Browsing: Meditation

How Meditations Help To Prevent And Curb Anger Issues

You have probably heard people raving about the benefits of meditation, from better health to better concentration. But there is another excellent benefit that most of us are in dire need of-the effect meditation has on anger, both in terms of it being a solution and also to prevent triggering anger bursts.

Think of your brain as the canvas that determines what colors are to be predominately put on it. Can you put black paint on a black canvas? No, similarly an unhealthy brain filled with constant worry and stress can never let the anger issues rest. Meditation helps to improve the mental health by affecting the brain in a positive way.

Some of the health benefits of meditation are:

· Less stress and anxiety

· Better concentration

· A calmer mind

· Reduces depression

· Strengthens and thickens the cortical wall of the brain, which in turn improves the ability to make better decision.

What happens in the brain when you are angry?

Have you noticed how your head feels heavier when you are angry? What really happens is that when your anger issues creep up, the amygdala part of the brain becomes over active and this makes the brain want to do something to deal with whatever or whoever is making you angry. Remember how you want to punch the guy in the face because you are just that seething at the very sight of him.

Secondly, the frontal lobe of the brain that is associated with reasoning gets blurred by the blood rush to the brain. You can not see reasons or think about the consequences, you just 'feel' more and more of this negative feeling unless you consciously make a decision not to.

And this is where meditation can help. Talking from the preventive point of view, when you meditate and improve the overall health of the brain, you are in a way working towards creating a better and healthier canvas. This canvas does not get muddled and dominated by emotions when you are angry.

Meditation strengthens your power to reason over the power emotions have on you. In laymen terms, you are in control of your emotions and not vice-versa.

Regular meditation not only induces a sense of calm but it enables you to tap in this feeling of calm whenever you want, even at times when you are spitting mad. Anger is considered to be a 'poison' in Buddhism which can be easily combated by meditation-an integral part of Buddhist practice.

Okay as a preventive measure this might work, but can it work when you are actually caught up in the middle of the anger tide. Can you really just flip a switch and go from angry to calm and composed?

You can but it's not as easy as flipping a switch. It is a series of steps that needs effort and practice.

The next time when you are angry, do not run away from it. Face it. Start with thinking about the 'feeling' you feel when you are angry and not the cause behind the anger. So if someone said hurtful things to you, do not reiterate on what they said but concentrate on how you feel and where exactly do you feel the most- your head throbs, your jaw tightens, lump in the chest. Just figure what your personal zone of anger is.

Now, take deep breaths, try to match the frequency of your breath with the feeling of anger so that with every breath you take you feel anger dissipating inside.

Once you are reliably calmer, focus on reasoning it out. 'So the hurtful things that said does not make sense because I am not a back biter' or 'Whatever they say speaks more about them than me, why should I bother' when you say things that contradict this feeling, the anger surrounding it tends to weaken and give way to peace and calm.

Be patient, calm your amygdala! No seriously when you choose to be patient and not let your knuckles kiss the person's cheek with a lot of passion, you will be rewarded not just by not getting legally charged but also because this strengthens your power. If you decide to be a patient, you will immediately feel some pressure being taken off your shoulders. Just focus on staying patient; and one very good way to do so is zone out of the situation and concentrate on happier things.

Meditation is an excellent way to deal with a lot of issues that can be controlled by mastering the mind, anger being one of them. Also, note that meditation is not just about sitting in solitude and staring at a blank space, there are a number of different ways to meditate, you can even listen you favorite music and meditate. In fact you can meditate even without 'meditating' by just staying in the present and letting go of the negatives.

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Improving the Meditation Process – Part 1

You essentially need perseverance when you want to perfect the techniques of meditation. You require a lot of practice to attain the state of being in peace, and undoably, the most important prerequisite for that is having tons of patience. However, there are many helpful techniques that allow you to reach a depth level of meditation and enrich your experience while practicing meditation.

Balance

As we continue with our regular life, we are constantly under attack from emotional, mental and, at times, physical forces. This chaos is often the cause of stress and physical disorders which can directly affect our meditation. We are trying to seek silence within ourselves, and silence is a consequence of a balance attained at that time. As we sit down for meditation we can try to balance ourselves by trying a couple of uncomplicated techniques while meditating.

Once you are settled in a meditation position, you may allow both your arms to drop by your sides, pointing towards the floor. While doing so, you may breathe in deeply and breathe out gradually three times. This simple exercise helps relieving the working stress of the day, and prepares you to go for deeper meditation and being at peace with yourself.

After you have remained in that state for a couple of minutes, you may slowly bring your arm back to your lap, while positioning your palms up on your lap as usual.

