Music and meditation and Alzheimer’s disease are coming together in a forth coming book to be penned by, esteemed researcher, Rudolph Tanzi and renowned author and Doctor, Deepak Chopra. I can say that as a member of the baby boomer generation this subject holds more than a passing interest for me, and really no matter what age group you’re in, ultimately, it should for you too. It is the connection between meditation, consciousness and Alzheimer’s that would, also be of interest to Dr. The benefits of a regular meditation practice are one of the most scientifically proven ways to elicit the relaxation response and reduce stress. Tanzi’s interest in music and Alzheimer’s disease, sparked by his own love of playing music, as prompted him to begin working on a book about music therapy for Alzheimer’s disease (as yet unfinished).
Beginning with an accordion at age 9, Tanzi has always loved playing music, and that passion isn’t entirely separate from the work that he does on neurological conditions. A drug with a different mechanism that Tanzi’s group influenced is now in clinical trials. Tanzi is also exploring a possible association between a commonly used anesthetic called isoflurane and Alzheimer’s.
Having read other research that carnivores in the animal kingdom appear more likely to show Alzheimer’s pathology than herbivores, Tanzi is a vegetarian. This collaboration could be an important one, because medical studies indicate that by delaying the onset of memory loss by as little as five years that we can reduce a person’s chance of developing Alzheimer’s disease up to fifty percent.
Music and meditation and Alzheimer’s disease are going to be linked together in a powerful way, and I believe for the benefit of us all. Rudolph Tanzi describes the cause of Alzheimer’s disease and how a venture capital-style funding model backed by Henry McCance has helped lead to progress in fighting this disease. If you found this article useful … please click the LIKE button below to share it on Facebook. When we ask the question “What is Spirit,” the answer that all the wisdom traditions have in common is known as the perennial philosophy, which as three basic threads of commonality.
The deeper reality that underlies the world of ordinary physical and mental reality is, according to the great traditions, a Spiritual or Divine reality that really exists, known to some as God or Holy Spirit, for others its described as the ground of being.
No matter how you describe it all the wisdom traditions agree that the reason we suffer, and the primary difficulty that we need to resolve is the feeling of separation, the loss of connection to the deeper reality; we feel isolated, cut off from our own essential nature. Even when you know that your essential nature is spirit, you can easily be deluded by the incessant activity of your mind and ego .
Some of the traditions define the ego as self-image, personality or pride, and it’s the inner turbulence created by this self-centered preoccupation that keeps us feeling separate and from realizing true self-awareness. These ego patterns can be buried deep within us and can require years of meditative practice to unravel. With a regular practice, the expansive awareness you enter during meditation begins to permeate your life outside of your meditation sessions.
Being in the present moment we enter the timeless and we arrive at the true nature of our being. Before a thought arises in the mind we are in a timeless state and in this timeless state we need no, nor do we seek any, reason to be happy, we just are. When we are dependent on, people, positions, places or things to make us happy, then our happiness becomes conditional and bound to those people, positions, places or things. Bliss is defined as happiness that needs no reason, and the wisdom traditions came to the conclusion that time is the movement of consciousness, not far from Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity (Some physicists argue that there is no such thing as time). When we focus on the present we are attuning ourselves with our deepest reality and that this level happiness can never be taken away. This focus on our true nature, or being present in the moment, doesn’t mean giving up participation in the everyday world; it simply means giving up attachment to it. Our ego drives our need to identify with people, positions, places and things, starting as children we begin our attachment and identification with our toys, and as we grow we continue to identify with the changing world, and to us this is the ‘real world.’ Yet, we live in two realities. Experiencing presence and ‘being here now’ are the same and no effort is required to enter. In This video, recorded at TEDMED 2010, Deepak speaks on the subject of happiness and being present, NOW. There’s a story told in meditation circles used to illustrate how meditation helps us deal with a very human emotion; anger. Anger is part of being human and it’s hardwired into our reptilian brain, it comes from our ego state, that part of us that needs us to feel secure and safe.
In the end we have to own our anger and more importantly the root cause and in order to own it, we need to acknowledge it and not try and repress it.
Meditation is a practice of awareness and when we sit in meditation we start to become present with those parts of who we are, even those parts which we’ve repressed, hidden from, the darker side of our nature.
