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Know More Questions and AnswersYou ask, Gurudev answers - Whatever be your question, chances are here you will find your answer here. Read MoreWisdom QuotesShort quotes to brighten your day - Sometimes all it takes are a few words to change your life. With meditation, the physiology undergoes a change and every cell in the body is filled with more prana (energy). It cleanses and nourishes you from within and calms you, whenever you feel overwhelmed, unstable, or emotionally shut down.
Busy people from all backgrounds are grateful to pause and enjoy a refreshing few minutes of meditation each day.
It's a piece of advice yogis have given for thousands of years: take a deep breath and relax.
Now the hard science has caught up: a comprehensive scientific study showing that deep relaxation changes our bodies on a genetic level has just been published.
In particular, they found genes that protect from disorders such as pain, infertility, high blood pressure and even rheumatoid arthritis were switched on.
The experiment, which showed just how responsive genes are to behaviour, mood and environment, revealed that genes can switch on, just as easily as they switch off.
More encouraging still, the benefits of the relaxation effect were found to increase with regular practice: the more people practised relaxation methods such as meditation or deep breathing, the greater their chances of remaining free of arthritis and joint pain with stronger immunity, healthier hormone levels and lower blood pressure. While relaxation techniques can be very different, their biological effects are essentially similar.
The next time you tune out and switch off and let yourself melt, remind yourself of all the good work the relaxation effect is doing on your body. Emotional balance, means to be free of all the neurotic behavior that results from the existence of a tortured and traumatized ego. A study at the University of Western Australia found that women are more likely to conceive during periods when they are relaxed rather than stressed.
When patients suffering from irritable bowel syndrome began practising a relaxation meditation twice daily, their symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and constipation improved significantly. A study at Harvard Medical School found that meditation lowered blood pressure by making the body less responsive to stress hormones, in a similar way to blood pressure-lowering medication. Stress leads to inflammation, a state linked to heart disease, arthritis, asthma and skin conditions such as psoriasis, say researchers at Emory University in the US. The simple difference between those who meditate and those who do not, is that for a meditative mind the thought occurs but is witnessed, while for an ordinary mind, the thought occurs and is the boss.
Body Scan: Starting with your head and working down to your arms and feet, notice how you feel in your body.
Mantra Repetition: The relaxation response can be evoked by sitting quietly with eyes closed for 15 minutes twice a day, and mentally repeating a simple word or sound such as ''Om''. Guided Imagery: Imagine a wonderfully relaxing light or a soothing waterfall washing away tension from your body and mind. Is the benefit of meditation  real, and more fundamentally, how do we define or discover what is real?
The ultimate benefit of meditation is self-realization or Unity consciousness, the deep feeling of peace and the physical benefits that attend this feeling are the ‘side effects’ of a regular meditation practice.
As meditation is finding its way in the West and looking for authentic cultural roots, we are bound to re-enact Siddhartha’s own search, re-discover his own disappointments and illuminations. These are the questions that Siddhartha asked as he continued his spiritual quest, continuing to probe deeper, until he was satisfied that he had gotten to the bottom of his inquiry. To see ‘behind the curtain of illusion,’ we must learn how to be still and examine what is within ourselves, sometimes found in the silence, but always found in awareness.
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The benefits of Vipassana meditation are that as you practice it you will soon see that your thoughts and feelings are part of you but they are not you.
Vipassana is an awareness meditation; it doesn’t involve concentration on the breath, mantras or mandalas and candle flames. No talking, no eye contact with others, no phones, internet, reading or writing: trying to spend all your waking hours during the 10-day course committed to learning Vipassana meditation was difficult enough.
But 10-plus hours spent meditating every day, all the time trying to sit – and remain immobile – in the lotus position, while simultaneously attempting to still the mind, to think of one thing only, and nothing else, was almost torturous.
Stilling the mind, trying to clear it of everything other than focusing on breathing, for the first four days, then on the body’s sensations for the next six, proved a Herculean task. Our busy minds run helter-skelter; trying to train the mind to focus on the one task and to have to continually bring it back from its incessant thought wanderings, was a monumental task. A ringing bell at 4am woke the 51 sleeping, mainly Sri Lankan, participants (there were three female and four male foreigners). The 6.30am breakfast of tea, white rice, spicy vegetables and a banana was served to the segregated sexes in the dining room. Meditators could sit against the wall or walk outside for short rest periods if they needed a break during the non-group sessions. It was then time for showers, washing clothes and resting before the bell summoned us to the 1pm meditation.
