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The word meditation can immediately conjure images of Buddhist monks in saffron robes or new-age beatniks in clouds of incense — which isn’t necessarily untrue. Buddhists have long known the benefits meditation has on the body, mind and soul, which may be even more relevant today in our constantly connected, busy world. Meditation has been shown to increase gray matter in the brain — particularly in areas associated with muscle control, sensory perception, memory, emotions and speech. A study conducted by the Laboratory for the Neuroscientific Investigation of Meditation and Mind-Body Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital found that people who meditated at least 30 minutes a day for eight weeks increased gray matter density in their hippocampus — the part of the brain associated with learning and memory. MRI brain scans on the participants (10 female and six male with a mean age of 38) also showed reduced gray matter in the amygdala, a region connected to anxiety and stress.
Regular mindfulness may even slow age-related thinning of the frontal cortex, which means less forgetfulness over the years. There are also many ways meditation improves quality of life that can’t be as objectively tested.
Mindful meditation, also called vipassana, is the heart of Buddhist meditation and the most widely practiced form in Southeast Asia. To begin the practice of mindful meditation, find a quiet room with few sensory distractions. Then close your eyes and connect with your breath by focusing on your breathing without trying to direct it; just pay attention to its natural movement. Sharon Salzberg, cofounder of the Insight Meditation Society, says you could actually choose any object of awareness (a sound, an image, a mantra) to rest your attention on, and gently return to it whenever your mind wanders. During your meditation, you may experience feelings of frustration, boredom, fear, anxiety, pain or anger — this is all normal.
The key is not to bring “the burden of intense self-judgment into the practice with you,” says Salzberg. As you continue your practice and develop an ability to settle more with the breath, Salzberg says you should apply the same calm, interested attention to a range of things you experience. Whatever level you’re at, but especially when you’re just beginning, it’s important to practice every day. Although it might sound easy, meditation is in fact hard work and it takes a lot of practice to get better. In a society of competition, constant stress, over-stimulation through media, and perhaps bullying at school, it can be a challenge to make sure that kids are always happy. Longitudinal research proves that today’s youth experience higher levels of pressure and stress compared to previous generations. In a world of sensory overload and school, family and internal pressures, kids need meditation as much as adults.


When you teach your kids to meditate you’ll be helping them to stay mentally strong and healthy. The most well-known benefit of meditation is that it decreases stress levels, and recent research published in the journal of Health Psychology shows that meditating also decreases the stress hormone cortisol. Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara found that college students who were trained in basic meditation performed better on the verbal reasoning section of the GRE, and also experienced improvements in their working memory.If you’re currently studying at high school or college, then you’ll definitely be interested in this fact! Chakra Science A more scientific approach to chakras focusing on the physical and rational ideas behind chakra study. To give yourself more tools to use in your personal time and to start to balance your chakra centers and become a more full being, you can work at home with self study courses and chakra healing kits designed for people looking to explore this area of power and give themselves the benefit of chakra energy.It is essential for personal health and prosperity for chakra to be in balance, it isn't hard to do, but you have to do it!
Similar to how we do bicep curls to develop our arms, meditation tones and strengthens the mind. Only recently have scientific studies been able to delineate the effects it has on the brain, including stress reduction, improved attention and productivity, better memory and even increased creativity and feelings of compassion. Though there is yet to be a happiness barometer, anecdotal evidence suggests meditation can impact how you approach life, how you react to things, and how you interact with others. It emphasizes mindfulness and develops an awareness that is carried into every aspect of your daily experience. Set a timer for five minutes (or 10, or 15 — it doesn’t matter) and sit comfortably on the floor or in a chair. Your breath is your anchor to the present moment and will guide you back when your mind wanders off in thought.
Count one breath in, one breath out, and continue through 10 breaths, then return to one again. You’ll begin to become hyperaware of the state of your body — the tensions it carries, its energy, its pain — and sensations that your busy life may have kept you from noticing previously. This form uses phrases of friendliness to evoke genuine feelings of love and compassion toward yourself, your loved ones, strangers and even your enemies. Zen Habits blogger, Leo Babauta, stresses the importance of forming the habit by beginning with just two minutes a day.
But just like training for a marathon or playing an instrument, the more you do it, the easier it becomes.
Meditation helps kids develop focus, regulate their own emotions and learn how to pay attention inside and out. By teaching meditation to kids you help them stay calm and focused. Regular meditation will allow you to become more focused, or “zen”, and as a result your brain will have better control over processing pain and emotions.This isn't just speculation, this is according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.


So even science can prove what some people believed to be “mumbo jumbo”!When you think about it, it makes sense that meditation relieves stress, as it's basically an exercise in relaxation.
The visual representation of the colors and locations of the chakra energy centers is one of those tools that say so much with just one image.
In some cases, it can allow you to see things more clearly (including yourself), fill you with a sense of calm, and help you to better deal with the variegated demands of the modern world. Some refer to it as “the art of living” — awakening from autopilot, discovering the true self, being present, and finding the capacity to live more wisely, more lovingly and more fully. Buddhist monk and meditation teacher Jack Kornfield says to “sit with the quiet dignity of a king or queen.” Just remember, keep the body upright, but not uptight. This process helps connect your mind to your breath, especially when thoughts can sometimes break your concentration. You could watch the flicker of a candle flame, or chant the popular mantra, “om.” Experiment until you find what suits you. You may get caught up in expectations of what your experience should be, or doubt that you’re “doing it right.” Todd Goldfarb, blogger and social entrepreneur at Worldwide Tipping Point and We the Change, says to throw those ideas out and simply practice observing what arises in each moment. In the same way you’ve focused attention on your breath, you’ll be able to gently move that focus to this tension and release it. And just think, in as little as two minutes, a happier outlook can be yours for the taking.
From time to time I will be updating this guide so follow me on my Facebook Profile or Twitter for updates.
Meditation is proven to be good for your emotional wellbeing; after all, who actually likes pain? Remember, stress can lead to a lot of serious health problems like strokes, coronary disease, and high blood pressure, with that in mind meditation is great for your overall health.
The point is not to prevent your mind from straying, but rather, bring it back to the present when it does.



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