Meditation helps to –
- Connect the two brain hemispheres
- Create personal peace
- Could replace sleep
- Clears the mind
- Transcend and connect to a higher consciousness
Scientifically it has been proven that it boosts –
- Your HEALTH
- Increases immune function http://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/Abstract/2003/07000/Alterations_in_Brain_and_Immune_Function_Produced.14.aspx
- Decreases Pain
- Decreases Inflammation at the Cellular Level http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159112004758
- Your HAPPINESS
- Increases Positive Emotion
- Decreases Depression
- Decreases Anxiety
- Decreases Stress
- It Boosts Your SOCIAL LIFE – Think meditation is a solitary activity? It may be (unless you meditate in a group which many do!) but it actually increases your sense of connection to others:
- Increases social connection & emotional intelligence
- Makes you more compassionate
- Makes you feel less lonely http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0889159112001894%2020
- Your SELF CONTROL:
- Improves your ability to regulate your emotions
- Improves your ability to introspect https://www.ocf.berkeley.edu/~agyurak/Szeatal_E_2010.pdf
- It Changes Your BRAIN by –
- Increasing grey matter
- Increases volume in areas related to emotion regulation, positive emotions & self-control
- Increases cortical thickness in areas related to paying attention.
- It Improves your productivity
- Increases your focus & attention
- Improves your ability to multi-task
- Improves your memory
- Improves your ability to be creative & think outside the box (see research by J. Schooler
- It Makes You WISE(R)
- It gives you perspective: By observing your mind, you realize you don’t have to be a slave to it. You realize it throws tantrums, gets grumpy, jealous, happy and sad but that it doesn’t have to run you. Meditation is quite simply mental hygiene: clear out the junk, tune your talents, and get in touch with yourself. Think about it, you shower every day and clean your body, but have you ever showered your mind? As a consequence, you’ll feel clearer and see things with greater perspective. “The quality of our life depends on the quality of our mind,” writes Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (link is external). We can’t control what happens on the outside but we do have a say over the quality of our mind. No matter what’s going on, if your mind is ok, everything is ok. Right now.
- It Keeps You REAL
Once you get to know your mind, you start to own your stuff and become more authentic, maybe even humble. You realize the stories and soap operas your mind puts you through and you gain some perspective on them. You realize most of us are caught up in a mind-drama and become more compassionate towards 0thers.
MEDITATION #1 –
… is a technique based on ancient Hindu writings. It seeks to achieve a relaxed state of mind through regular periods of meditation, during which a mantra is repeated.
- Develop your personal mantra
- Should have 3 meaningless words or rather sounds. Word with meaning can make the mind wonder.
- The last sound should be Ooohm.
- Never say the mantra aloud. It should be repeated silently in your head only
- The use of the mantra:
- To focus your mind
- Eventually, the mantra sounds will trigger the void in your head, and you will automatically submerge into this wonder stillness – the void.
- The Void
- The void is a place of nothingness and peace; A place in which you can communicate with your higher self and begin to control the busy ‘monkey’ mind.
- Identify two 10-minute time-slots in a day that you can devote regularly to meditation.
- In the car
- In bed before you go to sleep
- While shaving/doing make-up/making lunch for the children/running/gym etc.
A place with little distraction that has a clear air flow.
- Quietly begin to think the mantra over and over again. In the beginning, you will only be able to do this for a few seconds and then later for 2-5 minutes. After a few days of doing this meditating religiously, you will be able to stay in the void for longer. The aim is to be in the void for at least 10-20 minutes.
- The void may not feel like anything special and do not expect “bells and whistles”. Just “be present”. The aim is to stay in the void, thinking and communicating with your higher self about your life and find answers you did not know is available to you.
MEDITATION #2 –
… a meditation technique that uses the regulation of the breath through certain techniques and exercises. This technique not only balances but also relaxes and energizes the body.
- Sit relaxed with the spine straight.
- Take three breaths. Focus, but do not change or force your natural breathing. Placing our hands on your tummy when you inhale expanding it slightly, and then contracting your stomach mustles while you exhale, at the same time consciously releasing with each exhale the stress in your –
- Physical body
- Mental body
- Emotional body
- First breath –
- Place your middle and index fingers on your third eye (the spot on your forward between your eyes)
- Close your right nostril with your thumb, exhaling through your left nostril
- Inhale to the count of four through your left nostril
- Hold the air for a count of four
- Close your left nostril with your ring finger and exhale to the count of four
- Inhale through your left nostril to the count of four.
- Hold breath for a count of four.
- Close left nostril and exhale to the count of four.
Do this exercise 11 times.
Sit for a few seconds breathing normally. It should not take you longer than 10 minutes at a time.
… meditate by simply listening and breathing. No judgement. No effort. Being in the moment.
- Close your eyes and
- allow yourself to hear all the sounds that are going on around you.
- Listen to the general hum and buzz of the world the same way that you listen to music.
- Don’t try to identify the sounds that you’re hearing.
- Don’t put names on them.
- Simply allow the sounds to play with your eardrums.
Let your ears hear whatever they want to hear, without letting your mind judge the sounds and guide the experience.
As you pursue this experiment you will find that you’re labeling the sounds, giving meaning to them. That’s fine and completely normal. It happens automatically.
However, over time you’ll end up experiencing the sounds in a different way. As the sounds come into your head, you’ll be listening to them without judgment. They’ll be part of the general noise. You can’t control the sounds. You can’t stop someone from coughing or sneezing around you.
t’s time to do the same with your breath. Notice that while you’ve been allowing the sounds to enter your brain, your body has been breathing naturally. It’s not your “task” to breathe.
While being aware of your breath, see if you can start breathing more deeply without putting effort into it. Over time, it just happens.
The key insight is this:
Noises happen naturally. So does your breathing. Now it’s time to apply these insights to your thoughts.
Meditation is not something to “do” or focus on. Rather, the key point is to simply experience the present moment without judgment.
Meditate letting the sounds enter my head. Enjoy the sounds passing through. Do the same with your thoughts. Don’t get too attached to them.
Know Yourself – January 2018