By neutrally observing the changing nature of body and mind; of observing how the body’s sensations continually change, meditators learn the nature of impermanence, suffering and egolessness. Eventually, you become more able to note the body’s pleasant and unpleasant sensations (pain or tension from sitting in one position, for example) without craving or aversion – without having to change your position to alleviate the discomfort, realizing that it is temporary and not permanent.
Those meditating become more balanced and learn not to react immediately to everyday life’s perceived pleasant and unpleasant events. I was exhausted after six months of travel in India and felt that doing something completely different would instill a new enthusiasm. Insight meditation or Vipassana is, it’s said, to be the type of meditation that the Buddha himself taught. I promise you that this meditation benefit is not one that is discussed in average discourse on the benefits of meditation, which is, being able to comfortably be immersed in freezing cold water for an extended period of time. Regarding the second question, about whether a person can raise their tolerance to cold just by meditating, the quick answer is yes. Meditation as a practice asks paradoxical questions, and here’s one; when is boredom interesting?
For example as Jay points out, boredom is really restlessness; it’s about what’s happening inside you and not what’s going on around you on the outside. Ultimately what make boredom interesting is being present enough to contemplate the ‘gifts’ it offers us. The questions asked here are, do you need to have quiet place to meditate or if there lots of distractions, does this mean I won’t be able to meditate?
The second observation is that there are different approaches to meditating anywhere at any time, mindfulness approach and deep inner awareness or transcendental meditation. Mindfulness is about being fully present without judgment and inner awareness is about transcending, going beyond the challenges. This article is on the benefits of Buddhist meditation and lovemaking, yes, I said lovemaking.
Practitioners of meditative lovemaking report more responsiveness along with an increased intensity and whole body orgasms. The realization that meditation is not all “sweetness and light” and that it’s part of the awakening process is facing our shadow energy’s.
So when would-be practitioners ask about the benefits of meditation, I tend not to give a straight answer. For many people the real meditation benefits occur as the result of an emotional realization; the release of stress and, many times, the relief of physical pain come as the result of a deep seated emotional release. This is meditation’s gift and it’s challenge, to experience the benefits you must be willing to take the responsibility, not the blame, that is the process of self-realization and emotional freedom.
Now here’s a meditation benefit that even I was unaware of, well at least until I read this study, done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. There was a significant reduction in symptoms in the mindfulness practitioners compared to a control group. Even though this was a small sample the researchers involved were “impressed” with the results. So I have a gut feeling that the benefits of mindfulness meditation are a meditation benefit for the whole mind-body. I’m going to step out of the ‘meditation benefits’ mode for a moment and back into history, present and not so long ago. Wavy Gravy is an iconic figure from latter part of that decade, and the reason I came across this post was his connection to another icon of that decade, Ram Dass.


Ram Dass a teacher, guru to me; his path as always been that of Bhakti (the yoga of love) Yoga, in service to love, through his teacher Maharaj-ji, was in a sense an incarnation of Hanuman, who took an incarnation of a monkey to serve God.
My mother-in-law, affectingly known by all the family as GG, is transitioning, here at home, even as I’m writing this. When I read about Wavy Gravy, the Hog farm and his life of service, I’m simultaneously transported into the past and made fully present and for that’s a meditation benefit. Vipassana meditation is one of the meditation techniques taught by the Buddha and means to ‘see with special vision’ or insight meditation. Vipassana retreats are conducted in silence and last anywhere from ten days to three months. With overwhelming enthusiasm, I spent the last couple of weeks learning vipassana meditation at Dharmashring, Budanilkhantha.
The meditation benefit and experience of vipassana is a direct and enlightened insight into the impermanent, unsatisfactory, and selfless nature of ordinary existence. Vipassana meditation brings peace of mind to the youth of India, at least around Mumbai, according to the Hindustan Times. Vipassana is taught as a living practice of the Buddha’s teaching and it has been passed on for millennia. Vipassana is taught over a ten day period (though there are longer retreats) and is open to anyone that wants to practice this type of meditation.
