Meditation, you may have noticed, is becoming as ubiquitous as Starbucks. Studies suggest that it can improve concentration and working memory, lower blood pressure, and even boost immune-system functioning, among many other benefits. Nearly 1,000 apps, such as Headspace and Calm, promise to help you find inner stillness in a now $1.1 billion meditation and mindfulness industry, which includes therapy, classes, retreats, and other services. This swift commercialization is alarming some longtime teachers, who worry that the new studios present an attractive but diluted version of spiritual practices.
Tantra — unlike the popular view in the West, most Tantra practices have nothing to do with ritualized sex (this was practiced by a minority of lineages. Tantra is a very rich tradition, with dozens of different contemplative practices. The text Vijnanabhairava Tantra, for instance, lists 108 “meditations”, most of them more advanced (already requiring a certain degree of stillness and mind control). Here are some examples from that text:
In this way meditation is very therapeutic. It not only leads to inner balance and stability, it also exposes your inner complexes, your immaturities, your unproductive reflexes and habits. of living in these complexes and habits and acting them out, they are brought to your awareness and you can give them your full attention. Only then will they clear.
Thank you, Rosa. I’m glad that you find the article useful. Yes, I understand that sometimes, life can be so hectic that it seems impossible to find the time to meditate. During times like this, try exercising your creativity and find pockets of time in between places or activities to catch some deep breaths or have a quick meditation. I hope meditation will help you to restore balance in your life. Take care!
Affirmations help to ground us in the moment, combat negative thinking and awaken us to our authentic selves. Often when we’re disconnected from our goals and ourselves these thoughts can spiral into a negative abyss. Affirmations are a vital part of developing awareness and staying focused on our goals. Use this formula to find an affirmation to combat negative thinking:
In contrast, if you meditate on a regular basis, several positive things happen. First, the strong, tightly held connection between the Me Center (specifically the unhelpful vmPFC) and the bodily sensation/fear centers begins to break down. As this connection withers, you will no longer assume that a bodily sensation or momentary feeling of fear means something is wrong with you or that you are the problem! This explains, in part, why anxiety decreases the more you meditate – it’s because the neural paths that link those upsetting sensations to the Me Center are decreasing. Said another way, your ability to ignore sensations of anxiety is enhanced as you begin to break that connection between the unhelpful parts of the Me Center and the bodily sensation/fear centers. As a result, you are more readily able to see those sensations for what they are and not respond as strongly to them (thanks to your strengthened Assessment Center).
Mindfulness Meditation is an adaptation from traditional Buddhist meditation practices, especially Vipassana, but also having strong influence from other lineages (such as the Vietnamese Zen Buddhism from Thich Nhat Hanh). “Mindfulness” is the common western translation for the Buddhist term sati. Anapanasati, “mindfulness of breathing”, is part of the Buddhist practice of Vipassana or insight meditation, and other Buddhist meditational practices, such as zazen (source: Wikipedia).
Danielle’s teaching style will make you feel whole, peaceful and grounded. Her specialties include Mindfulness, Breath Awareness, Self-Reflection, & Astrological Psychological Counseling. To book a private with Danielle in our LA studio or via Skype, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (310) 826-8899.
Welcome to my island of sanity and serenity. I’m Sandra Pawula – writer, mindfulness teacher and lover of ease. I help deep thinking, heart-centered spirits find greater ease — emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Curious? Read On!
These are some changes during parasympathetic dominance (P.S.D.) and sympathetic dominance (S.D.) which can be physiologically measured. For each dominating value of parasympathetic system or sympathetic system we assign numerical value ‘1’ and put them in formula for S.Q.
At first I wasn’t sure when to use the Meditation into Expand Intuitive Knowledge, because I’m used to using meditation to seek peace, inner growth, or guidance, not so much to celebrate and expand a good energy already present. Then I was out hiking in the woods the other day(I live in Alaska) and I just knew that the energy of the trees and sunlight and wind are for me the spiritual beauty I want to expand within myself and others, so I sang this beautiful mantra. Now I love adding the mantra to my outdoor time…and the singing has another nice benefit…it helps wildlife I do not want to take by surprise, like bears, know I’m around in a loving, peaceful way. Thanks, Gabby.
Excellent question! I’m sure there are many articles on Psychology Today about this, but I generally recommend starting with the book Mindfulness in Plain English by Bhante Gunaratana. It’s an excellent intro book on mindfulness. Here’s the Amazon link:
There are a number of yoga poses that will help you with your mindfulness meditation practice. Here are 10 simple yoga exercises to reduce stress, improve well-being, and get you primed for a sitting meditation session—or anytime.
Meditation may seem like a chore at first, but learn to enjoy it and look forward to it everyday. See it as an opportunity, rather than an item on your to-do list, to spend some intimate moments with yourself.
One of the effect of meditation is the balancing effect. Very simply put if you go too much on the right (right channel) you`ll come back bouncing to the left (left channel) and therefore fall asleep.
