How to Meditate?

There really is no right or wrong with Meditation. What works for one person may not work for the next. So what feels right for your instincts and intuition is usually 99.9999% right for you. Trust your gut instincts.

Below is a helpful 5 step guide on where to start if you are a beginner. Remember, everything takes practice – it is unlikely you will be meditating for three hours non-stop for your first session.

 

10 Research Studies on Meditation | Click here

10 Benefits of Meditation | Click here

Meditation Videos & Audios | Click here

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EXCERCISES IN BEING

Breathe – Fully.

See – Deeply.

Listen – Carefully.

For no reason – Smile.

Bake some bread.

Hold a baby.

Listen to fire.

Walk barefoot a little each day.

In the rain, wear no hat and keep your head up.

For five minutes follow the path of an ant.

Grow a plant from a seed.

Make up the words and sing a song.

Let your feet dance as they will.

Occasionally, stand on your head using a wall for support.

Each day be still  in the moment and absorb five different sounds.

Each evening recall one new event that happened to you during the day.

Cry a little.

Laugh a lot.

Walk on.

THE BEGINNING OF THE UNIVERSE

“When two lovers come together

and two cells meet and merge

there’s a miniature big bang

and a universe begins.

 

It may seem so inconsequential –

two strangers seeking pleasure

a drunken fling or favour

a jaded housewife’s weekly chore

 

but really they’re two gods

creating a new reality

an awesome responsibility

a world to nurture and oversee.

 

Gases solidify and atoms collect

consciousness spreads through the radiant void

and slowly the universe takes form and shape

expanding and slowly settling.

 

Every universe is an experiment

a new web of planets and galaxies

weaving new patterns and possibilities

creating new laws of nature.

 

Every universe is an adventure

a voyage through uncharted time and space

tentative steps forward and trailblazing paths

colliding and intersecting.

 

And every universe is a mystery

filled with hidden fissures and tunnels

teeming with invisible energies

and infinite, dark potentials.

 

And almost as soon as the expansion slows

the slow movement of entropy begins

the connections weaken and the fragments spread

until the whole organism crumbles and collapses.

 

A slow decay or a giant crunch

and again the stillness of the void.”

 

PAGE 81 / The Calm Center / Steve Taylor

 

 

 

 

WHEN PROBLEMS SEEM TO LIE AHEAD

[Picture: Mc Escher]

“When problems seem to lie ahead
Don’t rush forward to meet them

As if they’re long-lost friends

Let them lie there, let them wait.
Let them sleep until it’s time to meet

 

Then give them due attention

Resolve them as best you can

Then go on your way, leaving them there

Without ever looking back..
Or even when the appointment comes,

You might find yourself waiting, waiting, waiting

Until you realised you’ve been tricked

That there was never a problem and there’s nothing here

Except a long thin shadow, cast by your thoughts.

 

PAGE 30 / THE CALM CENTER / STEVE TAYLOR

10 RESEARCH STUDIES ON MEDITATION

  1. Meditation Makes You Happier and Boosts Your Immune System

‘Brain mapping and MRI technology were able to determine that the regular practice of mindfulness meditation activates the left prefrontal cortex of the brain – the area associated with positive emotions.’ Psychosomatic Medicine (Davidson et al., 2003).

2. Meditators Have Lower Blood Pressure

‘Twenty hypertension patients were taught yoga, breath meditation, muscle relaxation, and meditation concentration. At the end of 12 months their systolic blood pressure had fallen from 159.1 to 138.7 – an average of over 20 points.’ British medical journal Lancet (Patel, 1973)

3. Meditation Reduces Cholesterol Levels

‘Twenty-three subjects with hypercholesterolemia were divided into two groups: 12 who practiced Transcendental Meditation for 13 months, and 11 who did not. Paired comparisons showed that meditators’ cholesterol dropped nearly 30 points.’ Journal of Human Stress (Cooper and Aygen, 1979)