While there is an open duologue with the meditation teacher, silence is observed between the participants. The idea of meditating ten to twelve hours a day for days on end may seem a bit extreme to the uninitiated.
But according to the Hindustan Times young people around Mumbai are embracing Vipassana meditation in order to relieve stress.
Another reason for the youth to attend the intense retreat is to develop concentration skills that will help them in their studies and career.
Advertising executive Labony Kaushal, 25, admits the only reason she thought of giving Vipassana a shot was to alleviate her boredom. The first day, called Zero Day, is where an audio-visual explains the techniques of meditation to the new arrivals… and little else. Ask Kaushal whether she’s noticed any permanent changes and she says, “ I was an angry person who’d react without thinking of the consequences, but I’ve become more patient now. Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Seema Hingorrany admits she’s seen a substantial rise in the number of young patients opting for Vipassana, and cites stress as the main reason. Hingorrany says that she gets emails and calls from patients asking what the right age for Vipassana is, but she opines, “It’s not about being the right age, but having the right reason. For those who return from their retreat successfully, Hingorrany notices a change in their composition.
The big surprise for most of the students is, as it was for Kaushal, by the tenth day there’s the realization that Vipassana meditation brings peace of mind, that at some point the meditators slip into effortless effort, discover detached involvement and maintain a peaceful alertness.
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These types of studies have been going on for years; for example a study in 1966, showed elevated alpha rhythms throughout the brains of a group of Buddhist monks, who had a regular meditation practice. More recent studies in neuroscience are showing meditation affects the brain in many positive ways. In a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences in November 2004, Dr.
The actual research title of the Harvard and MIT, April 21st study was , “effects of mindfulness meditation training on anticipatory alpha modulation in primary somatosensory cortex,” which is the explanation that the researchers believe answers the question, why does meditation help alleviate chronic pain symptoms. Naljorma gZa’tsal, like me, is a student in the Aro lineage of Tibetan Buddhism, and has been meditating for decades.
Google Tech Talks February, 28 2008 ABSTRACT Mindfulness meditation, one type of meditation technique, has been shown to enhance emotional awareness and psychological flexibility as well as induce well-being and emotional balance. The five strengths are instructions on how to live and how to die, and in Zen there is really no difference.
Familiarization means we don’t have to search any further than our own meditation, and we know it. This post continues with the other three strengths and gives a more complete explanation of each of the strengths. With a back ground in engineering and science the idea of a ‘new age’ approach to stress relief seemed foreign to Manish. The words meditation and boot camp are not usually use in the same sentence, but this is exactly what happened for Manish and the number of meditation benefits that he discovered in this ten day ‘boot camp’ was remarkable.
Through regular meditation, the mind resets and realises that both pleasant and unpleasant experiences are actually impermanent. The ten day ‘reboot’ camp it turns out was a Vipassana meditation, a form of mindfulness meditation. Sathya Sai Baba, one of the best known gurus and holy men of the twentieth century, with a following of at least twenty million died on April 24th at the age of 84. He encouraged his followers to meditate and sing devotional songs, and to take his darshan — that is, to see him in person, the better to experience his divine presence. I have met those who have told me that they witnessed Sai Baba confer enlightenment with a touch or a look, others I’ve spoken with told stories of other kinds of magic.
I never had the opportunity to visit the ashram or be in the presence of Sai Baba, so for me, he will always have a mystique and therefore a presence in my life.
Vipassana retreats last from ten days to three months and are held in complete silence, with the exception of instructions given by the teacher. WHITE ROCK – Last week my article was about the saving grace of silence in a 90-minute yoga class. One question that is addressed is why would someone want to experience ten days of silence? Reading books and listening to teachings generates mental representations of what meditation could be like.
That’s when the contrast between your ideas of how you want it to be and the way it is arises. As you practice this contrast—between secondary thoughts and primary experience—because more and more obvious. They bring you to the cushion, but then it’s time turn from the mind’s fascination with secondary phenomenon to that which is primary. Still, you don’t have to push thoughts away (that only entangles you more and more.) Honor thought for what it can do.
It’s time to open up to what is primary—the full and radiant experience of this moment.