Meditation can be an effective form of stress reduction and has the potential to improve quality of life and decrease health care costs. Meditation involves achieving a state of ‘thoughtless awareness’ in which the excessive stress producing activity of the mind is neutralized without reducing alertness and effectiveness.
Truth: The benefits of meditation are both immediate and long-term. You can begin to experience benefits the first time you sit down to meditate and in the first few days of daily practice. Many scientific studies provide evidence that meditation has profound effects on the mind-body physiology within just weeks of practice. For example, a landmark study led by Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital found that as little as eight weeks of meditation not only helped people experience decreased anxiety and greater feelings of calm; it also produced growth in the areas of the brain associated with memory, empathy, sense of self, and stress regulation.
When your spirit separates from your body [Earth-Suit] , the cups are measured for the content inside. If the cups are overflowing…by just one drop. To the next Universe of your choosing or a guide to another coming in to Earth 101.
Unplug hit a chord: Classes were immediately popular, some drawing as many as 70 people in the first two weeks. One recent morning, four friends drove up from San Diego to take a class — and they stayed for a second one.
Through meditation you can reverse the effect of the more toxic elements in our lives—negative habits, emotions, environment, substances, thoughts, etc. The key, as he describes it, is to experience inner silence so that the body returns to homeostasis and self-repair.
In the event that you still feel disturbances or having problem with visualization, then perhaps you may want to start off with guided meditation instead. In guided meditation, a gentle voice will guide you through the whole meditation process and may be more suitable for beginners who find complete silence too intimidating. Following a voice may be helpful in calming you down too as it leaves less room for imagination to run wild. More often than not, our feelings of disturbances are due to inherent insecurity, fear, preconditioning and an overactive mind, and not because of any intruding spirit. I’ve previously written a post on guided meditation for relaxation which you can check out if you’re interested.
The chief characteristic of this type of meditation is the generation, transformation, and circulation of inner energy. The purpose is to quieten the body and mind, unify body and spirit, find inner peace, and harmonize with the Tao. Some styles of Taoist Meditation are specifically focused on improving health and giving longevity.
Meditation however, has been developed in Eastern cultures and has a documented history of more than several thousand years. Eastern meditative techniques have been developed, trialed and refined over hundreds of generations with the specific intention of developing a method by which the layperson can regularly attain a state of mental peace and tranquillity, ie. relief from stress. It is a strategy that can easily be adapted to the needs of clinicians and their patients in the West.
Those minor beans are rays of sunshine. Things such as that. Also, looking at laughing is all right, crying is interesting too by Nora Purmort definitely places everyday living in point of view. She handles some massive problems in her early thirty’s with partner owning brain cancer and faces it with laughter, honestly and lots of expletives. 🙂
As you relax more and more, any outside sounds fade off into the distance. As you become more calm and embrace sleep, your eyes drift ever more into the distance, beckoning your eyelids to close softly. The dreamcatcher observes you from your head to toe, peeling any thoughts and feelings away in through the next and sending down sleepy dreamy sensations to your mind and body through the sincere feathers above. You feel safe, sleepy and relaxed. As your mind settles down, your body rests itselfs into position, ready for sleep. As the dreamcatcher creates a soothing atmosphere around you, it’s feathers send their softness to you. Your pillow becomes softer and seems to deflate into an air pocket of surrender for you head and neck, loosening all the muscles around your shoulder area. Your matress beneath you seems to slip away and feels as if you are laying on air. Your body becomes lazy and limp at this comforting and relaxed feeling. The hug of the blanket is warm, positive and reassuring.
In meditation, we are in a state of restful alertness that is extremely refreshing for the body and mind. As people stick with their meditation ritual, they notice that they are able to accomplish more while doing less. Instead of struggling so hard to achieve goals, they spend more and more time “in the flow” – aligned with universal intelligence that orchestrates everything.
When you’re simply aware of whatever occurs in the mind without following after it, and practice bringing your mind back to the present moment whenever you feel distracted, your mind will naturally calm down. Your thoughts give up in a sense when you don’t pay too much attention to them. Gradually, you start to feel more space between you and the thoughts. You feel more relaxed, whether there’s a thought arising or your mind is empty for a moment.
Finally, an added bonus of meditating is that the connection between the helpful aspects of the Me Center (i.e. dorsomedial prefrontal cortex) – the part involved in processing information related to people we perceive as being not like us – and the bodily sensation center – involved in empathy – becomes stronger. This healthy connection enhances your capacity to understand where another person is coming from, especially those who you cannot intuitively understand because you think or perceive things differently from them (i.e., dissimilar others). This increased connection explains why meditation enhances empathy – it helps us use the part of the brain that infers other people’s states of mind, their motivations, desires, dreams and so on, while simultaneously activating the part of the brain involved in the actual experience of empathy (insula). The end result is that we are more able to put ourselves in another person’s shoes (especially those not like us), thereby increasing our ability to feel empathy and compassion for everyone.