According to a new study, Scientists have managed to prove what many Indian people have known for centuries; they have demonstrated that meditation is good for the brain. During the study, which was published in the specialist journal PLOS One, researchers discovered that meditative training could produce specific measurable changes in the parts of the brain that are linked to empathy and compassion. In the research into compassion meditation practices, researchers studied 16 Tibetan monks who had each spent many hours cultivating their meditation techniques. The monks underwent a number of functional magnetic resonance imaging brain scans during their meditation sessions, which highlighted any changes to the brain. The meditating monks were pitted against 16 volunteers who had no previous meditation experience. These volunteers were taught basic meditation techniques just a fortnight before their brains were scanned. The brain scans showed a number of differences between the brains of the monks and those of the volunteers.
Amazingly easy entry into the Relaxation Response is available through paying attention to the breath -- the foundation of most meditative practices. Simply watching the flow of air into your nostrils, down into your chest, then the outflow of the warmed air -- has a restful and quieting effect, which allows your body to move into the Relaxation Response. Breathing is unique in that it is a bodily function that happens routinely, whether we are focusing on it or not -- and also is controllable through conscious intention. We can elect to breathe fully, we can hold our breath, we can breathe quickly or slowly. This unique attribute explains the effectiveness of breathing in achieving the Relaxation Response. By consciously paying attention to the breath, we are impacting the parasympathetic nervous system of the body, which controls other reflexive responses such as heart rate and blood pressure. Thus the small act of watching your breath as you breathe slowly and deeply begins to lower your heart rate and stabilize your blood pressure.
Guided imagery meditation and regression are modalities that have been used with more frequency over the past several years and are powerful tools for both transformation and empowerment. What is guided imagery meditation? Actually, guided meditation is somewhat of a cross between relaxation, hypnosis, and meditation, in which a relaxed state is induced and a deeper level of consciousness is reached, a state somewhere between the waking state and the unconscious or sleep state. In this state, we can go "within" and quiet outside influences and distractions to tap our inner core. Various types of imagery may be used, depending upon what the guided meditation is attempting to do. In some way, because imagery is utilized, this modality draws on our imagination and may allow us to more easily be pulled "into" the meditation and dissolve blocks that may otherwise have been barriers to finding answers. Guided imagery meditation may be used for a variety of purposes. At its simplest, it may be used for relaxation, to still and calm anxiety.
Empathy and compassion are two emotions that make us human. It's the ability to identify with another person, to place ourselves in another's shoes, which allow us to have a greater connection with our fellow man. Unfortunately, with the stress and general busy-ness of life, it becomes harder for us to place ourselves in the lives of others, as we're too busy worried about our own lives and our own families. Though it is easy for us to empathize with those close to us, it's a lot harder to summon compassion for people we've never met. However, it's possible to learn compassion and empathy through meditation techniques. Here's the story A recent study published in the journal PLoS One showed that 16 Buddhist monks had been able to train their brains to be kinder and more compassionate, thanks to years of practiced compassion meditation. The monks and a volunteer control group underwent functional magnetic resonance imaging brain scans during meditation sessions. During the sessions, the participants were given emotional cues - a baby crying or a woman in distress, for example - and asked to meditate or to refrain from meditating.
I placed two carefully chosen, unpeeled hard boiled eggs in my favorite white ceramic bowl. These were very special eggs - laid by free range hens who are not given steroids, hormones, or antibiotics, and are fed only organic or natural grains. While all of these features are important to me, what I like most is that each of the eggs in a carton of twelve is a slightly different color, in shades of green, pink and brown. I love opening the cartons at the store and marveling at the colors, picking the one carton that contains the most interesting and visually appealing assortment of hues. I put the bowl with two eggs on my desk while I checked my email. One of the emails was from a spiritual group I belong to, and the topic was how to go about your meditation practice when you are unable to find a cushion or time to sit. I noted the topic and went on to check the rest of my email. Then, realizing I was quite hungry, I turned to my eggs. The first one, a very pale, almost white color, cracked perfectly, one long crack almost halfway around the egg.