Patience

Do not feel irritated and do not get angry when finding that these techniques are not delivering the expected results too quickly. These are quite delicate, working so quietly initially, that you may fail to notice the results. Try these for a few minutes every time before you go back to the usual position. You will benefit the most when your mind becomes quiet and that should be your final goal. Initially, you may find it almost unbelievable, but it is indeed an independent and spontaneous process. We just need to spend a few minutes regularly to derive excellent results. Once again, you'll need to be a patient with yourself.

Going deeper

Subsequent to sitting quietly for a couple of minutes, you may experience a kind of stillness engulfing your immediate surrounding. You may still be conscious of the external noise, like the passing of cars or closing of doors, yet you'll be able to feel an atmosphere of quietness around you. This indicates that your kundalini has reached the state of full flow, meaning that you are certainly deriving benefits due to this gentle process. You could also feel coolness or stinging on your hands, face or around your body on the whole. It is a confirmation that your system is working as expected.

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Who Is Really in Charge?

Have you ever noticed that many times, you see the right way and you approve it as well, but you still follow the wrong way?

You walk past a bakery store, you see luscious chocolate chip cookies. You know that you are not expected to eat cookies. They are very high in calories. And you have not been working out regularly.

You approve of this analysis. But guess what? Somehow, you slip into the bakery, you order a cookie and an invisible hand slips into your pocket, grabs the wallet out, pays for the cookie.

You start eating the cookie and before you even realize, the cookie is gone !!

You clearly saw that you were not invited to eat the cookie. You approved of that observation as well, but what happened? You still ate one. Why is that?

It is because “you” are not really in charge. “You” as in the thinking, analyzing, and saying “you”, is not in charge.

Your mind is divided into parts that sometimes conflict. The mind is not a monolithic control system. It is rather divided into several modules that work in conjunction with each other.

It is divided into different module, each of which can take over control from time to time. And it is this divided nature that gives rise to conflicting priorities or desires.

Although our minds are divided in several ways, one of the very important division is between automatic cognition and controlled cognition.

Automatic cognition is all the activity that neural networks do without conscious cognition. This is the part of our mind, that we usually associate with intuition. This is essentially, the animal brain.

This part of the brain has gone through a lot of product cycles over the last 500 million years and it has been pretty much perfected. This automatic part is really in control.

Automatic part of the mind is very fast. It does not get tired. It is also tightly connected with motivation and reward circuits of the mind. Which means it tightly controls our behavior.

This is the part that craves things. It craves high caloric and fatty food. It takes over the control from time to time and that's why you will not even realize that you finished the cookie.

It is also pretty much all of our cognition. We may not realize this, exactly because it is automatic.

The other division is that of controlled cognition. This is the rational part. This is the part that analyzes, uses language and thoughts. It is very slow compared to the automatic part. It also easily gets tired. We all have experienced this first hand, when we have to think through something very complex, we could easily get tired.

Also, this part is not connected to motivational circuits and since it does not control behavior. It influences behavior, but very little compared to the automatic part of the mind. It also constitutes very little of our overall cognition.

Controlled cognition knows what is the right thing to do. It knows what is good for you in the long run. It knows if you have not been working out regularly, you are not expected to eat cookies. Because cookies have too many calories and lots of fat.

Our rational part of the brain is relatively very new. It evolved just over recent 500 thousand years and although it looks that it is in control, that is not really the case.

Evolution tinkers gradually and it does not make big and abrupt changes. Something that has evolved just recently (500 thousand years) can not take over anything that it perfected over the long run (500 million years)

In the words of psychologist Jonathan Haidt, “Evolution does not simply hand over the control to a relatively new development. Evolution works in increments.”

The old automatic part of the brain, still is in pretty much in control and it calls shots about what you do and how you do things.

A popular analogy used to explain the automatic and controlled cognition is that of elephant and the rider. Automatic cognition is similar to an elephant. Here elephant symbolizes something that is large, has a mind of its own and is really in control.

And controlled cognition is like the rider of the elephant. The rider thinks that he is in control all the time. But in reality we know that it is the elephant that decides, whether to walk or not and whether to turn right or left.

Given all this, what do we do? Are we doomed to be at the mercy of the automatic part of the mind all the time? Not really.

If you want to improve your behavior, you have to think of it as elephant training.

How do you train the elephant? We saw earlier that automatic cognition is tightly connected to motivation and reward circuits. We need to work with this.

Lets take example of exercising. If you make a resolution that you are going to regularly work out, it is not going to be enough. This is why, many people repeatedly make decisions about working out and the resolution does not work.

It is the rider who makes resolutions. It really does not have control and that's why resolutions do not work. We need to address what would motivate or reward the automatic cognition.

We are social animals and the company of another human being could be a strong motivating factor for the automatic part. Not only that, automatic processes will make sure you do not break your social commitments. This is why if you set a date with a friend to work out, it's more likely to be effective.