Eric Klein is one of the few people on the planet who is both a lineage holder in a 5,000-year-old yoga lineage and a best-selling business book author.
Open to all who have completed an Art of Living Course.Find one near youWisdom SeriesCommentaries on ancient sacred texts, by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, presented in a simplified manner which can be applied to daily modern life.
Today, this humanitarian, spiritual leader inspires one of the world's largest volunteer-run NGOs.
What researchers at Harvard Medical School discovered is that, in long-term practitioners of relaxation methods such as yoga and meditation, far more ''disease-fighting genes'' were active, compared to those who practised no form of relaxation. The changes, say the researchers, were induced by what they call ''the relaxation effect'', a phenomenon that could be just as powerful as any medical drug but without the side effects. Benson believes the research is pivotal because it shows how a person's state of mind affects the body on a physical and genetic level. A study at the Ohio State University found that progressive muscular relaxation, when practised daily, reduced the risk of breast cancer recurrence. A study at Trakya University, in Turkey, also found that stress reduces sperm count and motility, suggesting relaxation may also boost male fertility.
The meditation was so effective the researchers at the State University of New York recommended it as an effective treatment.
Meanwhile a British Medical Journal report found that patients trained how to relax had significantly lower blood pressure. Harvard researchers found that yoga, meditation and even repetitive prayer and mantras all induced the relaxation effect. Tune into your breath, follow the sensation of inhaling from your nose to abdomen and out again.
Make your image vivid, imagining texture, colour and any fragrance as the image washes over you. A beautiful guided meditation to open up your chakras through the use of colour, flowers and your imagination. We believe that your body is worthy of good care and that no one is more suitably qualified to care for it than yourself.
That is the real treasure that Buddhism has to offer, and it may take us a long time in the West to bring this treasure to full fruition. If your meditation practice, regardless of the technique, gently awakens you to the different levels of your being, one after another, and you have be authentic with yourself in this process, then you will discover the truth, which is the highest form of reality.
For a novice meditator, like Yvonne Moran, a ten day Vipassana meditation retreat was less like a retreat and a lot more like a marine boot camp, at least in the beginning.
The first few days were spent writhing in extreme discomfort and pain as I attempted to sit crossed-legged and erect on the cushioned floor in the same position for what seemed like interminable periods of time. Their metal cups and plates washed, meditators returned to the basic dormitories or two-three bedroom cottages to sleep. During these four daily periods, participants were asked to try and remain in one position without moving at all.
Lunch at 11am usually consisted of rice, perhaps lentils, a good selection of spicy and some boiled vegetables, with something sweet to finish.
Group meditation continued through the early afternoon, followed by more meditation until teatime, – four crackers and a banana were the usual offerings. A video talk by lay meditator SN Goenka, who brought the technique from Burma to India, and from where it has spread around the world, followed. But slowly I came to realise it would be impossible to learn this form of meditation without undergoing such an intensive course. It enables them to face life with more equilibrium, knowing that nothing is permanent and that everything passes.
Meditation was something I’d been interested in learning about, and with time to spare, I thought it would be a good idea to attempt it. When all the different kinds of thoughts, feeling, sensations and images arise, we learn to rest in the stillness, allowing the mind to be as it is, without discrimination or judgment. There are a few insight meditation centers in the US, in California and Massachusetts, that offer intensive short term (ten day) and long term (three month) retreats. The focus of this piece, Wim Hof, “may be able to exercise some influence over other body functions considered involuntary,” according to Professor Peter Pickkers of Nijmegen’s Radboud Medical University. Jay Michaelson addresses this paradox, reframing the way boredom is perceived, finding the gifts that boredom offers us.


He suggest that the next time you feel bored, take a moment to see how you feel, are you feeling energetic or relaxed? Do you need to have a quiet place free from all distractions and noises or can you actually meditate anywhere, anytime, any place? It’s taking a bit of literary license in comparing meditation to Viagra; one helps alleviate the symptoms of a medical condition, which was the intent when of Viagra when first came on the market, the other, has traditionally been, to enhance the experience. Mindfulness is a way of melding more love into your love making, and frankly I would call that a heck of a nice meditation benefit. And all the tears, the “powerful surges” of emotion, seemed, to be foreign to what he understood meditation to be. Enlightenment is the process out ‘lightening up or letting go and that includes all our repressed emotions.