4. Meditation Improves Your Overall Health

‘Compared how often 2,000 regular participants in the TM program used medical insurance with how often 600,000 non-meditators of the same insurance carrier used their insurance over a five-year period. The two groups were quite similar in terms of benefits, deductible, coinsurance payments, and distribution by gender. Yet the TM group used medical insurance less often in all categories.’ Psychosomatic Medicine (Orme-Johnson, 1987)

5. Meditators Live Longer and Age Better

‘Older people who practiced meditation had improved cognitive behavioural abilities and lived longer than those who did not. Seventy-three residents of eight homes for the elderly, with and average of 81, were randomly assigned to four different groups. One group received no treatment; the other three received one of three treatments; Transcendental Meditation, Mindfulness Training, Relaxation (low mindfulness) Program. The Transcendental Meditation group had a survival rate of 100 percent’ Journal of Personality and Social Psychology (Alexander et al. 1989)

6. Meditation Helps Reverse Heart Disease

‘The researchers found that meditation, coupled with a low-fat, whole-foods, vegetarian diet; aerobic exercise; smoking cessation; and group support; not only lowers yours risk of “cardiac events,” but can actually reverse the ravages of coronary artery disease, the primary cause of heart attacks.’ Journal of the American Medical Association (Ornish, Dr D, 1998)

7. Meditation Makes You More Empathic

‘A researcher investigated the relationship between Zen meditation and the development of empathy in counselors, using psychologist Carl Rogers’s characterisation of empathy as both the capacity to sense what the client is feeling and the ability to communicate this sensitivity at a level attuned to the client’s emotional state. 12 students volunteered, 16 students were taught and the third group of 11 students were not taught. The results indicated that those who started out least empathic and those who were most “open to experience” improved the most. Journal of Humanistic Psychology (Lesh, 1970)

8. Mindfulness Speads the Healing of Psoriasis

‘Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn and his colleagues took 37 psoriasis patients who were about to undergo light treatment for their condition and randomly assigned them to one of two situations: a mindfulness meditation-based stress reduction intervention during treatments or a light treatment alone. The patients who meditated not only responded better to light treatment than the non-meditating group, but their psoriasis cleared up four times faster.’ Psychosomatic Medicine (Kabat-Zinn, Dr. J, 1998)

 9. Meditation Ranks with Chocolate as a Mood-Enhancer

‘The active ingredient in chocolate is a close cousin of the essential amino acid phenylalanine, which enhances production of the neurotransmitters that keep us happy. Meditation boosts the body’s natural concentrations of phenylalanine.’ Physiology and Behaviour (Jevning et al., 1977)

10. Meditation Relieves Pain

‘Ninety chronic-pain patients who were trained in mindfulness meditation in a 10-week stress reduction and relaxation program experienced significant reductions in present-moment pain, negative body image, and the inhibition of activity. Not only that, they popped fewer pills and felt better about themselves. At a 15-month follow up, they were still doing better on all measures except present-moment pain, and the majority continued to meditate – not a surprising finding, given that chronic pain can be one of the most debilitating conditions imaginable, and one of the most difficult to treat.’ Journal of Behavioural Medicine (Kabat-Zinn et al., 1985)

SOURCE: Meditation / Stephan Bodian

Curious to learn more on Meditation?
How to Meditate? | Click Here

10 Benefits of Meditation | Click here

Meditation Videos & Audios | Click here

 

EMPTY YOUR CUP

There’s an old Zen story about a scholar who visited a famous Zen master to inquire into the meaning of zen. The scholar asked question after question but was so full of his own ideas that he rarely gave the master an opportunity to answer.

After about an hour of this one-sided dialogue, the master asked the scholar if he wanted a cup of tea. When the scholar held out his cup, the master filled it but just kept pouring.

“Enough,” the scholar cried out. “The cup is full. It won’t hold anymore.”

“Yes,” replied the zen master. “and so is your mind. You can’t learn Zen until you empty your cup.”

– Author Unknown –