Also the automatic brain craves immediate rewards. Give yourself immediate rewards after the activity that you want to take up. In the case of workout, reward yourself immediately after the workout.

Of course you have to be careful not to reward yourself something that defeats the purpose of the workout. The rewards do not have to be significant. Even token rewards are usually to work.

It is said that new habits take 12 weeks to form. You have to be patient and repeat the reward or motivation process.

Broadly speaking, there are 3 ways to change the mind and hence the habit or the behavior. Here are those three techniques.

1) SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors like Prozac, Zoloft)

2) CBT

3) Meditation

All of these three techniques create new neural pathways and changes the way the mind works. Essentially, they can help form new habits.

Meditation is a completely natural way to create new neural pathways and hence change your brain. Changing your brain changes your mind. Meditation can help you cultivate habits that are needed to bring you peace of mind, improve relationships and make you better at the skills that you want to develop.

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Is There Any Connection Between Meditation and Productivity?

With the increasing competition in any business, it is imperative for workers to remain innovatively productive to keep holding their jobs. Hard working people, when devoting additional time to increase their productivity, frequently get stressed up. When working under stress, one can not ever remain productive and usually begins to hate his job. Productivity gets heightened when you have a peaceful mind. Thankfully, you can attain a peaceful mind by practicing yoga and meditation. Meditation reiter to that sate of mind when you are not thinking about anything. It's the doorway to cosmic energy, and it offers clarity of thought, leading to a stress free, enjoyable life.

The simple process of meditation helps you improve your efficiency. You'll realize that, by being totally free of stress and getting relaxed, your mind starts working more efficiently. New ideas are created in the right side of our brain, which begins to work energetically if you regularly practice meditation. With your mind in that state, you get new ideas for furthering your business. Many would consider it weird that, by sitting quietly by yourself, you can enhance the productivity, but that is a fact. Another consequence of meditation is the fact that it keeps your mind responsive all through the day. You'll find it worthwhile to meditate daily because of the beneficial results it deliveries. It soothes your body and mind, allowing you to relax completely. Here are the known advantages of meditation:

  • It's a great stress reliever that doesnt cost you a penny.
  • Meditation helps improving your memory and focus.
  • On regularly practicing meditation, you'll feel energetic all through the day.
  • It enhances the circulation of blood in your brain.
  • It retards the process of aging.
  • Meditation recharges your mind and body.
  • It enhances one's creativity.

It is proven scientifically that our minds benefit a lot because of meditation. If practiced regularly, meditation facilitates the concentration of mind, and that enables you to be more productive. Those who do meditation everyday become more efficient, meaning they can do additional work in a given amount of time.

How to meditate?

Basically, meditation means focusing on your breath. You sit upright on a straight surface and focus on your breathing. Feel your breath coming out and getting into your body. If you are new to meditation, you may fail to focus, but that is no cause for worry. You need to keep trying it again and again, and you'll feel improvement in keeping yourself focused. You just can not learn it overnight. It needs a lot of practice for most people. What matters the most is your ability to refocus on your breath as and when you start losing your concentration. Basically, meditation is about concentration, focus and attention.

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Six Crazy, Compelling Reasons Why You Should Be Using a Meditation Cushion

If you take a moment to Google meditation, you'll likely find dozens of articles about meditation cushions, and you may wonder, “Why all the fuss?”

You may also find that one of the most useful features of meditation cushions is how they facilitate proper posture.

Here's a list of six less-known reasons why using a meditation cushion to maintain the proper posture is so important.

1. They Help Keep Your Spine Healthy

One particularly interesting factoid about our spinal health is that it's largely under our control.

According to Lesley Alderman, 15 percent of all American adults are annually treated for back problems, and although not all back problems can be avoided, Dr. Daniel Mazanec, associate director of the Center for Spine Health at the Cleveland Clinic says “The majority of back pain is the result of muscle and ligament strain or weakness, and can often be preceded by developing core strength and proper posture.”

2. They Can Help Keep Your Heart Healthy

Proper posture while meditating can also have an impact on your heart health. According to Dr. Richard Arrandt, poor spinal alignment can have a negative effect on your rib cage, which in turn can damage the health of your heart, lungs and intestines.

3. They Can Help to Lower Your Blood Pressure

Okay, so maybe the meditation ration itself will not necessarily lower your blood pressure; however, using one properly can help keep your blood pressure from going up. Here's why.

Researchers Jim Deuchars and his colleagues at the University of Leeds, UK uncoached the connection between a person's neck muscles and the part of the brainstem that controls heart rate and blood pressure. What they suspect is that “… it is possible that hours spent honed over a computer may raise blood pressure.”

It's reasonable to think that sitting hunched over for an hour every day while you meditate could have similar effects, even if only in the sense that it adds to the strain.