This study found that mindfulness meditation helped improve the quality of life and the mental distress that accompanies irritable bowel syndrome. Because mindfulness meditation teaches the practitioner how to focus their attention and relax, it “empowers” the sufferer to deal with a difficult to treat illness.
One of the ways that Ram Dass has promoted loving service is in supporting conscious care for the dying, something that has been pretty close to home for me lately. The conscious, loving care of our hospice practitioners was the result of the Buddhist tradition inspired, Metta Institute, founded by Frank Ostaseski. You can find out more information about Ram Dass and his compassionate community at ramdass.org.
Training in vipassana begins by focusing and calming the mind, which is accomplished by placing the attention on the breath, following its natural movements. Many of the centers, including the Insight Meditation Society offer instruction in other Buddhist practices like, loving kindness or Metta meditation. During this time the practitioner stays at the center, cutting all ties with the outside world.
During the first three plus days the focus of practice is, appropriately enough, mental concentration, which is in preparation for formal meditation. In fact at the Vipassana centers around Mumbai, India, (as with all Vipassana centers) there is an evaluation process, like a doctors certificate, required to determine the fitness of the practitioner.
In the beginning most students find the meditation practice to seem more like torture instead of the deep inner peace they are seeking. A research study published on line April 21st in the Brain Research Bulletin showed that a regular practice of meditation can help those who suffer from chronic pain. It was found during that study that it’s the different types of brain waves which regulate the flow of information between brain cells. It’s showing that meditation activates the pre-frontal cortex, causing the release of neurotransmitters, including brain opiates, serotonin, oxytocin and even dopamine, the body’s natural antidepressant.
Richard Davidson, director of the Waisman Laboratory for Brain Imaging and Behavior, is a pioneer leading the way, for almost twenty years, using neuroscience to study meditation.
Davidson has discovered that monks that meditated on lovingkindness and compassion generated remarkable brain wave intensity, and that this intensely compassionate state of mind could be exercised in the same way a muscle is. Davidson and his team found if the meditation could enhance the brain’s ability to produce emotions, it might also be used to modify or control responses like depression.
So, while this MIT study has been this week’s ‘hot topic’ in neuroscience and meditation benefits, meditation, it turns out, has been on the ‘new frontier’ of neuroscience for a long time now. She has a background in clinical neuroscience; I have some background in basic neuroscience. Practicing the five strengths on a daily basis will connect you to peace, compassion and joy. His wife had encouraged him to do something different to deal with the business stressor, what he found was a life changing experience. In the end Manish feel that he had been transformed in powerful ways, the meditation benefits he experienced went deeper than he could have imagined when stepped through the door to the ‘boot camp’ ten days earlier. Not everyone believed in the magic of Sai Baba, some thought him a complete fraud while others simple saw him as a philanthropist and nothing more.
The time headline reads, “The man who was god is dead,” but Sai Baba understood we are all god in disguise. The benefit of practicing Vipassana Meditation is learning be unconditionally happy and know reality as it is, not as we would like it to be. Either way, you’re experiencing something that is more primary than your initial ideas about the meal.
When you read a text or hear a teaching that generates a particularly pleasant mental experience, you say, “Mmmmm .
Because no matter how carefully you’ve constructed your mental representation, it will never match the actual experience of this moment. The practice of meditation brings you face-to-face with this contrast—often many times in a single minute! While thoughts about benefits may bring you to the cushion, holding on to those thoughts will drive you away. Now it’s time let go of assessing, measuring, and evaluating whether or not you’re getting what you thought you wanted. It might also explain why relaxation induced by meditation or repetitive mantras is considered to be a powerful remedy in traditions such as Ayurveda in India or Tibetan medicine. Linked to the release of the stress-hormones adrenalin and cortisol, stress raises the heart rate and blood pressure, weakens immunity and lowers fertility. In another study at Ohio State, a month of relaxation exercises boosted natural killer cells in the elderly, giving them a greater resistance to tumours and to viruses.
