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The Health Benefits Of Meditation
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The Health Benefits Of Meditation

There are over 100 benefits to meditation

When I first started to meditate some nearly 40 years ago I found it boring to say the least. However I found I would come out from sitting still, quite sure I had not achieved anything except wasting my time, to see the world through different eyes. It literally felt to me like the world had been washed in color. Everything looked brighter & nicer. AND I broke the insomnia cycle. So I continued. No meditation meant no sleep!! Meditate and I slept. And so I was by default forced to continue. I learnt Transcendental Meditation. This was the 70's

I also found a deep spiritual connection to life & people. After breaking away from a Catholic upbringing I became an atheist. Once I started to meditate on a regular basis I became aware of something bigger than myself. And this catapulted me on a spiritual journey.

Over time I learned to relish this "alone" time. When my daughters were little & I became crabby they would say "Isn't it time for you to mediate Mommy?" The innocence of children.

So lets define what some of those benefits are

Physiological

  • Slows down the heart rate
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Decreases mental & physical tension
  • Slows down the aging process
  • Synchronizes the brain activity

Psychological

  • Elevates mood
  • Helps control thoughts
  • Improves focus & concentration
  • Helps to sleep better
  • Increases emotional stability
  • Helps to let go of the petty to see the bigger picture
  • Develops emotional maturity

Spiritual

  • Helps to keep life in perspective
  • Peace
  • Happiness
  • Compassion
  • Forgiveness
  • Awareness of life's synchronicity
  • Intuition
  • Connection to all life

What happens to the brain when we meditate?

  • Frontal Lobes

This is the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, self conscious awareness. As we meditate this gets turned off

  • Parietal Lobes

This is the part of the brain that is responsible for processing sensory information & as we meditate this slows down

  • Thalamus

Is the gatekeeper for the senses & as we meditate the sensory input is reduced

  • Reticular

Receives the incoming stimuli to switch the brain to alert, & meditation slows the reticular down

Brain Waves

  • Beta waves - At its most active during goal oriented tasks/awake/alert /focused (13Hz)
  • Alpha waves - Slows down during day dreaming & when we start to meditate (8 to 12Hz)
  • Theta waves - In deep meditation & light sleep (4 to 7Hz)
  • Delta - Deep sleep no dreaming (1-3Hz)

So how do we meditate?

There are many different forms of meditation. Each has its own unique benefit. At different times of life we might want to experience different forms of meditation. Here are examples of the most popular

First port of call is to sit with the spine upright wearing comfortable clothing. Better not to eat a meal before meditation, and it goes without saying no alcohol or drugs

  • Mindful Meditation

Focus on a word or mantra. Repeat this over & over. Or focus on breathing. Each time you become aware of a thought, go back to the breath or the mantra. Remember our minds think, that is what it does by default. The trick is not to get seduced by the thought, but to gently go back to the mantra or breath

Over time there is a bigger space between the thoughts & this is where the real benefit lies.

  • Open Monitoring Meditation

Just become aware of all the things that are happening around you. Simply notice without reacting

What are you feeling? What are you seeing? What are you thinking?

Buddhist Meditation

Say to yourself:

"May I be well, May I be happy, May I be at peace"

Then extend to your nearest & dearest "May you be well, May you be happy, May you be at peace"

Then extend to work colleagues, people who you feel need help, people who have done you wrong. Keep extending the circle in ever widening waves. You can include pets, nature, the universe.

  • Brain wave entrainment

This is the synchronization of two rhythmic cycles. Simply by listening with head phones the brain is encouraged to go into Alpha & Beta states. These need to be purchased

  • Guided Meditation

The body is encouraged to go deeper into relaxed states & then to a beautiful & peaceful place of choice like a garden, a forest or a beach. There are many guided meditations for purchase.

That is my overview on meditation. Anyone can do this. If you cant sit in lotus or crossed legged, plant your feet on the floor. You can even lie down on your back. The chances are you will be snoring soon, so this is nort recommended unless you are ill. You can close your office door for a few minutes. Try to practice daily for 10 to 20 minutes. The more you do this the more you will feel the benefits.

I would love to hear your experiences.

Lana


Street Talk

Nice article Lana- I am a meditation nut, can't go a day with out it- I identify with your isn't it time for mumies meditation statement! I discovered it through Dzogchen, how about you? I have a nice article on a meditation technique I use, it's on my profile page- Candle meditation, hope you like it. Namaste

Reply
  about 7 years ago
Kavinah  

I did practice TM many years ago until I found out the basis of the mantras. I don't anymore. I believe any form of meditation is able to produce the same result. Great article!

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Terea   

That was in depth information. Thanks for your efforts!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thanks for reading Terea. I love your picture. I want one!!

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Hello Gregory. Thank you for taking a look & for the comments. I look forward to seeing your articles.

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Well done! Informative. I liked your little added hertz info for the various brain wave frequencies. I've been practicing meditation for a long time and can appreciate the same benefits. I could not have survived without such practices.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
Pat Cook  

Well written and clear, this told me a lot about meditation that I didn't realize. I've never practiced meditation of this sort because it seemed to contradict my religious beliefs. However, you are experiencing wonderful benefits from it, and for that I am happy for you. My meditation time is a little different. I spend it in prayer and in reading God's Word. But I truly believe the benefits are there for me as well. Everyone needs to find a form of meditation that brings him peace and relaxation in this hectic world we live in. I enjoy your writing. Pat

Reply
  about 8 years ago

Thank you Pat. I really appreciate your feedback. Prayer is a form of meditation. Even walking in nature can be a meditation. Meditation is not just for the Eastern religions. We could meditate on the name of Jesus or a saint. We could simply visualize love in our hearts & send it out to the universe. As I said in the blog there are many ways to meditate. I LOVE that you enjoy my writing. Thank you thank you. I never thought I could write. This is a BIG step for me.

Reply
  about 8 years ago
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