4. They Can Help You Breathe Better

According to Dr. Josh Ax, the human head gains a virtual 10 pounds of weight for every inch that it is off its center. This forward head posture can result in heart disease and asthma as a result of the reduced lung capacity.

5. They Can Reduce the Likelihood of Tension Headaches

Another bad side effect of this forward head posture is that your neck muscles have to support all of that extra weight when your head is not centered like it's supposed to be. By maintaining proper spinal alignment, you reduce the weight and lower your chances of getting tension headaches.

6. They Can Help You Achieve a Higher Quality Meditative Experience

While many of the above negative side consequences of improper posture are seen over the long term, one of the more immediate positive effects of using the right meditation cushion is that it increases your comfort level. And the more comfortable you are, the less distracted you'll be, leading to a defect, more rewarding meditative experience.

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The Healthful Benefits of Yoga and Meditation Exercises

Yoga is a type of exercise that most people would find beneficial not only to their health, but to their whole being as well. Yoga includes doing deep breathing exercises and some body movements. Although most would use yoga as a form of relaxation, its health benefits have extended to alleviating stress, pain and improving some medical conditions, particularly those suffering from heart problems.

Yoga Flexing and Body Movements

Yoga also deals with body movements that would improve your posture and body flexibility as well. In yoga exercises, you are taught to flex your muscles, stretch them and to facilitate more joint movements of your body parts. You also enjoy more fluidity in your movements, less muscle anxiety and you would feel the strength of your body muscles and other bodily functions. You would be more aware about how your body responds to your own movements while doing yoga exercises.

About Yoga breathing exercises

These help to expand your lungs more, enabling you to improve your endurance when doing strenuous activities like sports and rigorous cardio exercises. The breathing exercises also help you manage stress and take away negative thoughts from your mind while doing these exercises. You become calmer as you focus on your breathing and your body also becomes more relaxed as you go along. It is believed that more oxygen to the brain facilitates positive reactions. Some research on yoga exercises say that these exercises encourage hormones in the body to react to positive responses to make the body more relaxed.

Good effects for the heart

Since yoga is a fitness regimen that encourages the overall well-being of the person, it has good effects on the heart. Since breathing exercises are done in a regulated manner, the heart benefits from the exercises. The heart functions on a more relaxed pace, the heart rate becomes slow and relaxed; and everything else follows through. There is noted decrease in blood pressure levels and cholesterol levels as well. The immune system of the body is strengthened due to the positive biochemical reactions thought about by the yoga exercises.

As for meditation, it also has its own healthful benefits to the body

Meditation is allowing your mind to experience a calming and relaxed state that frees you from stress and anxiety. It is also considered a spiritual exercise. Nonetheless, meditation encourages more blood flow to the heart to make it function better. It helps reduce erratic heart rates. Since your mind and body is in a relaxed state, all bodily functions experience less muscle pain and body tension. Your blood pressure and cholesterol levels are within normal range.

Most health practitioners recommend yoga and meditation exercises as part of their fitness regimen

Both fitness regimen complement each other so well. These exercises might as well be always together to get the utmost benefits. That said, make these exercises work for you, and you would see the difference they make in your life.

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Meditation and Its Different Types

Meditation techniques are practiced by many individuals, due to the many benefits they offer. Meditation serves different purposes, the first of which is to calm the mind of its daily chatter and to let the will control the body. There is a wide range of reasons for this activity. They include the body, mind and spirit transformation so that the divine can manifest.

There are several different meditation types. They can involve religions, relaxation or compassion for others. The perfect meditation is based on the person's religion and the reason for this activity. So this differs from one person to another. Most types of meditation are intended to achieve absolute relaxation. However, this is not necessarily true, even if relaxation is achieved during the process.

One of the types of religious meditation is the Christian meditation, which is considered as a prayer. There are several ways to engage in this type, but most of them entail a prayer vocalization. Another aspect that is common to the Christian meditation is vocalizing Bible passages.

Yoga meditation is different in every region where it is done. The focus of this form is on the relation of body, mind and spirit. It not only entitles a relaxed sitting position, but it goes through different positions that enable you to concentrate a lot. Yoga meditation in North America does not involve religion, but it is practiced more for achieving relaxation and increasing strength and flexibility.

Compassion meditation is a unique type of meditation. Those who practice compassion meditation aim to remove the unthinking thoughts from their minds and fill the emptied space with compassion and love for themselves and other people. In computing meditation, people think of specific phrases and replay them on their mind every now and then. Examples of these phrases are “I am happy and calm” and “I am free of sorrow and pain”.

Another type of meditation that is not too often alert is mindfulness meditation. This focuses on one's presence. The meditator is persuaded to let go of all his / her fears. As he / she sits in a relaxed position, he / she acknowledges these feelings without getting talked in them.

