I’ve been fascinated by way meditation has improved my sense of balance and overall well-being. I practice most mornings for about 5 to 10 minutes, before I start my office hours.
There are many different techniques, but the basic idea is to get your mind calm and focused. You want to get the “outside noise” of your daily life to shut off for a couple of minutes. I sit in a chair and close my eyes and simply let my mind wander.
Many different cultures and traditions practice meditation, too In the Buddhist tradition, the practice is used as a road to achieve enlightenment or “nirvana.” In Judiasm, one can achieve a higher moral state.
Medical studies have looked at transcendental meditation. This technique was popularized by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a spiritual figure in India famous for his association with the Beatles and other celebrities of the 1960’s. Recent studies in established medical journals indicate real benefits associated with the practice.
The American Heart Association, in the journal Hypertension, recently endorsed meditation as an effective way to control high blood pressure. When blood pressure is better controlled, the risk of heart attack decreases as well. A study in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2010 explored tai chi, a Chinese art that incorporates meditation, in the treatment of fibromyalgia. The study found that a randomized group using the practice reported better improvement in symptoms.
Whatever method you choose, the aim of the practice of meditation is to reach a level of happiness and peace. There isn’t a “right” or “wrong” way to do this. The experience you have is anything you want it to be. My belief is when you use meditation you draw power from yourself, giving it to yourself. This allows one to live more peacefully.
How do you get in touch with your spirit (if at all)?