Meditation is one of the most important self help tools to attain peace of mind and inner calm. In view of the stressful lifestyle of today, the popularity of meditation is increasing day by day as more and more people discover about its wonderful benefits. Guided meditation is one of the most popular forms of meditation being used by millions of people everyday. In this article, we shall discuss about guided meditation and the method of doing it. Guided Meditation, in simplest form is a type of meditation where the person is guided on every step of his meditation practice. Right from the first step of sitting in a meditative pose to the final stage of completing the meditation, somebody guides you. What actually happen is that a teacher or instructor gives step-by-step instructions on what to do while meditating. This is a very ancient way of imparting meditation instructions to pupils. In older times, meditation was taught in group using this method. Now a days, thanks to the advancement of technology, we no longer require the physical presence of a guru to guide us in meditation.
Compassion is one of the most revered divine qualities of human being. It is compassion that separates us from other animals. A loving and sympathetic attitude towards every living creature on earth is one of the most important qualities a spiritual person can have. In this article we shall discuss how compassion can be used as a meditation practice. Meditation is a process to know who we really are in true sense of existence. A common thread of consciousness is passing through every particle of this universe. Meditation is an inner journey to identify this common thread within yourself. Once you realize that same kind of consciousness is present in you and others, you cannot stop start seeing everybody as your own reflection. Compassion is a feeling of unconditional love towards all with the welfare of everybody as the prime goal. A compassionate person will be able to learn meditation very easily as these two qualities complement each other. As you mediate, your compassion towards all will increase.
If you are into meditation, then you must have heard by know of the popular brainwave meditation CDs. But even if you are a beginner in the meditation domain, it's a good idea to find out more since many claim it can provide powerful benefits. You can think about brainwave meditation as an optimized form of meditation, since it basically combines the old, traditional meditation techniques and exercise with the advanced technology, a technology that allows you to discipline your mind more efficiently. Brainwave meditation is based on the binaural beats - these beats are sent to the brain, under the form of audio signals or stimuli with a certain frequency. Therefore, brain entrainment is often associated with a genuine massage for the brain. What is the purpose of this massage? Basically, brainwave meditation CDs help to induce a state of calmness and peace, a state that helps you relax and meditate in an optimum manner. The main purpose is to help the practitioners enter the desirable theta state and the surprising thing is that even the beginners who use brainwave technology can actually reach this state, without having experience in the meditation field.
The existence or Cosmos is made up of the five elements that are - Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Ether. All these elements are different forms of the same Existential Energy. The basic thirst of man is to find a connection with this Existential Energy. Take the first element - the Earth element. Idol worship is nothing but trying to find a connection with the Existential Energy through the Earth element. Idols are made up of earth or clay. Through worshiping idols, we are actually trying to find a connection through the Earth element. One point has to be clearly understood here, we are not worshiping the idols but we are worshiping through the idols.The Energy that everyone is worshiping is one and the same. This has to be very clearly understood. Next is the water element. It is a spiritual practice to take bath in sacred rivers. This is actually a technique to try to realize the Existential Energy through the water element. Then, we perform so many fire rituals at our homes and temples.
When you mention the word meditation, it is common to find that a lot of people are not interested to know more because to them it is some complex concept which is "deep" and difficult to understand. They may also think that it is a religion practice which is not suitable for them. Some may feel that it is not what they need. With today's busy and stressful lifestyle, meditation is the key to having a more balanced and stress free life. It helps to calm our mind so that we are free from worries. This will ultimately lead us to experience true happiness. The essence of meditation is to quiet the mind. Each day thousands of thoughts race through our mind. As a result, we do not have a clear and focused mind. It's like rough sea churning up sediments causing the water to be murky. When the sea is calm, the sediments will settle and the water will then become clear. Similarly, through meditation, we learn to calm the mind and rid ourselves of distracting thoughts so that our mind will become clear and alert.