While almost all types of meditation focus on breathing, this is the most important part of breathing medication. Those who practice this meditation technique pace breathing so they can facilitate relaxation. Practicing breathing mediation helps a person improve his posture to make it easier to facilitate breathing.

Another type of meditation is called guided meditation. As its name connotes, a person is being guided physically by another individual or by means of a recording. The script of this meditation includes positive statements or affirmations. This can help people who have just started on meditation, and who are not familiar with the way it is done. Guided meditation is also well liked by those who are experts in meditation.

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Scientific Basis of Meditation – How Science Proves The Effectiveness of Meditation

When people hear the term meditation, they immediately connect it with archaic spiritual and pseudoscientific practices, but the truth remains that not only meditation has immune scientifically proved benefits but it also based on the principles of science. Contrary to the common belief that meditation is all about sitting still, there are actually numerous ways to meditate even on the go.

A lot of the methods involve meditation in some sort of motion, but does this really have a scientific base or are we just romanticizing a concept based on more of a placebo effect? While some continue to negate the link, here's taking a look at how science proves the healing power of meditation.

Effect of Meditation on Brain Waves, and consequentially on the state of the mind – It is already established that brain uses electromagnetic waves to function. There are different types of brain waves- the Beta Wave that are responsible for logical thinking, awareness, the Alpha Wave concerned with meditation, relaxation, the Theta wave concerned with an out-of-the-body experience or daydreaming. A study testing the efficacy of Sahaja Yoga confirmed that during the test phase the meditators experienced pre-dominant Alpha waves.

Meditation Increases Concentration Span – Well this is actually no rocket science. In today's era where the maximum attention span is of 6 seconds, it is very difficult to concentrate on anything for long. A study published in PLOS Biology suggests that three months of consistent meditation can train the brain to increase the attention span. The director of the Center for Mind and Brain at the California University spoke in context of the study and called it neuroscience evidence 'that changes the working of the brain through meditation.

Meditation can help lower blood pressure – In a study conducted on 200 heart patients, it was found that patients who mediated on a regular scale had over the time shown a decrease in the blood pressure. It is to be noted that all of these patients had heart conditions. Those who mediated were also disease free comparatively than those who did not meditate. It was also found that meditation helps to reduce the systolic blood pressure by an average of five millimeters of mercury.

Meditation increases the reasoning power- When a person mediates, their minds are in a state of calm. The basic principle of meditation is to induce calm by getting rid of the random thoughts that charge through the mind, and one which makes reasoning difficult by clouding it with other unrelated thoughts. A research conducted at UCLA using MRI showed that among the group of subjects, certain areas of the brain of those who mediated regularly were larger. Basically these areas were the ones associated with emotions, which is why meditation is also recommended to those with emotionally triggered disorders. Since meditation gives the power to control the emotions, it indirectly also makes a person's ability to reason out better.

Meditations builds up a healthy brain – Ask someone who meditates on a regular basis and have been doing so for years, they will tell you how they do not need a lot of sleep or tons of caffeine to charge their minds and bodies. Those who meditate condition their brains over a period of time to become healthier. Getting rid of negative thoughts, improving concentration power and attention span, and the ability to think and reason out better are all important requirements of a healthy brain and hence a healthy body. And studies conducted on a group of meditators provided that meditation does indeed help in improving the overall health of the brain.

Meditation decreases anxiety, stress, and depression- Probably a no-brainer since meditation is highly recommended for anyone going through or has stress and depression issues. According to a study published in Psychosomatic Medicine in 2009, the effects of meditation on stress and depression was calculated and it was established that meditation does indeed help to both reduce the level of stress and anxiety, and help with depression while at the same time it empowers the meditator to fight against these, so working as a preventive measure as well.

The concept is still in its infancy and every day a number of studies and researches are being conducted to understand the link better and to scientifically quantify or deny meditation which has a therapeutic effect. Having said that, meditation does indeed work wonders for our overall mental and physical health, from attaining peace of mind to control over emotions.

While we are yet to prove the concept of meditation through scientific laws and formulas, it is safe to say that the benefits of meditation have already been established as per studies and experiments. For anyone looking to overcome emotional problems and mental disorders, meditation does make it a lot easier, and this is why even doctors strongly recommend this.

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Slowing The Aging Process, One Breath at a Time

As the anti-aging industry shoots for $ 300 billion revenue in the next few years, scientists are discovering a simple drug-free and chemical- free way to achieve what we all want. What's more, anyone who is alive can do it for free!

Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Harvard and many of her colleagues have discovered that you can have a 'young' brain as you age, by simply meditating regularly. Meditators who had a six hourly weekly session for nine years were examined and found to have reversed the thinning of their brain structures such as the prefrontal cortex. This means that meditation is an important tool in boosting aging brains to function like young ones.

