Meditation is no longer something strange and unusual.
Have you noticed that meditation has been experiencing a revival over the past few years? Articles on the numerous benefits of a mindfulness practice grace the covers of magazines each month. Time magazine recently dedicated an entire issue to this conversation! Relevant studies and the resulting medical interest are now recognizing the importance of this ancient practice in our very modern world. Many conventional physicians now accept this as a significant part of the equation in our quest for health and well-being in the 21st century.
What was once looked upon with doubt and uncertainty is now being embraced with open arms by average people from all walks of life. The reason I decided to become a meditation instructor is, quite simply, because it had such a powerful effect in my life. I realized that I needed to share this with my family, my friends and my clients. If I can meditate anyone can meditate; anyone that knows me well will certainly agree!
Why the sudden shift?
First and foremost, it has shifted because of amazing breakthroughs in technology. With all of our technological advances, it is now possible to actually verify the effects of meditation on the brain, and consequently on our overall health. A recent study out of Mass General and Harvard took 16 individuals and had them meditate for approximately 27 minutes a day for 8 weeks. There were brain scans before and brain scans after the 8 week period. I am sure there was much merriment in the lab when the results were realized. The participant’s brains had actually changed!
This is not science fiction but it is science. The amygdala- the area of the brain responsible for fear and anxiety experienced a decrease in the gray- matter density. Equally important, the hippocampus experienced an increase in gray matter density. The hippocampus is the area of the brain associated with short term and long term memory, compassion, self-awareness and introspection. After just 8 weeks!
Our Mind and Body are no longer strangers passing in the night. Meditation can change our physiology and play a VERY relevant role in our health!
How does it work?
Let’s face it, we live chaotic, frenzied lives. In our “modern” world we are consumed from morning to night with an endless flow of activity. We have come to know this as our life; it is what we do, it is how we live. Meditation offers an opportunity in your life to escape this pace and embrace what is called “restful awareness” which encourages a relaxation response.
When we sit to meditate, we take control of our life. Instead of letting go of the helm and letting the boat drift wherever the wind blows, we take control and set a new course.
Meditation enables us to take it down a notch, refocus and by turning inward- recreate our health and our life.
We need to slow down and take a deep breath; we need to stop for a moment and see our lives.
The practice of meditation is not meant to control your mind but to transform it.