Unpleasant as unearthing these thoughts, feeling and emotions are, as long as we continue to repress them, the more they will rise up and make themselves known. Ram Dass describes this process as ‘making friends with anger,’  a place from which he no longer identifies with it, he said it this way, in the Shapiro’s new book, “Be the Change,” “I still see anger arise, even after thirty years of meditating. Anger unchecked can do untold damage both on an individual level and on the wider level of our collective consciousness. It’s natural to feel greater justification for this kind of anger, as well as, in situations where we see injustice. In meditation, because we develop a greater sense of self-awareness, we have the opportunity to see anger as it is, with all its recurring patterns of thought and its waves of shadow energy, and make ‘friends with it.’ It is from this quiet space of self-reflection that we can begin to accept ourselves for who we are. Meditation is not a panacea; will we will be instantly be transformed into beings of light and love because we’ve practiced sitting on the cushion? Deepak Chopra has once again entered the virtual world this time in the form of a new Xbox 360 meditation game.
Video gaming has often received bad press because of the violent nature of some of the games. Another benefit of playing video games is that they have been shown to improve cognitive health.
It should be noted here that just playing video games doesn’t automatically guarantee improved cognitive abilities. Deepak Chopra’s new ‘Leela’ game will tic two of the four boxes to improve cognitive health, mental exercise and stress management.
The game will use the Kinect sensors to guide users through the seven “chakras,” or points along the body that many believe serve as a body’s energy centers.
There are many other benefits found in playing video games, for example gaming is used to treat post-traumatic syndrome and to enhance mood.
I mentioned at the beginning of this piece that the Xbox 360 meditation game was not Deepak’s first adventure into the virtual world; in fact Deepak as always embraced the cutting edge in technology when it comes to sharing his passion, meditation. All meditators wrestle with thoughts; after all, the mind is a thought generator, so even the practiced meditator must learn to move through thought. According to the ancient wisdom tradition of Vedanta, the Yoga Vasistha; “Consciousness plus thoughts is the mind. When the mind is thinking, it is all activity; when it stops thinking, it returns to its source in silence. Sometimes thoughts run deeper than simple distractions, and continue to replay in our minds as a kind of mental feedback loop; these habitual patterns are known in yoga as samskaras.
Often we come to meditation with the expectation that we can ‘let go,’ freeing ourselves of all those troublesome and sometimes, buried feelings, thoughts or emotions. As your practice deepens over time you begin to slip into the space between thoughts, sensing and experience the spaciousness which arises. William James, the famous American psychologist and philosopher, once said that the ‘self’ was a kernel of consciousness that carries through all our various sensations and experiences. These moments of ‘mysticism,’ as Nadia Webb, described it in a recent article in Scientific American, are where orgasm and meditation share a common distinctions which are, a lack of self-awareness, changes in bodily perception and a reduced awareness of pain. This link between meditation and orgasm was explained this way in an article published in the Huffington Post, “…Osho, the Indian spiritual teacher formerly known as Rajneesh, was famous for his acknowledgment of the mystical value of an orgasm. What is surprising about this is that pleasure is classically thought of as the province of the left hemisphere, not the right. The left hemisphere is even preferentially more active among people free of depression and less active among the unhappy. Until eight years ago, neuroscience had little scientific basis from which to comment on bliss, sexual or otherwise. Absence of pain is predictably akin to pleasure, but the other two—losing a sense of identity and of bodily limits—are less obvious.
Understanding that there is a common experience in meditation and orgasm it has only been natural to combine the two. The Kama Sutra, the ancient text of India is both an inspiring spiritual text and as the title is sometimes translated, “instructions on pleasure,” and is proof that meditation and sex have been successfully combined for all of human history.
We can define suffering as, a pain that feels as if it will never heal, one that makes life feel meaningless.
In searching for a meaning to suffering, especially from a spiritual perspective, Deepak Chopra, in his book, “The Deeper Wound,” says that there are three answers. Meditation offers the opportunity for continual awareness so that you can ‘name’ the emotion, a process that will allow most emotions to flow through the body and begin releasing; a process that you keep gently repeating as many times as the persistent emotions arise. Affirm today that you share this vision and have the intention to allow the light of spirit to come in and fill any voids it may find. As a child it was easier to cure loneliness, because the presence of a parent was enough to offer reassurance.
Sit quietly for a few minutes after each session with eyes closed and simply appreciate the simplicity of quiet awareness. Pain and suffering are not always the same thing, there are many ways to relieve pain, but relief of suffering comes with self-awareness or spirituality.
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. 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. 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? When I sit and become quite and still, I open my heart and see the interconnectedness of things, this isn’t mystical, it’s the way love works. Sally Kempton is one of the best meditation teachers in the world and yet as one would hope from someone who has been studding meditation for over forty years, approachable and unpretentious.
