I am a strong believer in understanding and trying many different meditation disciplines to find the one(s) that work for you. This guest blog written by Diamond over at eHealthInformer outlines four of them.
Though meditation has been around for centuries, it's still only just starting to take off in the Western world. It first gained popularity in the West during the 1960s as culture changed with music and narcotic experimentation. The Beatles learned Transcendental Meditation from the Maharishi in Rishikesh, which changed their musical sound and lyrics meanings to be about spirituality and eastern philosophy.
Around this time other bands and influential people began learning and experimenting with meditation. However, since then meditation has spread deeply throughout Western culture and is now considered as standard as yoga or shisha pipes.
Meditation is now used not only for spiritual connection but mind health, stress relief, developing focus and vision exercises. Not everyone wishes to use meditation for spiritual purposes, though that is the area the techniques were bred from.
These four unique meditation practices are among the most effective and widely practiced to date. Using the information below you should be able to decide which is right for you and your desires.
Many look to science to determine the effectiveness of certain treatments on our health, and there is a belief in Western medicine that the solution to our problems is some procedure or pill from the outside. I write a lot about the power we have to heal ourselves, but sometimes it may seem unscientific to hold this view.
Western medicine looks to physical science to prove or disprove certain hypotheses. However, Eastern belief systems indicate that our physical reality is a subset of reality, which is created by our higher planes of existence (our thoughts on the mental plane and our emotions on the astral plane). As such, our ability to heal on the physical can be affected by these higher planes. However, physical science can only witness the physical plane, and therefore, it may seem like an inadequate tool to measure these other planes of existence, which seem out of the reach of physical science because the physical plane "below" the higher planes.
One way we can directly witness the effects of these higher planes on the physical plane is the age-old psychological concept called "the placebo effect," wherein a subject of a scientific study perceives and believes that they are receiving some external treatment to create a desired effect and then begin to feel well due to this perceived treatment. However, in reality, the subject did not actually receive the treatment. Instead, it was their belief that they received the treatment which made them perceive that their problem was solved, and through this perception, the problem does indeed actually become resolved. In these cases, it is scientifically shown that the external treatment did not cure the person, but rather, the person's belief. Here is a great article and documentary that details how the placebo effect can help us heal!
Read more and watch the documentary...
The idea of sitting in lotus pose even for 20 minutes can feel overwhelming…or boring. Even if you’re interested in achieving flow state, if you’re a typical high-achiever Type A personality, then you might think that sitting cross-legged and breathing deeply is a waste of precious time.If you’re nodding your head in agreement, there are two things you should know. First, if you think you’re too busy to meditate, you probably need meditation more than anyone! Secondly, meditation takes many forms—it isn’t all chanting and hanging out in rock gardens. Check out four ways you can reap the benefits of meditating even if it’s not your thing. Read More...
Adolescents assigned to a mindfulness meditation program appeared to have improvements in memory in a recent study.
"These results are consistent with a growing body of research in adults that has found mindfulness meditation to be a helpful tool for enhancing working memory capacity," said Kristen E. Jastrowski Mano of the psychology department at the University of Cincinnati, who coauthored the new study. Read more...
“Knowledge is a treasure, but practice is the key to it.” ~ Lao Tzu
Think you aren’t any good at meditation? Wondering how to find the time to meditate? Too much going through your head to focus? Sit back and relax while you watch the images in your mind’s eye and connect with your higher self using this new meditation app for iOS.
As a follow up to the previous Guided Meditation Treks and Binaural apps released earlier this summer, tune into the latest release, Guided Meditation Treks Volume II. Four new spoken word guided meditations combine guided image therapy with binaural beats, soothing sounds of nature, and this time ambient music help you to work through real-life situations and improve your outlook.
"Cleanse a drama cycle” will help you work through an old pattern and use new ways of thinking. “Program a Quartz Crystal” will show you how to use your intention to metaphysically program a physical quartz crystal to run the program of your intention. “Ask Your Higher Self a Question” was the meditation that helped the author, Russell Eric Dobda, change careers. It will help you find the answer to that burning question you've been asking yourself, whatever it may be. Finally, “Send Helpful Thoughtforms to Another” is a guided meditation that will show you how to use your thoughts to help another person. Remember, thoughts are things.