Out at the University of California, Nobel Prize winning scientist, Elizabeth Blackburn and her team have discovered that meditation helps to protect the caps on human chromosomes, called telomere from shortening. This is critical in slowing the aging process as shooter telomeres will render our cells to malfunction and disabling them to divide.

Her work with Elissa Epel from the psychiatry department of the same university, on 58 women who were in high stressed situations revealed that stress can shorten their telomeres, and reduce their production of telomerase, an enzyme which protects the telomeres, to such extent as to cause an extra decade of aging. Of the studies that showed that our telomeres predict future health, one showed that “elderly men who telomeres shortened over two and half years were three times as likely to die from cardiovascular disease in the consequent nine years,” as compared to those who telomeres were longer or lasted the same length. In other studies and lab researches, telomere length has been linked to other diseases such as diabetes and also the indication that it is linked to longevity.

Other than Black, Lazar and Epel, at the Mood Disorders Center at Exeter University, Willem Kuyken, Head of the Center found that mindfulness meditation was more effective than drug treatment in preventing relapse in patients with recurrent depression. David Creswell of Carnegie Mellon University found that meditation slowed disease progress in patients with HIV. Other researches shows that meditating also enhances the production of Melatonin. Melatonin is a beneficial hormone which retards damage to cells, thus slows aging and energizes the immune system. Melatonin will also induce recuperative sleep which has a lot of beneficial effects, the key of which is relevant to anti-aging is the reduction of stress.

These ground breaking researches strengthen the claims that meditation can slow aging and prolong life. As long as you are living, you can do it. Just find a quiet place, sit comfortably and relax. Neuroscientist, Lazar, herself, practices meditation. It is as simple as just paying attention to your breath. What a bargain! Meditate regularly, as little as 20 minutes a day, will slow your aging and prolong your life, a claim based on all the scientific researches of such eminent scientists as Elizabeth Black, a Nobel Prize winner. If you are seeking youth and longevity, what are you waiting for?

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Beginning To Meditate

Everyone can benefit from meditation. Whatever you need to relieve some stress from your life, are trying to improve your wellness, need help relaxing, or just want to find inner peace, meditation can help you do it. You do not need Eastern knowledge or have to take any classes in order to meditate effectively; all you need is to learn the basics. Here is a simple guide to meditate for beginners:

Environment is Everything

Where you meditate is just as important as how you meditate. Since the goal of meditation is to clear your mind and enter a state of relaxation, it only makes sense that you should remove any distractions and noises. Choose a place, whether it is a room or a place outdoors, where you can be alone.

If you choose to meditate outdoors, choose a secluded spot away from the sounds of traffic. If you choose a room, make sure that it is clutter-free since that can keep you from fully relaxing. Turn off all electronics such as the phone, television and radio. The only exception here is if you want to play soothing music. Music should not have any words and should be calming such as nature sounds.

Get Into Position

Any position that you find relaxing and keeps your muscles from tensing works for meditation. The common meditating pose is with your legs crossed in front of you and your arms relaxed at your side with your back straight. Ideally, the floor is the best spot as long as it is comfortable for you to sit there. Otherwise, you can sit on a pillow, on the couch or even on a chair.

Relax Your Muscles

Start at the top of your head and slowly relax each muscle group. For example, focus on your head and eyebrows and let the muscles there drop. Then move to your shoulders and jaw and let them relax. Move through your body until you end at your toes. We tend to tense up our muscles without even realizing it. By moving from group to group, we can systematically relax all of our muscles.

Get Your Breathing Right

Inhale deeply through your nose for 5 seconds and then exhale deeply through your mouth for 5 seconds. You should be drawing in breaths from your abdomen and not taking shallow breaths from your lungs. With each exhale, you should allow all your worries to float out of your body.

Clear Your Mind

It will be difficult at first but you must clear your mind of all thoughts. You may find it helpful to repeat a word or sound such as “ohmmmm” to help you focus. If a thought pops in your head, immediately push it out. It may take time, but ever you will be able to clear your mind without much effort.

By following this guide on how to meditate for beginners, you can become a pro at meditation and can begin to reap all of its benefits.

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Self Inflating Pads Are A Blessing For Outdoor Meditation Lovers

If you are an outdoor meditation lover and the idea of ​​meditating in the open trills you and rings bells in your heart, then you know what I mean when I talk about the importance and need of a proper pad to sit or lay down on, to make sure your body, mind and spirit are really in good hands.

If by God's grace you live in a warm, tropical country, it's also true that all you need is just a straw mat or a light fabric, and in many cases you can also just directly sit on the grass or marble, to keep yourself fresh , stable, and comfortable. But if you live in a cold country, up north or down south, or on a mountain area, your needs, to acquire peace-of-mind, are certainly going to be thicker and warmer.