I’m on my second reading of her new book, “Meditation for the Love of It,” and of the hundreds of books that I’ve read on meditation this one is special and one of the best guides to meditation I’ve had the pleasure to immerse myself in. No, what makes the beloved meditation teacher so likable is the same thing that makes Gilbert a best-selling author — her special ability to translate subtle life truths into simple, practical and compassion-enhancing lessons.
This reminds me, Sally has a wonderful CD called the “Awakened Heart,” with two guided meditations, which if you really would like to spend some quality time with one of the most knowledgeable meditation teachers in the world and connecting with your inner presence, I would highly recommend it. Next year, he and his business partner, Rich Pierson (a former client), plan to move their nonprofit organization, Headspace, to the United States and set up operations in New York, Miami and Los Angeles. His growing media presence has been built on top of a clinical practice in the Kensington district of London that caters to hard-charging achievers: bankers, actors, Premier League soccer players and members of Parliament. The idea of ‘secularized meditation’ is not for everyone, for some there is a strong need for a deeper connection, but for others, this may be just the approach they need to embrace and receive the benefits of meditation. However, even if meditation is secularized that does not mean that the practice should be trivialized or that it doesn’t come from a deep and profound place.? Nor does it mean that, while the benefits of meditation are vast, meditation is the solution to all of life’s problems.
I do believe that the reason for the success of programs like, Jon Kabat–Zinn’s, MBSR program and the Headspace offerings, is the almost desperate need in today’s high speed, high tech world, for stress relief; a reconnecting with our humanity.
As an ordained monk, Puddicombe spent ten years in monasteries in Nepal, India, Tibet and Russia, often meditating for up to 18 hours a day.
When I ask about the famous clients, he politely brushes the question away, partly to protect their privacy, and because their celebrity seems genuinely unimportant to him. So in the end will 10 minutes a day really create the meditation benefit of clearing your mind?


Meditation is the simplest of practices and at the same time it as tremendous subtlety and depth that can create challenges for those who are new to the practice and the benefits that meditation has to offer.
The basics of meditation are simple, sit in a comfortable position, straighten your back, breathe deeply, put your attention on your breath and follow it. However, meditation is like any art form, you can keep it simple or you can delve into the depths of the practice.
Before you put these guys in an ivory tower away from the muddle that us, non-academic-types trudge through everyday, you should know a little about Dr. The authors introduce mindfulness-based stillness meditation with four simple steps: preparation, relaxation, mindfulness, and stillness.
Preparation is the easy part, the practical details of where you will meditate, your posture, deciding what specific kind of meditation you will try, and everything that relates to how you set yourself up to begin the meditation. Relaxation is the street corner where the wheels on my meditation bus disassemble and roll down the road to a coffee shop. By the time I have made it to mindfulness, I have usually abandoned the discipline altogether, because my mind is so relaxed that it is thinking about chilling out at the pool with a glass of lemonade, not closing my eyes in an air-conditioned office sitting on a pillow. The challenges that Therese ran into as a beginning meditator are the same challenges that almost all meditators run into when they begin a practice.
The good news is that meditation is not about trying to stop your thoughts, it’s about ignoring them by using the ‘tools’ of meditation, watching the breath or using a mantra; so that when thoughts intrude on your silence you gently brush them away by returning to your breath or mantra. Biofeedback technology is not new, and it’s been proven to have a positive effect on your emotional, as well as, your physical well-being. Now the big names in the gaming world are jumping on the band wagon with a number of games that are effectively meditation aids. For a second experiment, participants rated how strongly they felt various emotional states (such as pride, love, happiness, anger) after they had played their respective video games (relaxing, neutral or violent). No video game, biofeedback machine or binary beats CD will allow you the experience and the meditation benefits of a regular meditation practice or allow you to go beyond the body-mind, intellect and ego and step beyond space-time into unbounded eternity. Meditation is a way of helping us slip beyond the mental negativity of anxiety, fear, judgment and doubt into the field of silent expanded awareness, where we rediscover our essential nature as creative, joyful, peaceful, and centered; these are the meditation benefits. By practicing a few minutes a day we can return to wholeness which brings the experience of balance, healing and transformation. Here are three way to help you slip into the ‘gap’ of silence; the instructions are simple but can be effective.
One of the easiest ways that I know that can get you into a meditative state is to simply pat attention to your breathing.