This app was previously available as downloadable mp3s, but the iOS app versions allow you to control the volume levels of the individual components of each meditation to custom-tailor the sound to your preferences. Download the app or get the original mp3’s today at the Guided Meditation Treks website. These apps will help you create a space for meditation any time or any place with a smartphone.
This is my first of a series of guest blog posts as part of my publicity push for my new iOS apps, released this week. This article discusses the sometimes taboo subject of healers who charge for their services. This applies to any type of healer, from a musician to a clairvoyant to a yoga instructor to even those healers we don't question sending money to: doctors. The concept comes back to a simple measurement: energy exchange. Read the article on Top Guided Meditations...
Wow, USC has several studies showing the benefits of mindfulness in our daily lives. From changing brain structures in old people (something we once thought was impossible) to sleeping better at night by being more aware during the day to increasing your attention span or quitting alcohol, mindfulness practice can change your life! Here are some studies from this enlightening organization!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to know of a way to help you relax after a long day, reduce your stress and chronic pain, help you focus better on what really matters in your life, and improve your health overall? While Big Pharma is working on that pill, there is a solution that is free and offers no side effects; it’s meditation. Read More...
Scientists have discovered that it is possible to induce lucid dreaming in sleepers by applying mild electrical currents to their scalps, a study says. Lucid dreaming is when a sleeper recognises they are dreaming and may even be able to manipulate the dream's plot and control their behavior. "The key finding is that you can, surprisingly, by scalp stimulation, influence the brain. And you can influence the brain in such a way that a sleeper, a dreamer, becomes aware that he is dreaming," said Professor J Allan Hobson, from Harvard Medical School, who co-authored the paper published in Nature Neuroscience. Read More...
Researchers Show How Mindfulness and Your Thoughts Can Induce Specific Molecular Changes To Your Genes
With evidence growing that training the mind or inducing specific modes of consciousness can have beneficial health effects, scientists have sought to understand how these practices physically affect the body. A new study by researchers in Wisconsin, Spain, and France reports the first evidence of specific molecular changes in the body following a period of intensive mindfulness practice. The study investigated the effects of a day of intensive mindfulness practice in a group of experienced meditators, compared to a group of untrained control subjects who engaged in quiet non-meditative activities. Read More...
Participating in an 8-week mindfulness meditation program appears to make measurable changes in brain regions associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. In a study that will appear in the January 30 issue of Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging, a team led by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) researchers report the results of their study, the first to document meditation-produced changes over time in the brain’s grey matter. Read More...
Many people have tried to sell me on the idea of meditating. Sometimes I try it, and have an incredible, refreshing experience. But usually, as I close my eyes and focus on my breathing, while I know that I’m supposed to be letting all thoughts go, more and more fly through my mind. Soon I have a laundry-list of “to-dos” in my head … and then my legs fall asleep. It’s all downhill from there. This TED Talk, however, might actually convince me to give meditation another shot. Read More...
A Russian scientist has been studying the human energy field and is claiming that people can change the world simply by using their own energy. While this idea is not new, not too many have taken the time to scientifically go about proving such ideas -although the field of quantum physics has shed some powerful light on the topic over the years. Dr. Konstantin Korotkov, professor of physics at St. Petersburg State Technical University, states that when we think positive and negative thoughts, each have a different impact on our surrounding environment. Read More...
Lucid dreaming is one category of dreams that many people experience. It occurs when the individual is dreaming and during that dream the individual is completely aware that they are dreaming. Some people report a low-level lucidity state where one is aware they are dreaming but not able to alter the content of the dream. Other people have experienced high-level lucidity where one is aware they are dreaming but are also able to alter the dream, and have the freedom to do whatever they desire within the dream. Read More...
At first glance, Quiet Time - a stress reduction strategy used in several San Francisco middle and high schools, as well as in scattered schools around the Bay Area - looks like something out of the om-chanting 1960s. Twice daily, a gong sounds in the classroom and rowdy adolescents, who normally can't sit still for 10 seconds, shut their eyes and try to clear their minds. I've spent lots of time in urban schools and have never seen anything like it. This practice - meditation rebranded - deserves serious attention from parents and policymakers. An impressive array of studies shows that integrating meditation into a school's daily routine can markedly improve the lives of students. If San Francisco schools Superintendent Richard Carranza has his way, Quiet Time could well spread citywide. Read More...
Watch the Breath
Articles on mindfulness meditation.