MEDITATION, Science and Health

It is well documented that meditation has the capacity to dramatically alter our health. Of the myriad medical uses for meditation, the most obvious is stress management and reduction, which is supported by a plethora of scientific research. Additional areas positively impacted are: cognitive function, emotional regulation, pain management, fatigue, anxiety, depression, blood pressure and more.  

While formal meditation is practiced seated, the ultimate goal is to bring the practice and/or witness the fruits of practice arise, into our moment to moment actions and interactions. Meditation ultimately enables us to meat life's ever changing, increasing demands with a profound sense of clarity, wisdom, serenity and ease. This capacity unfolds gradually as we refine our awareness, relationship and response to mental tendencies and impulses.

Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.  Victor Frankl

I can’t meditate

I hear often - from adults, and young adults in addiction recovery with anxiety, ADHD and mood disorders - only to be be astonished - when they experience, that indeed they can. First, know, that meditation IS NOT an attempt to willfully ‘empty out’ or subjugate the mind, as people often think. Second, there are a number of considerations that can help facilitate entering into meditation with greater ease. Lastly, there are many types of meditation techniques, and we all have different inclinations. Finding the right method for you is key.

The Mind, does yours have space? 

When we consider that from the moment we wake up to the moment we go to sleep, unless we spend time in nature, meditate or deliberately practice engaging in our actions with heightened awareness or ‘presence’ - we never experience space, gaps of quiet simplicity or pause from the incessant sensorial input and movement of thought. Our senses are constantly being bombarded with sound, visual stimulus, information and other forms of sensory overload. It’s no wonder such a high prevalence of mental disorders, anxiety and insomnia abound. 

I love the metaphor of the Ocean -always moving, often tumultuous, and turbulent on the surface, in contrast to the deep stillness and quietude when you dive into the depths underneath. This same concept applies to the mind - it is tumultuous, incessantly active on the surface, but when we begin to take the reins and develop a different relationship and/or direct this energy, through practice, we are plummeted - in time, to the quiet, spacious depths of our inner most Self. With continued practice - we are accompanied by this background of calm even in the midst of  activity. Ultimately meditation brings us into the most intimate experience of our own selves, one that satisfies a human beings ultimate desire and yearning - the experience of the Self, I call it - home. 

Meditation is not a way of making the mind quiet, it's a way of entering the quiet that's already there.            Deepak Chopra

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