Another easy method to put you into a meditative state is to put your attention and focus on things currently going on around you. With practice you will gain an understanding of the different experiences you can have in meditation the benefits you will begin to notice in your life. In practicing mindfulness meditation you discover the joy of living in the present moment instead of constantly living in the past or worrying about the future. Mindfulness teaches you how to live in a harmonious way, because the present moment is the only moment in which you really live, create, smile or do anything at all. The more you practice mindfulness meditation the greater the effects, in studies on monk’s who’ve practiced meditation for a long time, the levels of their wellbeing measured in the brain where well beyond what was expected.
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce stress, depression, anxiety and pain, and increase creativity, energy and an overall sense of wellbeing. Becoming more self-aware is the number one benefit of meditation, because self-awareness creates the opportunity for self-acceptance. Because the Universe operates through a constant exchange of energy and information, with giving and receiving being the different aspects of the flow, creating homeostasis or balance is the key to peace and happiness. Self-awareness creates discernment, allowing to dig deeper and distinguishing the root causes of feeling and emotions, which are often different than what they appeared to us to be on the surface. This is a beautiful mantra is based on a hymn of the Rig-Veda and is cited throughout Vedic literature. For many people in Western culture the word Tantra is associated with sexual practices which have been used to appeal to a popular audience. Tantric meditation is a practice that involves awakening the Kundalini energy, which is a powerful divine feminine energy that resides at the base of the spine. Believing that our senses are the gateway between the spiritual world and the everyday reality the tantrikas (those who practice Tantra) use the senses as a way to achieve enlightenment. Just as sexual energy give birth to life, when we internalize the energy of creativity we give birth to our higher self. It is the eliciting of the relaxation response that is one of the most powerful ways to delay memory loss and possibly even the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Once scientists identify what’s going wrong with those genes in people who have the condition, they can work toward developing drugs that may repair the damage. It keeps his mind clear and free to come up with new ideas that can be tested in the lab later. This system is designed to help you in the event of trauma (such as concussion or stroke) or infection, but too much activity in the brain’s immune system can damage neurons, too. That one is designed to prevent the copper and zinc from binding to beta-amyloid, which would redistribute these metals in the brain and therefore reduce the brain plaque buildup associated with Alzheimer’s. In mice, experiments have found that this chemical increases the production of beta-amyloid; whether this is also the case in humans is the subject of further exploration.
There’s no new study on the subject, but existing evidence suggests there may be a connection, at least among animals. And if the memory is kept strong for ten years longer than expected that there is almost no risk of Alzheimer’s. First, there’s a deeper reality that underlies the world of ordinary physical and mental reality. Other language used to describe this deeper reality is, Tao, essential nature, emptiness of Self. Millions of us acknowledge our connection to Spirit in church, temple or synagogue and many of us yearn, like the Buddhist monk, to awaken it. Spirit isn’t something outside you, but is intertwined in everything you feel, think and do. You can go beyond mental conditioning by using the timeless tool of meditation to expand your consciousness and access the field of pure potentiality.
You might experience flashes of elation and notice feelings of well-being sweeping over you at unexpected moments. When we see in the present moment, we won’t miss the beauty, when we taste in this moment, flavor will be our reward, when we are fully present to the sound we will feel the music in our soul, when we are present to the aroma the scent will become sense, and when we are present to touch we will know that we are alive.
When our happiness is dependent on the world outside of us it can be taken away from us at any moment because the nature of the universe is change. In consciousness time has a ‘flow,’ often described as the ‘arrow of time,’ but that flow is subjective and personal.
The reality of the time bound is the reality created by the ego, and it’s thought be, by most of us as the only reality, but for some, the invisible world is the primary reality out of which all other realities are created; realities which arise out of every moment of now. The story, I like to describe as, ‘ducks don’t do anger,’ tells how two ducks fighting over a piece of bread, after a short bit of angry nipping at each other, are able to just swim away, and unlike their human observers aren’t holding a grudge, feeling resentment or feeding their anger.
The questions arise, can meditation help us embrace this shadow side of our humanness and if so how?
When anger is repressed it can transform into hatred, a transformation that occurs when we feel we’ve been especially wronged.
And in situations where find gross inhumanity, it becomes possible to transform angry passion into acts of compassion. So, how do we move from anger and hatred of our enemies, to a place, if not of love, at least of tolerance?
Anger is a natural emotion, but when it turns to hatred, a natural emotion becomes distorted.
Even when someone commits a horrendous offense against you, which would seem to justify seeking revenge, you are doing harm to yourself by harboring built-up anger.
Once you see that the problem is built-up anger, and that anger is irrational and destructive, there is an incentive to release it. This is not Deepak’s first time in the gaming world, though this is the most ambitious partnering.
