? Do you believe that you should take a six month course in meditation.
Have you ever looked at a wood fire or a candle and found that you start to daydream as you look at the flames. If you have then you have meditated.
Meditation is very simple but it has amazing benefits here are some of them.
Benefits for students – Regular meditation raises school performance (academic achievement, absenteeism, school behaviour, etc.)
Work efficiency – Reduction in the arousal and stress levels of workers leads to higher efficiency at the work place, both in small and big organizations.
Creativity & problem-solving – Meditation leads to higher brain integration, which in turn sets the basis for mental alertness, original thought and creative problem-solving skills.
Positive emotions and well-being – Research shows that meditation practitioners have 5 times greater clarified gamma output (feelings of love, happiness; well-being).
– Mortality rates from various fatal heart conditions are cut by 48% with regular practice of meditation.
Good sleep – Lower levels of stress mean better sleep. Regular meditation is a natural home remedy against insomnia (sleeplessness).
If you want to get rid of those butterflies in the stomach when giving a speech or if you want to get rid of that mental block when you are trying to write, then meditation is a must.
If you want to overcome insomnia, anxiety and fear then you should meditate.
Famous People who Meditate
Year started: 2011
Oprah has been practicing meditation everyday since she invited meditation teachers to Harpo Studios in 2011 to lead the entire company together in meditation at the beginning and end of the work day. “That way of being ‘still’ with ourselves—coming back to the center and recognizing that something is more important than you—it’s more important than the work you are doing, brings a kind of energy, an intention that we have never had before,” she has said. The results were incredible. Her co-workers no longer had migraines, slept better, and developed happier relationships with their friends and family, says Oprah, who recently partnered with Deepak Chopra to create a 21-Day Meditation Challenge.
Learn how to meditate with a professionally made video.
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Meditation and the brain
There are many reasons to keep up a daily meditation but perhaps one of the strongest is that meditation changes your brain in a very positive way.
Here are two areas of the brain that meditation helps to modulate.
First, there is the “Fear Centre” or the alarm system. This is in charge of the “fight and flight” response. When a family member or a friend raises their voice then the “Fear Centre” is activated. It is a waking lion that starts to retreat or attack. The sleeping lion lives in a part of the brain called the amygdala.
Second, there is the “Me Centre”. This links incoming stimulation to perceptions about ourselves. If your father tells you that he is not too keen on your new hair style you might get very angry because the “Me Centre” links this criticism to years of discipline when you were young. The “Me Centre” is in part of the brain called the medial prefrontal cortex:
When the lion is wide awake then the “Me Centre” tends to respond emotionally to even slight criticism. You are then likely to ruminate about your father until you start to feel anxious and depressed.
Meditation will calm the lion and allow the “Me Centre” to respond in a more positive, compassionate way.
Full Spectrum Mindfulness
Ken Wilber is a psychologist and philosopher of the mind. His approach to meditation is one of the clearest and most advanced developments in the field that you will come across. As a psychologist I find that his programme is in line with current knowledge and interventions.
See here for more information:
First, what is the essence of mindfulness meditation? When you focus upon that tension in your forehead or stomach the tension becomes the object of the experience. If you were imagining a flower then the flower would also be the object. The person doing the seeing is detached from the object of the seeing and mindfulness meditation facilitates this detachment. When meditating you can view your fearful feelings as if you were filming them. You are almost an impartial observer. If you do this frequently then distressing feelings lose their power over you. Imagine dipping a dirty mirror into soapy water over and over again. Eventually the mirror will be clean. If you fear public speaking and you repeatedly dip this feeling into a mindfulness meditation then the fear will eventually be reduced. This detachment from emotions and gaining power over them is often called enlightenment or awakening.
Ken Wilber also focuses upon the mental growth that we experience as we move through the various stages of human development. These are:
Egocentrism. This is concerned with our individual needs and self-preservation. Ethnocentrism. At this level we identify with a tribe, a nation, a religion or some other group. One of the negative aspects of ethno-centrism is the dangerous “us versus them” dynamics that can result in hatred and wars.
World-centrism involves a connection to all humanity regardless of sex, race, colour or creed. Compassion for all human beings is strongly linked to your own health and happiness.
Finally Kosmo-centrism is a focus upon the whole universe and whatever forces or beings it contains.
Combining “enlightenment” with “mental growth” is a recipe for health and well-being through the development of positive relationships and spiritual growth.