Many people see meditation as something that is ‘new age’ or ‘alternative.’ Nothing could be further from the truth. Meditation, which has become more and more popular in recent years, is actually a lost art form, which has been practiced for thousands and thousands of years. So, how can the lost art of meditation improve your life?
1.Through meditation, you can build confidence. The best way to build confidence with meditation is through guided meditation, which means that you use a recording to lead you through the meditation process. While this is happening, the recorded messages are actually building up your self confidence. It’s absolutely amazing.
2.With meditation, you can seriously increase your energy and your strength. Because stress has so many profound effects on us mentally and physically, when we use meditation to eliminate or better control stress, we almost instantly have more energy – because our minds aren’t weighed down with problems, and more strength, because stress can literally affect your immune system, which affects everything else.
3.Meditation has proven to reduce stress, and many find that they experience less instances of stress when they practice meditation on a regular basis. It’s a proven tension reliever.
4.Meditation helps to keep you in a positive frame of mind, by actually increasing the levels of serotonin produced by the brain. This will alleviate headaches, tension, depression, and numerous other problems, and give you a great sense of well-being as well.
5.With regular meditation, your blood pressure will remain normal. This is largely due to the stress relief that meditation provides, but there is also an impact on how blood moves through the body, and how the blood vessels react in such a positive way to meditation. So, in this sense, the result of normal blood pressure has both mental and physical origins.
6.Through regular meditation, you will find that you are better able to focus, that your memory is better, and that your mind simply ‘feels’ stronger and better able to handle the trials of everyday life.
7.Meditation helps you to reach a higher plane, where you are able to see things much clearer. No matter what problems you may have, when you meditate, solutions for those problems simply become clearer in your mind, and then you are able to take action to clear away the problems.
8.Studies have shown that meditation helps you to lose weight. Those who diet and exercise, in an effort to lose weight find that they get greater results faster, and with permanent results, when they throw regular meditation into the mix. Stress has always been a hindrance to losing weight, which is probably why meditation does indeed help.
9.Other studies have also shown that meditation lowers the risk of heart disease. The research done at the Georgia Prevention Institute found that the blood vessel lining was better able to relax in subjects who included meditation on a regular basis. This relaxation of the blood vessel lining can be achieved with medication as well, which is how heart disease patients are currently treated.
10.People who start out the day with fifteen to thirty minutes of meditation find that they statistically have a better, happier day. They are able to handle anything that comes up with ease, with no stress – or at the very least minimal short term stress, and move easily from task to task, with complete focus.
The numerous mental and physical benefits of meditation should be enough to convince everyone that meditation is one of the elements of a healthy, happy, peaceful life. Unfortunately, there are many people who feel that they are too busy to learn meditation, much less to practice it. The good news is that meditation isn’t at all hard to learn – and if you really take a look at the benefits, the real question should be how can you afford not to make time for daily – or at least weekly – meditation?
“Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” — Matthew 6: 34
I’m a big fan of Eckhart Tolle and his groundbreaking book, The Power of Now. Some people find it a little New Agey but I think it’s a modern spiritual classic well worth a close look.It helped me a lot during a crisis I faced in my own life. I wasn’t a bit surprised when the socialite Parris Hilton was photographed clutching a copy of The Power of Now (along with the Bible) when she was preparing to spend three weeks in jail for what amounted to a traffic ticket.
For Christian yogis, there are many similarities between The Power of Now and such spiritual classics as my personal favorite, Jean-Pierre de Caussade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence – and many important differences as well.
Unlike many “New Age” authors, Eckhart Tolle is very much a part of the “reality based community.”
Aside from his admittedly weird concept of the “pain body,” there are no grand theosophical speculations from him. The Power of Now rings out with the power of common sense. Also, Tolle is remarkably deferential to the western Christian spiritual traditions and few practicing Christians will find much to be offended about in The Power of Now.
What I like about the book is Tolle’s willingness to think through the entire enlightenment process from scratch – and, in a sense, provide a new overview of the human situation outside of traditional (either Eastern or Western) spiritual categories. In a sense, he invents his own synthesis and his own vocabulary. That is probably why people find it such a powerful book. (Tolle does make references to other spiritual traditions, such as Avaita Vedanta and A Course in Miracles, but mostly as a point of reference.)
Another thing I like about it is the radical way Tolle presents his ideas.This makes them very clear and they hit you with incredible force – even if, when you think about things a bit, you’ll probably end up wanting to qualify Tolle’s ideas.
Let me give you an example. For Tolle, time is an “illusion.”He says that over and over again, almost like a mantra.The past no longer exists. The future is not yet. The only thing that actually exists is the Now, the present moment .His entire book is centered around this idea. But of course, even if the past doesn’t exist in the present, that doesn’t make it an “illusion.” An “illusion” is something that appears to exist but doesn’t and never did. The past impacts the present and shapes it – as does the present.But Tolle knows all this. He isn’t speaking philosophically but pedagogically.