Gaming requires players to follow rules, make quick decisions and complete numerous tasks, so it’s no wonder that it sharpens mental skills. While gaming can be good mental exercise, to improve your cognitive health you still need physical exercise, good nutrition and stress management. Somewhat like Wii Fit or other games like Flower, Leela will have minigames that get more difficult over time, but it will not have scores or other competitive aspects. THQ had a difficult time converting Chopra’s idea into anything resembling an entertaining game. ”We wanted to make sure each of the movements was fun and replayable,” said Peter Armstrong, director of product development at THQ. The list goes on, everything from better hand-eye coordination to imagination boost, so it would seem, it’s not playing video games that can have a negative influence on the player, it’s what video games are played. His first real ‘journey’ into gaming, “Journey to Wild Divine,” uses biofeedback technology, and is advertised as a “meditation adventure for the mind and body.”  Having used, and thoroughly enjoyed, ‘Wild Devine’ I can say honestly that I’m looking forward to the November 8th release of Leela for the Xbox 360 and Wii. In every moment of our existence, we are in that field of all possibilities where we have access to an infinity of choices.
It’s learning how to move through thought and into meditation, that’s the practice, it’s learning you can meditate even when there are thoughts in the mind. Consciousness minus thoughts is God.” The practice is to point the restless mind in the proper direction, which we do by bringing the mind to and object of focus, and gently return it, each of the thousands of times it wonders off. Only then, when the mind touches pure awareness, will the real storehouse of Veda be located. It’s through the light of awareness which is created in meditation that allows us to release all the old emotional and habitual baggage, to free ourselves of the samskaras. What happen instead is, meditation allows these mental blockages, emotional struggles and deep seeded feelings to rise to the surface of our conscious awareness, where once light is shed on them they begin to dissipate into the ether. You become the clear sky, unaffected by the clouds of thought as they drift through the vast expanse your serein space. This ‘self’ is consistently vacillating between our interior ‘voice,’ the self-talk going on in our heads all the time, and our exterior stream of consciousness, except in those rare moment when we slip into being, those moments of pure awareness. It’s this escape from our continuous ‘running critique’ that is what seems to be the catalyst for our pleasure.
The link between the two experiences, however, has been that’s recognized by the practitioners of the wisdom traditions for millennia. It lights up during orgasm—so much so that, in one study, much of the cortex went dark, leaving the right prefrontal cortex as a bright island. The left is most active when recalling happy memories, meditating on love for another, and during the expansiveness of grandiosity or mania.
If the brain were a simpler and more cooperative organ, the left hemisphere would be lit up like the Fourth of July during an orgasm. Despite our public fascination with things sexual, as researcher, Gemma O’Brien put it, “orgasm is not impersonal and third person enough for the sciences.” Neuroscience was hobbled by the avoidance of such squashy topics, even if it meant setting aside important parts of human experience. Roy Baumeister wrote an entire book devoted to the premise that self-awareness is frequently a burden. It begs the questions, why would you want too and what could it possibly add to the experience?
We will all, at some point in our lives, suffer, loss, grief and loneliness, because it is part of the inevitable process of life. With meditation you become aware of your thoughts, images and memories which keep reoccurring and you open yourself up to the whole range of experiences that surround suffering.
To aid in this repair, close your eyes and see white light surrounding you like a bubble or cocoon.
The problem of loneliness, which exists for countless people, requires deeper healing than simply seeking out company.
As an adult, loneliness becomes more existential – it feels as if you have been abandoned, yet you cannot say by whom. Sit quietly for a moment, placing your attention on your heart, at the center of your chest under the breastbone. 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. 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. 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.
How interchangeable the words, love and meditation, are and when they merge the experience becomes powerful and transformative. I’m saying this in the same with the same caveat that the author of this post, Jean Fain, used, that being, my knowledge of this wonderful teacher has been from a distance, through books, Cd’s and large group meditations. Not because Kempton listens carefully or laughs easily, though I’m partial to anyone who can do either in this crazy-busy world. Because of that, we got to talking about our shared interests: eating, meditating and loving. My favorite is to let the breath draw your attention to the upper chest, behind the breast bone, right to the physical heart.
Living with an open, loving heart in this sometimes cold, cruel world sounds scary and difficult, if not impossible.
