This is your Brain on Meditation
Why do we bother spending time alone with ourselves?!
Most of us have tried meditation, or else we’ve heard many reasons about why we should try it, and it’s potential benefits for our mental health and well-being.
Meditation allows us to have a complete, simple and direct relationship with who we are. The power of introspection allows us to cultivate our witness, strengthening our ability to see things as they are, without masking or veiling our ego’s fear and hopes, preferences, likes and dislikes.
More than something we effort to do, the practice of mediation is more about subtracting the things we do so that we can come into a place of stillness. Meditation is a uninterrupted flow of concentration.
People have been using mediation for thousands of years, as a way to transcend the suffering borne from the ceaselessly thinking monkey mind and emotional upsets, to move more into peace, clarity and present moment awareness.
There are seemingly infinite meditation techniques and traditions, from simply focusing on the breath, to prayer, mantra chanting, self-inquiry (who am I?), Vipassana, metta, chakra, yantra, mandala … Essentially all techniques serve the singular purpose of cultivating awareness, mindfulness and expanded consciousness
The gifts of meditation are many. Whether you come to meditation seeking relief from painful, fearful thoughts,for stress reduction or other health benefits, or simply for greater self-understanding, intuitive powers and increased concentration power, a regular practice of mediation can inspire profound physical, emotional, mental and spiritual benefits.
Science and direct experience share with us countless benefits of regular meditation: From neuroplasticity ,to a more alert and relaxed brain, to increased resilence and life-span,
Neuroscientist Sara Lazar’s amazing brain scans show meditation can actually change the size of key regions of our brain, improving our memory and making us more empathetic, compassionate, and resilient under stress
“The human body and mind are veritable battlegrounds for the war between wisdom and the conscious delusive force manifesting as vidya, ignorance. Every spiritual aspirant, aiming to establish within himself the rule of King Soul, must defeat the rebels, King Ego and his powerful allies”. – (Yoga of the Bhagavad Gita, p.24)
Gifts of Meditation
Meditation reduces stress, improves focus and concentration, encourages a more balanced and healthy lifestyle, increases Self-Awareness. increases happiness and longevity. Meditation allows us to have a complete, simple and direct relationship with who we are:
The power of introspection allows us to cultivate our witness, strengthening our ability to see things as they are, without masking or veiling our ego’s fear and hopes, preferences, likes and dislikes. Seeing more clearly through our daily habits, our stories, our illusions, Maya, leads us to a life of wisdom, peace & equanimity.
Meditation leads to intuition, inner awareness of our true self and a state of peace and bliss. Meditation helps us focus the mind and keep it positive, helping us transcend fear, desire, longing, negative emotions and ever positive attachments.
Meditation opens the metaphorical 3rd eye, or Ajna chakra, allowing us to see that the spiritual world and material world are not separate so that we can transcend the ego to concentrate on a broader awareness of the universe and one’s relation to it. It gives us the immediate knowledge that unites the individual soul, jiva atman, with the Supreme Soul, atman.
Meditation is a practice of finding balance between effort and surrender; balancing the will power to sustain concentration and detachment from distraction to remain in the heightened state of awareness, and the ability to relax, surrender and let go of all expectations and desires. There are many simple techniques for meditation to bring the mind into focus, returning it to stillness; Slow and steady Pranayama can always be engaged to refresh and revitalise the mind if it’s feeling tired, fatigued or unfocused.
Key Meditation Practice Points
- Be Consistent and Create a Habit
- Create a Sacred Space and/or Alter Space
- Time – Most ideal for practice is dawn and dusk, especially Brahmamuhurta between 3 – 6am when the atmosphere is most clean, charged and unruffled by the activities of the day
- Establish a comfortable sitting position
- Be mindful of the Breath
- Commit to the Present Moment; give up dwelling on the past or worrying about the future
Today I invite you to spend some time in meditation.
Set your timer for a minimum of 5 minutes, sit upright with a nice long spine, eyes closed, bringing your awareness to the breath. Spend some time noticing how you feel, tuning into the rhythm of the breath, and set an intention or say a prayer if you like.
What effects do you notice within yourself from even just 5 mins of meditation?
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