Researchers suggest that people with an advanced meditation practice might operate at a different level of awareness — and it shows in their brainwaves.
The first thing to ask is whether the mind is supposed to be so full of thoughts. The everyday reality of useless, restless thoughts doesn’t really provide an answer. Your mind is busy because you are busy. Your mind reflects the level of stress all around you, including family demands, deadlines at work, and so on. When you go on a vacation to relax from everyday pressure, the mind naturally calms down. So, it might seem that thoughts go up and down according to what is going on in your life.
You will begin to notice the benefits of meditation within the first few days or weeks of meditating regularly.You’ll notice a subtle yet profound shift in your awareness of people, nature, conversations, relationship. The spiritual benefits also begin from your first meditation. Although the spiritual benefits may take longer to manifest fully in your life, their effects are profound, eventually revealing a world of higher states of consciousness.
A growing body of evidence suggests regular meditation is linked with benefits including lower stress and better focus.
Meditation is Silicon Valley's hottest trend — CEOs have adopted the practice, and apps devoted to it have proliferated.
A new paper suggests people who participated in a meditation retreat reported decreases in anxiety and depression.
The idea of sitting in a quiet room doing nothing for a few minutes each day might sound absurd — unless you understand how meditation works.
If you think you're too busy to meditate, chances are you should start. Studies suggest that people with jam-packed schedules and intimidating to-do lists stand to benefit most from mindfulness meditation, which has can help reduce stress, improve focus, and even increase one's ability to relate to others.
Sara Lazar, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, was one of the first scientists to take the anecdotal claims about the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and test them in brain scans. What she found surprised her — that meditating can literally change your brain.
Establishing a daily practice does not have to be a struggle. The most important thing to do is to just start. You don't have to be a marathon meditator right away. As Josehp Goldstein suggests: "Pick an amount of time that you can really commit to meditating every day. It is the everydayness that is going to build your practice." Taking this attituded can help motive you and provide the inspiration needed to carry your practice forward.
Alice G. Walton , Contributor, Forbes Magazine
The meditation-and-the-brain research has been rolling in steadily for a number of years now, with new studies coming out just about every week to illustrate some new benefit of meditation. Or, rather, some ancient benefit that is just now being confirmed with fMRI or EEG. The practice appears to have an amazing variety of neurological benefits – from changes in grey matter volume to reduced activity in the “me” centers of the brain to enhanced connectivity between brain regions. Below are some of the most exciting studies to come out in the last few years and show that meditation really does produce measurable changes in our most important organ. Skeptics, of course, may ask what good are a few brain changes if the psychological effects aren’t simultaneously being illustrated? Luckily, there’s good evidence for those as well, with studies reporting that meditation helps relieve our subjective levels of anxiety and depression, and improve attention, concentration, and overall psychological well-being.
Time Magazine March 9, 2016
The idea of meditation seems simple: Sit still, focus on breath, reflect. But the practice of meditating is rooted in a deep cultural history that has seen the practice grow from a religious idea to something that can now seem more stylish than spiritual.
Time Magazine March 21, 2016
Usually, “do nothing” is poor advice to follow if you want to feel better. Yet a strong body of literature now shows that meditation—the mindful art of doing nothing but sitting still—effectively relieves pain.
Now, a new study published in the Journal of Neuroscience shows that meditation accomplishes this differently from other pain-relievers, like opiates. “This ancient technique that’s been around for thousands of years is reducing pain through novel mechanisms, ways we’ve never seen before,” says study co-author Fadel Zeidan, assistant professor of neurobiology and anatomy at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center.
New York Times JANUARY 28, 2011
Over the December holidays, my husband went on a 10-day silent meditation retreat. Not my idea of fun, but he came back rejuvenated and energetic.
He said the experience was so transformational that he has committed to meditating for two hours daily, one hour in the morning and one in the evening, until the end of March. He’s running an experiment to determine whether and how meditation actually improves the quality of his life.
I’ll admit I’m a skeptic.
By Susan Kuchinskas
WebMD Magazine - Feature
Stressed out? Here’s how just 20 minutes a day spent meditating can improve health.
Often thought of as a hippy-dippy practice aimed at transcendence, meditation is coming into its own as a stress-reduction technique for even the most type-A kind of people.
In 2005, for instance, severe chest pains sent Michael Mitchell to the emergency room in fear of a heart attack. It turned out to be gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Nevertheless, after checking his heart, the doctor admitted him and chastised him for not coming in sooner. “That really shook me up. It was a wake-up call to have a look at my type A personality and workaholic lifestyle,” says the 44-year-old Simi Valley, Calif., statistician for the Veterans Health Administration.
By Kristine Crane for US News
Shrimati Bhanu Narasimhan, a petite Indian woman wrapped in a bright fuchsia sari, has a soft voice but a big presence. She holds the rapt attention of some 100 people who have come to learn how to meditate at the Art of Living Center in the District of Columbia. The type of meditation she teaches is called Sahaj, Sanskrit for effortless. It’s a mantra-based meditation she advises doing twice a day for 20 minutes — before eating. “Mental hygiene,” Narasimhan calls it. Sahaj is just one type of meditation. Others are based on compassion, mindfulness, yoga and transcendentalism, among others. While their aims are different, they share common benefits. Here are eight of those.