He’s a former Buddhist monk and was called by The Times of London, “Britain’s top meditation guru,” but likes to think of himself as an anti-guru. Headspace is, “a project to demystify meditation, to make it accessible, practical and relevant to your life,” a site that offers a number of the ‘meditation for beginners’ type videos. Puddicombe has already struck a chord in the United Kingdom, where he has become something of a Dr. Puddicombe is “doing for meditation what someone like Jamie Oliver has done for food.” And like Mr. He left the monastic life to teach meditation and to fulfil what he believes is his vocation, “to bring meditation [or ‘mindfulness’, as it’s often called] to as many people as possible, and especially to people who wouldn’t usually consider it”. The Beatles were the first to popularise meditation in the UK in the Sixties, but it’s only now that it has reached its tipping point. Cheap, portable and scientifically proven to be a powerful defence against stress and anxiety, it’s the perfect self-help treatment for the current convergence of tough times and post-consumerist values. I sit on a chair with my back straight but relaxed, my feet on the floor and my hands resting on my stomach.


If you want to check out the mindfulness training techniques taught in the Headspace program, you can check out Andy’s, “Get Some Headspace,” book at Amazon. Without space, we live from the reptilian part of our brains, the amygdala, or fear center of our brain. According to the authors we simply take the time needed to learn how to relax our body and mind. The short answer is, yes; at least as far as the physiological and psychological effects are concerned.
There are numerous biofeedback games, from Deepak Chopra’s, “The Wild Divine Project,” which is a guided imagery meditation product, to the institute of HeartMath’s “emWave2” machine, all very effective in evoking the relaxation response. The Ohio researchers found that players of this type of game became more calm and considerate during the game.
Students had previously rated all these games as being equally enjoyable and exciting to play. The winner would be awarded a small financial sum; the loser would be punished with a brief noise blast. Then, their experimenter told them their study was over, but that he would welcome their help sharpening pencils. Through meditation you become increasingly conscious of the place in you which? is silent, whole , creative, the place where you make choices that bring peace, love and meaning to your life. A metronome is a piece of equipment that musicians use to help them stay on track with a particular beat. But you can use your noodle to turn down the volume on agonizing aches, whether you’ve got back pain, arthritis or other day-in, day-out discomfort.
And in reducing your stress you improve your immune function helping your speed up your recovery rate. You need to know and accept who you are now, especially if you want to transform any aspect of your life.
And the act of being able to graciously receive is as necessary as giving, especially when receiving life’s most precious gifts like love, appreciation, laughter, wisdom, support or joy. Deva Premal, a classically trained musician, truly offers a meditative and spiritual interpretation of this mantra. The balance that needs to be maintained is not confusing sensual awareness with sensual indulgence.
This is believed to be as the result of anti-stress response and the lower production of cortisol a dangerous stress hormone. Second, that within each of us there exist a quality that is a part of this greater reality. Whatever language that is used to describe this sacred reality, it’s the reason, meaning and purpose of life. Known to the Hindus as Atman, to the Buddhist as Buddha nature, to the Christians as Soul and to Jews as the Divine spark within. However we choose to acknowledge it, whether we are Christian and seek to embody the Holy Spirit or like the Sufi mystic long to unite with it, there is a natural and deep desire to realize this deeper reality.
Meditation allows the mind to become quiet and experience the silence and peace of pure awareness. All meditative practices, from mantra meditation to mindfulness, seek presence, either as deep inner awareness or being wholly present in the moment.
Anger can rise out of fear, pain, sorrow; anger can be a cry for attention or help, it may be an expression of grief, loneliness or a desire for love. Meditation invites us in to witness the anger, and in that process of witnessing anger, begin to evaporate it. This, however, can be a slippery slope, because justification can, also, become rational, and rational can be used to justify irrational acts. A person can begin to cross the divide, talking to his enemy and realizing that both share a common psychology. If you express your anger by acting it out, mentally or physically, none of the energy will be released. Instead, it will be more about learning how to better do the exercises and enjoy the soothing visuals and music.
Regular Xbox or Wii gamers may not be interested in a meditation game, while Chopra’s followers may not own a video game system.
They say, “I am a wave,” but the greater truth, which they don’t see, is, “I am ocean.” There is no separation between the two, whatever the wave might suppose. The whole trick is not to move horizontally, which is how the stream of consciousness normally moves, but to sink vertically.
Even though you have achieved it through sex, it itself has no sexuality in it,” he once said. New research suggests the right hemisphere is also hyperactive amongst the “hypersexual,” a symptom of brain injury loosely defined as groping, propositioning or masturbating in public without shame. William James described the self as that kernel of consciousness that persists throughout various experiences and sensations. Across cultures, we blunt awareness with alcohol, drugs, auto-hypnotic rituals and when times are dire, suicide. The answer is, meditation will enhance your lovemaking tremendously by giving it your complete attention and full awareness, by being fully present in the moment.