In this way, one study at McGill University in Canada found that meditation clinically improved the symptoms of psoriasis. See how much you can spread any sensations of softness and relaxation to areas of your body that feel tense. Think of us as your nutritional consultants and know that we are here with you on your journey to a healthier life. He went on to explain that most religion, including Buddhism, offers an escape from reality, rather than a transforming insight about it. In fact, without some calmness in meditation it is impossible to see anything clearly or distinguish what is real from what is illusion. Puff talks about his personal experiences and how he was able to practice his meditation even in noisy situations. This ability evolves as your practice evolves and it’s not a recommended practice beginning meditators; for most beginners, distractions lead to frustration. I would add, because it is a practice, go ahead and do just that, practice, remembering to be gentle with yourself and letting go of any frustration if it arises.
In this article, what the author’s experience of his first few days of Vipassana, while they are unique to the individual, they are not unique to the process.
Sometimes other forms instructions are offered at these centers; include teaching as diverse as Tibetan Lamas, Christian priests or Native American shamans. Vipassana is described as the essence of the teachings of Buddha, the experience of his teachings, because he attained the experience of the truth in meditation, so meditation is truly the essence of the teaching. Each day thereafter new practices or steps are introduced, until day ten when the silence ends. I thought that 10 days of not talking to anyone would be good for me, since I’m not a very talkative person anyway.” Kaushal didn’t do any research before signing up, which she recommends for anyone who’s rolling the idea around in their head. I got a headache on the first day, which is something they warn you of because your body is not used to it,” she recalls. And every day, it felt like I was running a never-ending race,” she says, adding, “But by the final day, I didn’t want to come back to Mumbai. They feel themselves very resistant to the forced timetable (like getting up at four or four thirty in the morning), the sparse facilities, instructions of the teacher, all the discipline and even the technique itself. This seems to be happening as the result of control over specific brain waves, the alpha waves. Invited and encouraged by the Dalai Lama in his research on the effects on the brain of meditation, Davidson has given the chance to examine Tibetan Buddhists in his own lab.
Eric has worked with over 35,000 people to infuse greater meaning, awareness, and purpose into their work and lives.
The good news for the control group with the less-healthy genes is that the research didn't stop there. By contrast, the state of relaxation is linked to higher levels of feel-good chemicals such as serotonin and to the growth hormone which repairs cells and tissue.
And non-essential functions such as immunity and digestion go by the wayside.'' Relaxation, on the other hand, is a state of rest, enjoyment and physical renewal.
People in every generation have the same opportunity as the Buddha had to see behind the curtain of illusion to the reality beneath. It was, apparently, a way of gaining strength from everyone undergoing the same process simultaneously. Also there is belief among some that the exposure to the cold may benefit the circulatory system, and lead to a quicker recovery for athletes after training, though these benefits remain controversial.
The number one benefit of meditation is stress reduction, so don’t stress if the distractions are too much, relax and wait until you feel you are in a comfortable place, then meditate. The tenth day is preparation for reentry into the everyday world, and the course end on the morning of the eleventh day. And it’s these alpha waves that create the patterns which minimize distractions reducing the chance that other stimuli will get the meditators attention. Comparing your experience of this moment to your expectations and hopes is the activity of thought. His book "You are the Leader You’ve Been Waiting For" won a 2008 Nautilus Book Award for being “a world-changing book promoting positive social change and responsible leadership.” With his wife and partner Devi, Eric is also the creator of the Healing Family Karma programs and The Meditation Habit. Indeed, studies show that relaxation has virtually the opposite effect, lowering heart rate, boosting immunity and enabling the body to thrive.
The sixth ancestor of Zen, Hui Neng, specifically taught that to empty the mind of all thoughts during meditation is not a Buddhist practice.
Teachings provide you with mental representations of what you want meditation to feel like and do for you.
The heart can slow and blood circulation flows freely to the body's tissues, feeding it with nutrients and oxygen. Where do these thoughts and feelings that rise and fall originate, and where do they go when they subside? This restful state is good for fertility, as the body is able to conserve the resources it needs to generate new life.



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Comments to «Meditation benefits on health»

  1. SHADOW_KNIGHT writes:
    Households, and society as a complete moderately than thinking only the day.
  2. Kacok_Qarishqa writes:
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  3. Alisija writes:
    First assets your position in life and really come to an understanding as to why.