Another one of his extreme declarations is that the thinking is a form of mental illness. Like Gurdjieff, Tolle believes that the human mind is almost literally deranged. It spends most of its time dwelling on the past or imagining the future, to the detriment, in Tolle’s opinion, of life in the present. That’s why Tolle can say that, strictly speaking, there are no problems. Most of what people spend all their time worrying about are imagined possibilities for events that may, or may not, occur sometime in the future. In the actual here and now – life as it is lived at the present moment – there are no problems.
One tip: I listened to The Power of Now on CD and I highly recommend it in that way. (I also bought the book to follow along and look things up after listening to the CDs.)Tolle’s gentle, eerie voice – with a tinge of a German accent – is mesmerizing.
For those of you who want a taste of his approach, I am posting a VIDEO of his now-famous talks he gave at the New Age retreat center of Findhorn, in Scotland. It’s really worth listening to.
You need not change your religion, philosophical or ethical beliefs. Or your lifestyle, for that matter. Transcendental Meditation (TM) does not involve any religion, philosophy or any particular lifestyle. It does not prescribe any kind of codes of conduct, ethical or moral guidelines. Nor does it ask you to perform any kind of worship.
TM, in fact, is a simple technique that will enhance your religious well-being, no matter which faith you belong to. Millions of people of all religions, including priests, practice TM. They say they can follow the tenets of their religion better as TM eliminates their stress and fatigue and increases energy and intelligence.
Here’s what TM is not:
It’s not a religion.TM is a meditation technique. Millions of people of all religions, including priests, practice TM and reap its benefits. It releases stress and purifies the mind, body, and emotions of the person who practices it, thus helping him/her to be more faithful to his/her religion. Meditation itself was a technique religiously followed by the Buddhists and later spread throughout the world as a popular medium to relieve stress and find all the benefits one may want to find and acquire in his life. The results are very encouraging for those who follow and meditation is followed by people of all faiths.
It’s not a philosophy. While philosophical thoughts mainly dwell on theories, transcendental meditation is almost a science. We have seen people actively following it in their daily lifestyles and several cases of incredible benefits have been observed.TM is a simple, mechanical technique, like switching on a TV or computer. The technique is scientific too, because it is universally applicable, repeatable, and verifiable by anyone, anywhere.Scientific research on the Transcendental Meditation program proves that the technique works. Positive reports from people who practice the technique show that anyone can learn and enjoy it.
It’s not a lifestyle. You don’t need to change your lifestyle to start practicing TM. All you have to do is just learn it, practice it, and enjoy the benefits .You can have better memory, clearer and more orderly thinking, greater creativity and ability to focus, use of your whole brain and its full potential, sharper intellect, higher IQ, better grades, more alertness, expanded consciousness. Students following these techniques regularly have found out that they perform better at schools, get better grades and show their true potentials.
The best proof of the Transcendental Meditation program is in learning it yourself. The benefits come naturally and spontaneously.
Zen meditation is a Japanese technique of focusing on a specific thing or thought. The tradition has been passing on from one generation to the other for almost many centuries now. Buddhists used to practice this unique type of meditation. In fact, Zen Buddhists are often referred to as ‘Meditation Buddhists?
The amount of time devoted by Zen mediators varies widely. Experts recommend a minimum period of about five minutes on a daily basis. This is sufficient for householders to benefit from the immense benefits of Zen meditation.
The main thing one needs to focus on is daily practice. Daily practice of Zen meditation for a small period of time is more than enough to benefit from its effects than spending about half an hour once in a week.
Zen meditation has evolved as a boon to people across the globe who are really stressed out due to the irregularity, chaos and tensions existing in their daily life.
Zen meditation involves sitting in a prescribed position, closing your mind to the thoughts and images for a certain period of time. Here, your heart rate will gradually decrease and breathing becomes shallow. Slowly, you will get in to a state of deep reflective meditation.
With the help of Zen meditation, you can easily create a synergy that would further assist you in connecting to all aspects of your existence such as the body, the soul and the mind. The energy that’s required to strengthen the synergy that you have collected comes from practicing Zen meditation.
When practicing Zen meditation, your mind will only be involved. You will not be engrossing your thoughts in to what happened in the past or what will happen in the future.
You will reach a moment where you will only be reacting to what is happening to you at the present.
Zen meditation is a technique that helps you to awaken your true nature. Here, you don’t need to subscribe any of the religious teaching. You just need to realize that there is a ‘Buddha?inside you. Awaken the Buddha inside you and you will be able get a deep insight of yourself.
Zen meditation was actually meant to awaken the real person inside you.
A) Here are some of the benefits followed in Zen meditation:
1. Zen meditation lets the practitioner to relax
2. It helps you to keep one stress free.
3. It helps you to find the real you.
B) Nine steps to achieve Zen meditation:
a) Name your breaths: for instance; in and out.
b) Pay close attention to when your breath gets deep and you feel more at peace.
c) Think of your body when you breathe in and when you breathe out try to relax each part of your body. You need to focus on one part at a time. Initiate with the shoulders.
d) Calm your body parts when you breathe in feel the compassion when you breathe out.
e) Relax your facial muscles one by one and send a half smile to all parts of the body.
f) Relax all the muscles that are still tense.
g) Think of joy when you breathe in.
h) Get back to your breathe in and breathe out position.
i) Sit in the position relax.