The second answer says that we humans suffer from the inside out and is the result of sin and ‘wrongdoing,’ which cause us to feel shame and guilt.
With awareness there is the opportunity to transform suffering and you may discover that your emotions are not as overpowering or infinite as you feared.
Visualize the light filling the entire space within you, seeking out rifts, tears, holes, and gaps.
Loneliness can happen in a crowd and may feel most intense when you find yourself alone on a packed city street. When you are settled, repeat the word “peace” silently, and see its influence radiating out from your body in all directions.
Feel your heart as a soft, warm enclosure; settle there with your attention, and rest as long as you wish. 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. Certainly, her likability has nothing to do with the fact that Gilbert counts herself as one of Kempton’s followers. But you were following in the footsteps of your dad [the late Newsday columnist Murray Kempton.] Why did you trade journalism for meditation? Many students tell me when they make this practice a part of their life, they’re better able to navigate difficult situations. He was trying out his message — that inner peace can be achieved in meditation sessions shorter than the average cab ride — on an invitation-only audience of harried fashion editors, hedge funders and advertising executives. Puddicombe, 38, has made a career of promoting a quick and easy, religion-free brand of meditation, aimed at busy professionals who would ordinarily recoil at the smell of incense. A growing body of respected research over the past 20 years has suggested that meditation improves a range of psychological and biological functions, including blood pressure, sleep patterns, stress control and levels of serotonin, the happy hormone. You understand how much the same we all are.” He is just as focused on his non-celebrity clients, and has started a new not-for-profit project called Headspace, which aims to make meditation “accessible and practical”, meaning free from mystery, jargon and religion.
It’s not about being caught up in never-ending cycle of thoughts that seems to occupy our every waking day.
And, I believe, that the relaxation response can be a gateway to higher states of consciousness. Before each trial, participants could determine how much their competitors would receive if they won, and how strong a noise blast they would receive if they lost. It’s best to put yourself in a quite environment where you can sit quietly with your eyes closed without being disturbed.
It also helps control your alpha rhythms, a type of brain wave that blocks out distracting information. When we are more self-aware, it also means we have the opportunity to become less self-critical and allowing ourselves to open to receiving. While the words used to describe it differ, all the traditions agree that there is something that connects us all to the greater reality.
Numerous studies also show the many health benefits of meditation, including lowered blood pressure, stress reduction and increased immune function. In cases where horrible crimes have been committed, the higher goal is to seek justice, not revenge. Called Leela, a word that means “play” in Sanskrit, the game uses Microsoft’s Kinect or the Wii Remote to combine the world of games with breathing and meditation exercises, reports the AP. In one exercise called the “root chakra,” players must tilt their hips to seed a plant on the screen. With console prices as high as $400, plus the price of the game, only the most devoted may spend the money to pick this up. When the wave settles down, then it instantly recognizes that its source in ocean – infinite, silent, unchanging – was always there. Bliss, both sacred and profane, shares the diminution of self-awareness, alterations in bodily perception and decreased sense of pain. The self is divided between the stream of consciousness and an internal observer—except in those rare moments when we dissolve into mysticism.
Meditation offers relief from this self-preoccupation and one of the few tools for creating a durable boost in happiness—perhaps by dampening activity in regions implicated in judgment, comparison, planning and self-scrutiny.
The third and last answer is the one based on transformation, which says that within suffering there is a hidden spiritual message, the seeds of the transformation and that makes it very different from the first two. The tenth day is preparation for reentry into the everyday world, and the course end on the morning of the eleventh day. It was, apparently, a way of gaining strength from everyone undergoing the same process simultaneously. And it’s these alpha waves that create the patterns which minimize distractions reducing the chance that other stimuli will get the meditators attention. If anything, claims to fame only raise expectations, making the subject of such claims harder, not easier to like. Rather than simply agreeing to disagree, you’ll see that our unspoken agreement is to the open, honest and playful exchange of ideas. My writing simply morphed as my priorities morphed… What changed my trajectory was a spontaneous and very radical awakening of my heart, which arrived out of nowhere and shifted my priorities in an instant. In the book, I suggest a path of playfulness and experimentation that helps people get past barriers and deeper into the exquisite spaciousness of their inner world. But if you kindle love in your meditation, it not only makes your practice juicy, it begins to spill out into your actions and interactions with other people.
He teaches techniques that can be practiced on a crowded subway or even while wolfing a sandwich (albeit, mindfully) during a quick lunch break at your desk.