I personally love self-inflating mattresses, or outdoor sleeping pads, because in a single item I find all that I request to make my outside meditating time an exciting and unforgivable open-air practice. They're light, small, warm, and thick – available in many different formats: two, three, four seasons, according to where one wishes to meditate – and offer mankind the chance to fall within themselves as peacefully and graciously as a forest god Egypt goddess.

I'm so happy when, after climbing a snowy mountain peak, to challenge the eternal hoary glaciers, or over a dew-drenched green meadow, or under a starry night, or inside a soaking wet thick cloud of humidity that makes me feel I 've lost my way, I can safely, comfortably, and softly sit, or stretch down, out there, and blissfully let everything go and drown in the restoration womb of the infinite.

I will never be able to praise enough the self-inflating design and who invented it! I simply unroll my pad, open the air valve, let it suck in the air, and there it is! A few minutes later it's ready to welcoming me on it. I then usually over inflated it, adding several breaths. I like it as firm and high as possible. I'm used to sleeping on hard surfaces, India taught me that, and to also like the orange color, the mystic one, which is the color of pad's fabric too. It moves my romantic feeling of an old and exotic mystic path.

I sit on it, assume the lotus posture, breathe in the cosmos, breathe out what I do not need, and in a few minutes I'm back to my universal center, ready to enjoy and receive all that I went there for: inner and outer universal blessings.

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A Guide To Meditating Properly

These days, people all over the world are becoming more and more interested in the ancient Eastern practice of mediation because of its numerous benefits. Meditation has the ability to relieve stress, help certain health conditions, aid in relaxation and help you achieve an overall sense of wellbeing. With all of these benefits, everyone should meditate on a daily basis.

Essentially, meditation brings your mind, body and spirit into a complete state of relaxation and peace which is actually easier to do than you think. Here are the 4 steps to meditate properly:

STEP 1: Find the Right Spot

Choose a place either in your house, office or outdoors that is private and quiet. There should be no other people around and no loud external sounds. Turn off all electronic devices such as the phone, television, computer and radio. If you choose to have music playing, choose soft instrumentals or nature sounds at a low volume.

STEP 2: Get into Position

Wherever you choose to sit should be comfortable. The best place to meditate is on the floor, either on a plush rug or on a pillow. If you can not sit on the floor, a couch or chair will do. You can sit in whatever position that keeps your spine in alignment and your muscles relaxed but the most common meditation position is lotus.

To get into this position, sit on the floor and cross your legs in front of you. Your left ankle should be on your right thigh and your right ankle should be on your left thigh. Sit up tall so your spine, neck and head are aligned. Drop your arms so that the back of your hands are resting against the tops of your thighs and bring the tip of your thumb to touch the tips of the other fingers on each hand.

STEP 3: Relax Your Body

Starting at the top of your head, relax every muscle group all the way through your toes. Once your body is fully relaxed and free of tension, begin deep breathing. Inhale deeply through your nose for 5 seconds and then exhale slowly through your mouth for 5 seconds. Continue deep breathing until it becomes automatic.

STEP 4: Clear Your Mind

Clear your mind of all thoughts. You may find it helpful to repeat a word or sound such as “ohmmmm”. This is usually the toughest part during meditation but every time you meditate it will become easier to do. The goal is to not think about anything, say anything or focus on anything whether it is external or internal.

By following these 4 steps to meditate properly, you will allow yourself to fully relax your mind and body in order to reap the many benefits of meditation. By meditating every day for at least 10 minutes, you can reach a sense of wellness and happiness in your life.

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Zen Living: The Art Of Highlighting the Void

Zen means meditation in Japanese. Meditation means to create inner space, more space, more and more inward. The inner space is expressed in a kind of life attitude that emphasizes the void, attracting and materializing the corresponding outer space, as a reflection of one's own silent intimacy of being. Zen style is neutral; it's the manifestation of a basic predisposition that welcomes and gives way to the temporary passage of all, without change and overbalancing.

Zen Living is the project to commit to reposition the internal and external structure of your home to live better, in synchronous harmony with your inner space. Zen Living is there before the process of reorganizing your home or apartment, in a meditative way, to make it more pleasant to those who live there and those who attend. What follows is a small and funny introductory note on the origins of Zen.

At the beginning of the sixth century of the Common Era, the Indian Buddhist monk Bodhidharma, moved to China to bring there the true meditation. In India, the term for meditation is Dhyan, which means a state of no-mind or inner silence. Once in China, however, theability of the Chinese phonetics to pronounce Dhyan, makes sure that this expression, which as I said means meditation, becomes Chan, and so remains to this day in China. At the beginning of the ninth century, then, when the Chinese Buddhist monk Nunqan, later known as Nansen, moved to Japan to bring there the true meditation, it happened that theability of the Japanese phonetics to pronounce Chan, makes sure that this expression , which always means meditation, turns into Zen, and so remains to this day through the world.

