Thursday, April 7, 2011

Got Meditation?

If you meditate, you probably recognize that it is a must. If you don’t or have never meditated, you may wonder why meditate? There are many reasons for meditation.

More studies are showing the benefits of meditation, including:
• A Harvard study on Mindfulness Meditations: . The study found that people who incorporated Mindfulness meditations into their daily routine for 8 weeks, changes to their gray matter and increased plasticity in their brain, in addition to beneficial impacts on stress and anxiety.
• Another report found Transcendental Meditation to be a benefit to corporations, their employees and their annual health insurance costs:

I practice a combination of several different types of meditation, including:
• Kundalini Yoga with its powerful meditations that use breath, mantra and poses based on sacred geometry;
• Gong meditations, tied to Kundalini, that use sound currents to move blockages and energy;
• Shaktipat meditation from the tradition of Vethathiri Maharishi and Shivabalayogi Maharaj; and
• Mindfulness meditations from the Buddhist traditions of Shambala and Thich Nhat Hanh.

If you are still wondering why meditate, I had a teacher once gave me the analogy of our minds and computers. When we get a new computer, it functions well, runs quickly and efficiently. However, with time, the computer starts to slow down, get bugs and then begins to crash. If we don’t take out the recycling bin and defragment our computers regularly, they crash more and more often, eventually completely breaking down.

Our mind is no different. When we are born, we have a fresh, open mind. Then with time, we begin to have thoughts and ideas that begin to fill our subconscious. In time, if we do not regularly empty the “recycling bin,” those thoughts become paralyzing programs that weigh us down and slow us down. Our minds become full and then our bodies start to show signs of weakness, illness and disease. If we regularly meditate, we take this trash out and our body, mind and spirit stay in harmony and alignment. We don’t get bogged down with so many heavy and paralyzing thoughts. If we meditate regularly, our brain functions better, our endocrine and regulatory systems work better and the rest of our body, organs and systems function better.

Personally, meditation has been a saving grace in my life. I went through a really dark period in my life – in which I suffered both physically and mentally. My body had pretty much shut down, my mental and emotional state was significantly impaired and my spirit was broken. I had gone to doctors, psychiatrists and psychologists. I was on many different medications and was told I had all sorts of different mental and physical problems. I wasn’t sleeping, I was depressed and I was totally in despair. When the doctors told me I had mood swings, I kept telling them, it was energy not mood. They didn’t listen.

When I finally discovered meditation and Kundalini yoga, my life changed. Literally, within 6 months of doing both for anywhere from 5-30 minutes a day, I was off of every medication I had ever been on and both my physical and mental health challenges dissipated. The Kundalini yoga and meditation enabled me to manage my own energy system. In fact, I had been right all along about my situation. I knew that it wasn’t mood swings, but energy swings and once I had some tools to manage my situation, my health and life turned around.

Many people I know say they would love to meditate but they are too Type A and they can’t shut their mind off. I too was a Type A person. The point of meditation isn’t to still the mind or shut the mind off, but rather train the mind. I think one of the biggest failings of people who teach meditation is if they tell their students to still or quiet their minds. My belief is this is the number one way to have a student quit or give up on meditation. Rather, particularly at the beginning, if you encourage a student to just allow any and all the thoughts to come in, even sometimes have a little notebook nearby to clear the mind immediately after (and sometimes during), then you give them permission to allow their thoughts to clear out.

As I said, when you start meditating, you will have more to clear out, so more thoughts may come flooding in. This doesn’t mean you can’t do it or you aren’t good at it, it is NORMAL! So keep going. Sit comfortably and allow yourself and your mind to relax as though you are sitting peacefully in a bath or hot tub. Just allow the thoughts to flow. If you want to focus on a mantra you can or you can just pay attention to your breath or you can focus on your third eye or brow point or just relax and observe all of the flow of thoughts and emotions that move through you. In time, these will slow. But some days will be better than others and just know that if you are sitting there, that is a good beginning.

One of the best things to do is to start by just getting up 5 minutes early and going to bed 5 minutes early and sitting up and meditating for 5 minutes twice a day. Then work your way up to longer periods. If you want, a good break during the day can totally reset you – whether for a minute or longer.

Whatever you do start small so that you can keep up. Then grow your practice as you see and feel the benefits unfold in your life. It really is magic, if you allow yourself to give in to the gifts that meditation unveils.

Here are some resources on meditation:,,,,,
Happy Meditating!

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