His new book, “Get Some Headspace: 10 Minutes Can Make All the Difference,” was part of a three-book deal that earned him an advance in the mid-six figures, in dollars.
In September, Channel 4 in Britain will start a series of 10-minute meditation videos that he stars in. At the Industria event, Mr Puddicombe was not promising spiritual enlightenment, only a technique that combines steady breathing with mind-focusing exercises. The evidence is now so overwhelming that in 2007 it was approved for use in the NHS and independent healthcare — many of Puddicombe’s private clients come to him through GP referral, and he uses it to help with anything from depression and eating disorders to addictions. It will feature group-training events and interactive online resources including podcasts and MP3 downloads. When you step out of that, it brings a sense of profound relaxation, and lets you experience any activity — from your work to eating a sandwich — more directly and more intimately.” Meditation has two main effects on the mind, “calm and clarity”. The first step is becoming aware of it, and then to count each breath as it comes and goes up to ten, and then to start again.
Even a second’s amount of space allows us to breathe and grab our mental blankie, if you will, so that we can respond with a higher evolved part of the brain. Even after his leg was amputated, doctors gave him a five percent chance of living beyond five years. Listen to birds in the sky, smell the grass around you, feel the warmth of the sun hitting your skin.
Once you’ve set the pace, close your eyes and put your attention on the space between the ticks. Practicing mindfulness a few minutes daily boosts your ability to focus by tuning out distractions … like, yes, pain signals, and fears about pain — both mess with your memory. The “heart chakra” has players use their hands to direct fireballs that destroy rocks to release hidden gems. We would show those to Deepak and some of his experts, but there were several instances where they just didn’t work. And while the left frontal lobe may be linked to pleasure, the other three characteristics are bilateral.
Left prefrontal cortex activation correlates with happiness and Tibetan Buddhist monks have created the greatest measured spike in activity in this region produced by simple thought when meditating on compassion. The problem was, I couldn’t hold onto the open-heart space because my mind was so unruly.
It helps them deal with an unruly teenager, an out-of-control manager, a lot of situations in which they’d ordinarily be reactive. Despite his Dalai Lama-esque shaved head, he could be mistaken for a nightclubbing striker for the Tottenham Hotspur soccer team, with his sleek sports jackets from Uniqlo and shirts that show off his muscular build.
Finding calm is often what brings people to meditation, “but the greater, long-term benefit is clarity.
To begin with I’m thinking of other things at the same time — did I send off my car insurance ?
Probably because staying attentive to the moment requires that you be free of judgment, like Damn it.
When all of your attention gets focused on this, you can’t possibly think of anything else. As you put your attention on your current moment, you will start to get a blissful feeling.
Yet much of this letting go happens only at the mental level, which isn’t adequate to the hot, violent feelings being held inside. Generally these are memories where you feel that an injustice has been committed against you. Like every strong emotion, anger believes in itself; it wants to stick around and keep telling you its story. The reported depth of meditation also corresponds to activity in the brain’s pleasure centers, such as left forebrain bundle, anterior insula and precentral gyrus. It gradually allows you to still your mind; you understand what is really causing you stress and become more self-aware”. Because so many cancer patients were coming to him for advice, he founded The Gawler Foundation, which provides holistic healing retreats for cancer patients. This will seem to happen out of nowhere, but it is a good indication that you have reached a meditative state. When other thoughts, feelings and sensations crop up, acknowledge them, then gently re-focus on your breathing. In fact, when anger management training brings up old hostility without giving a way to release it, attempts at controlling anger fail miserably. To get past this allure, stop paying attention to the story and the rationales attached to it. This overt pleasure is accompanied by a shift in emotional self-regulation; meditators are more aware of thoughts and feelings conceptually, but less emotionally disrupted by them, according to one study. I have to “re-enter” the conversation slowly — it feels as if I’ve been in a different room, and for longer than ten minutes.
If I can feel noticeably different after ten minutes in a strange office with someone I’ve just met, what could daily practice do for me?
If your mind ever starts to drift, all you need to do is gently guide your attention back to your breathing. This may require an experienced guide, because the pivotal moment is psychologically slippery. What I share in the book is the approach that let me do that along with a lot of practices, some classical, some fairly original. Like when the doctor comes after your knee with that rubber thing, and you almost kick him in the nose without even trying to move your leg.
Meditation doesn’t empty your mind but it creates space between the thoughts so the surface can be calm and we can see our reflection more clearly.” Many people find it helps to give them direction and makes them more focused and creative.
You don’t engage in your usual obsessive thinking … theoretically … so you don’t obsess about your not obsessing.



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