The house of every one is perfect according to their current state of mind, and having a lot of things is nice. These, however, when we begin to meditate, become a problem because they excessively fill the outside space giving us a reflection that does not correspond to our present, and constantly reminds us of the past. Too many things around, gathered in the course of a lifetime, saturate the space; the house became smaller and who resides has the impression of living in a store or warehouse getting continually smaller. The point now is where and how to transfer all these things, with all their related memories, and to find those who may be interested in buying or just take them away. Now also the future comes into play, turning once again the beginner meditator from the empty mental space of the present.

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Answering the Question How Do I Meditate?

Any time I see this question asked I see basically the same answer given by a thousand different people. “Find a nice quiet place, sit comfortably, relax and watch your breath while you clear your mind.” Now this is a basic outline of the answer to the question, but in this article, I want to answer this question with a few tips I think are key to how you meditate successfully. In order to get everything out of your meditation practice, make sure you have these elements covered before you start to learn meditation.

1. Commitment – Work meditation practice into your schedule. We all have busy schedules now days but regardless of whether it's in the morning or the evening, work 15 minutes in for practicing your meditation.

Just make sure it is at the same time every day for your practice. This way your body will get used to the scheduled time.

2. Attitude – You have to approach learning meditation with the mindset that “yes, this is something I can do” So many people start things with the attitude that it is too hard or they can not really do it. This has you at a disadvantage right from the start no matter what it is you are trying to do.

3. Understanding – Make sure you learn each step and why it is important. Some things you may think are small or trivial but that is because you may not yet understand how they fit into learning meditation or how important it can actually be to you progressing.

4. Dedication – Make sure you practice and practice consistently. Be it every day, every other day, but like when learning anything else, you only get better and more comfortable at it with practice

5. Proper Focus – No expectations of what you think should be happening, or trying too hard. Do not concentrate on what you should be getting from the exercise you are practicing, just do it.

This would be just like when you are in a hurry to get to work because you are running late. When running late for work your thoughts are more focused on the outcome, or what will happen getting there late instead of concentrating on the journey. This is how accidents happen and when learning meditation, this one wrong focus can really hold you back. Focus will be crucial in later meditations so practice and then think about on what you may feel after your practice. A good teacher will never tell the student what to expect but rather ask the student to explain what they feel to gauge wherever they are really “getting” it.

So these are my tips I give to my new students when they come to me to learn meditation, when they ask me, “How do I meditate?” By applying these tips to their learning they will have the proper mindset when it comes down to later learning the mechanics of the practice and will be able to gain so much more from it. I hope these tips have given you a little different perspective into how you should approach your meditation and answering the question “How do I meditate?” The mindset is by far the most crucial aspect of learning meditation, or anything else for that matter. These are the kind of things being passed from teacher to student that you do not really see a lot of on the internet.

Copyright 2014 – Meditation Mind Source – All Rights Reserved

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The 8 Levels Of Maum Meditation

Maum meditation is a form of meditation that was founded in South Korea by Woo Myung in 1996. The practice is built in the belief that most humans live in a false world.

The meditation is composed of eight levels with the first seven aimed at conditioning people to reject the false world and embrace the “real” world.

Level 1

This stage is aimed at helping you to know that you are one with the universe. To practice, you need to absorb a comfortable meditation position (by sitting cross-legged on a floor or mat) then visualize your physical body dying. You should also see yourself floating from your body off into space.

Level 2

This stage is meant to free yourself from all the earthly emotions and memories. To do this you need to visualize yourself in a space near a black hole and then mentally throw all the memories and emotions from your life into the hole.

Level 3

Here you are supposed to visualize yourself putting all the things that define your life on earth on a conveyor belt and allow them to ride along the belt until they fall into a pit of fire. The earthly possessions that you need to get rid of are: cars, homes, and businesses.

Level 4

This level requires you to do a simple physical act such as vacuuming and associate the physical act to the virtual death of your own body. According to the program, you are expected to engage in physical medication every time you perform household tasks.

Level 5

Also known as “knowing the original foundation; knowing the mind and body of the universe,” this level is similar to the fourth level because it requires you to mentally associate a physical act with the virtual death of your own body.

Here you are allowed to choose any physical activity that you love doing and associate it to the death of your body. For example, you can associate washing of utensils to the physical death of your body.

Level 6 and 7

These levels are basically expanded versions of the fourth and fifth levels.

Level 8

Also known as “working in the true world for the world,” this level is reached when you have “escaped” the worldly way of thinking and doing things. When you are at this level, you are told to have been enlightened and you view the world from a different angle.

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