Many people are crazy about yoga. The reason most people practice yoga is that it makes them feel better and feel more in shape. The different poses and postures make their body flexible and healthy. Yoga for most is the best natural way to relax and unwind. If you are interested in keeping your body
in shape, this might be the best exercise for you.
Did you know that yoga could help fight certain illness that may come your way? There has been research that proved yoga helps you to control anxiety, reduces asthma, arthritis, blood pressure, back pain, multiple sclerosis, chronic fatigue, epilepsy, diabetes, headaches, stress, and more.
Yoga has a lot of benefits and advantages. All in a day’s work, it can reduce tension and stress. Of course, after a heavy day, you will feel that your muscles have been stuck up and you will feel wasted.
If you do practice yoga, you may see an increase in your self-esteem. It is important to gain confidence so that you may face people without worry. Yoga is good for the body in increasing your muscle tone, strength, stamina, and flexibility. If you are too heavy, or conscious about your body shape, yoga can help you lower your body fat and help you stay in shape.
Yoga exercises can also burn excess fat and give you the desired figure that you want.
If you need time to relax and forget your responsibilities, then yoga will be good for improving your concentration and can enhance your creativity. Yoga helps you to think positively because it can help keep you free of your anxieties. If you have a fresh mind, you can easily think good thoughts.
Your body needs to relax often. Sometimes, at the end of the workday, you an feel exhausted. After some of the hardest days, we may not find time to unwind because troubles at work are still on our mind. Yoga helps you to clear your mind and create a sense of calmness and well-being.
Yoga exercises help you improve your blood circulation. Your organs and veins need to be exercised for them to function properly. Yoga can help stimulate your immune system, which can help keep you free from diseases.
Some people practice yoga to get enlightened. They believe that yoga will help them lift their spirit and keep them relieved. Yoga works differently for people, be it spiritual, emotional, psychological, mental, or physical.
Many people think that yoga is only for spiritual, or religious, people. But that myth is wrong. Even if you are not religious, you can do yoga. You will see and feel the difference, and at the same time find out how it works for you.
Due to the pressure and demands of life, we are stressed out and forget the essences of our lives. We tend to lose touch with the ones we used to spend time with, even ourselves.
We find ourselves rushing most of the time with deadlines and hassles at our jobs. This leaves us little time for our minds to wander and have that physical awareness.
These are a few things that yoga can provide. Occasionally, dedicate some time to relax and unwind, which only yoga can do.
By Bill Nolan
Every Monday evening for the past six weeks, I have left the treasures of Western civilization and headed East. OK, so it is only two blocks from my home and only one of them is east, but go with me here. I have become a sojourner in a new time and space. I have been instructed to configure myself in ways previously thought to be impossible given my physical structure. I have begun the practice of yoga.
Now let me dispel a few misconceptions: There is nothing un-Christian about practicing yoga. My eternal soul is in no danger, at least not from this practice. And there is nothing particularly Christian about practicing yoga, either. Its roots are in Hindu and later Buddhist philosophical and theological thought; the ultimate purpose of yoga is to prepare for meditation—in other words, all movements are preparation for the experience of stillness. Thus, while a benefit of yoga might be increased physical fitness, the goal of yoga is spiritual enlightenment.
The first Monday night I attended class I asked if we had to sit “Indian style.” I thought I was supposed to bend at the knees in order to touch my toes. And every time I was supposed to inhale, I was exhaling and vice-versa. I couldn’t have been doing things more wrong and I was frustrated because everyone else had legs that crossed the way they were supposed to, could reach the floor easily and knew how to breathe correctly. If I hadn’t already paid the non-refundable fee for the eight-week course, my first formal yoga class might also have been my last.
Of course, any spiritual practice that seeks a greater awareness of my body, mind and spirit will take practice, patience and self-discipline. And it can be a frustrating experience because it never goes exactly as I map it out. Too often, my best efforts fall short because perfection—whether that be God’s definitive “yes” in answer to my prayer for happiness or the unmatched quality of my “downward dog” pose—is the only acceptable outcome.
Yoga has taught me much about my quest for spiritual perfection. First, no such perfection exists. That makes letting go of that goal a bit easier. Second, the mere awareness of my physical being is itself a path to enlightenment. I am more aware of my body, of how it moves and bends and takes in and expels oxygen. I am conscious of the rhythmic, if not always artistic, connections between my movements and my stillness and am more aware than ever of the need for balance in both. Third, there is a power and grace that is found in humility. Yoga is a humbling experience, not because it reminds me of what my body cannot do, but because it reminds me that if my soul cannot be silent, I cannot hear the voice of God. If my mind cannot be aware of my breath, my whole being will be out of sync. And if I cannot experience the One that is within me, I will never experience the One in another. Those are the insights from yoga so far. So I just signed up for six more weeks. I have so much more to learn…