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Concentration: The initial stages of training in Zazen usually emphasize concentration, by focusing on the breath often aided by counting.
Just Sitting (Shikantaza): Shikantaza is objectless meditation, in which the practitioner does not use any specific objects, anchors, or content of meditation, but uses the power developed in concentration to remain aware of thoughts that arise and pass in the present moment without any interference.
By practice one by one, the practitioner learns to regulate the body, then the breath and finally to regulate the mind. The posture of Zazen is seated, with folded legs and hands, and an erect but settled spine. Burmese Position: a cross-legged posture in which legs are crossed and both feet rest flat on the floor. Half-lotus Position (Hankafuza): Left foot is placed up onto the right thigh and the right leg is tucked under the left thigh.
One should improve the sitting posture over the period of time and can use even chair to sit in the beginning.
Counting: The beginners can utilize the technique of count, counting each inhalation and exhalation until they get to ten. Time: If sitting longer is an issue due to physical discomfort or the practical constraint of time, start with around 15 minutes.
It is better to give the gap of around 2 hours after taking the meal to sit for Meditation. The aim of Zazen is to suspend all judgmental thinking and letting words, ideas, opinions, images and thoughts pass by without getting involved in them.
Meditation has to be practiced on a daily basis if we want to achieve satisfactory results.
If you are going to sit down to meditate the most powerful and beneficial thing is to do it at a fixed time in the day.
On ending the day you can return to that space of silence and put aside any thought that is negative, useless, weak, connected to the actions and situations that you have lived through in the entire day.
To include meditation in your daily routine, the starting point is knowledge, understanding and becoming aware.
There are more than 8500 Raja Yoga (Brahma Kumaris) meditation centers in more than 130 countries that offer these maps and help the person to begin with their meditation practice. Everybody has heard of the wonders of meditation and meditative techniques like Pranic healing and Reiki that are often considered to be much akin to ‘magic’.
Alpha meditation elevates your mind to the level that lies between being completely awake and nearly asleep.
One of the techniques is to imagine the number three, three times, followed by the number two and then one, each occurring three times. Alpha meditation takes control of all the hidden power within you, mobilises it and gives it a direction. Relaxation techniques are used to reduce stress and help you enjoy a healthier quality of life and create positive affects on the body-mind. As a member of the baby boomer generation and a long time meditator, I have had the opportunity to experience, first hand, the long and the short term benefits of meditation on my wellbeing. Let’s face it, if you’re a baby boomer then you know you’ve started to slow down in the last few years, and while aging doesn’t have to be accompanied by, any health issues, depression, or the loss of desire, ambition and joy, however, it often is. We know that to enjoy the latter half of our lives we need to take care of ourselves, and how important it is to be physically active and eat right.
One of the more recent findings, regarding meditation and aging, has to do with a simple structure at the end of our chromosomes, the telomeres, which help maintain the optimal health of our cells and genes. In an earlier study the way older adults defined, for themselves, successful aging (which was considered a critical component for well-being) was in alignment with the six characteristics psychological wellbeing offered by Dr. Another benefit of a regular meditation practice is improved cognitive function, and because there are such a large number of us in baby boomer generation the numbers who are thought to suffer from cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) will be proportionally large. A study published in the “Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease,” tested meditation’s effects on cognitive function and cerebral blood flow in people exhibiting memory loss. In the end those who practiced meditation regularly, even for short periods of time, on measures of associative learning, cognitive skills, mental health, and aging, fare much better than those who don’t. Is there really a meditation benefit that could result in a reduction in our healthcare cost? Mind-body fitness is the ultimate goal when it comes to developing a comprehensive approach to wellness and meditation is a key component in this approach because of its stress reliving effects.
So if the solution to a dysfunctional system is to avert illness, then what approaches provide proven results? Imagine that everyday, we slam on our brakes continuously, never change our oil, and overlook all maintenance. During these difficult economic times, companies are struggling to provide medical benefits, and consumers are having to pay more out of pocket. Different types of meditation exercises may be more effective than others for specific health problems; meditation benefits are on the whole undeniable. At Harvard University researchers analyzed blood samples and found that there was a difference in how genes expressed themselves between meditators and a control group. The conclusion of the Harvard study was that there is verifiable scientific proof that meditation has positive genetic effects influencing cell metabolism as well as a positive response to oxidative stress. There is a new blood test that measures the length of the telomeres, which can be used to measure how fast a person is aging. Stress hormones, which play an important part in aging, are regulated by RNA, which is a copy of the DNA.
Meditation may not be the actual fountain of youth, and yet, because of the meditation benefit for our DNA created by relieving the symptoms of stress and helping us to let go of our daily anxieties, meditation, just may be as close as we can come. Outside the biologists test tubes and flasks, DNA gets influenced by your every thought, feeling, and action.

The benefits of meditation are therefore in direct contrast with so-called “modern” medicine which is carried out hurriedly, aggressively and using expressions such as “It is useless to look elsewhere, there is nothing else that can be done ”. People have meditated for years and enjoyed better health (and a slower aging process) but many others have been skeptical as to its benefits. Enjoy a couple of You Tube Videos that use binaural beats so your DNA can kick back and relax.
Insomnia is a growing and widespread health problem around the globe, a problem that tends to become worse as we age.
Meditation practiced in the evening before bed is a wonderful way to prepare for sleep, because allows the mind to settle so that the transition from waking to sleep is easy and natural.
Insomnia is a big deal these days for more and more people are getting affected by it in the process. If you find that you really can’t sleep or if you find yourself wide awake in the middle of the night, try getting out of bed and meditating.
The first video is light and airy, met, as the title indicates, for stress reduction, to be used as a relaxation meditation technique. The second is music of traditional Buddhist meditation healing chants for relaxation and good health. Then  third video takes you on a journey into deep inner awareness, with a Native American electronic feel. You can make listening to music a meditation itself, by mindful of the music in the same way you are mindful of the breath and listen with full attention.
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Koan consists of a word, phrase , statement, dialogue,  story, anecdote, or question, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking but may be accessible through intuition. The eyelids can be half-lowered, the eyes being neither fully open nor shut so that the practitioner is not distracted by outside objects but at the same time is kept awake. Establish for yourself a concrete timetable for your meditation and try not to change it, let it be your time reserved for this practice.
It is not possible to begin this journey without some kind of map that indicates the route that we have to follow, so that one is not lost in a sea of thoughts. But almost everyone who hasn’t seen this ‘magic’ firsthand seem to be sceptical of its powers at first.
To do this, seat yourself in a comfortable position and take deep breaths in and out to root yourself.
However once your mind is clear you can take control of these stresses and solve your problems without allowing them to cause you any stress. Once you have reached there you can use visualization techniques to send your brain signals.
It allows you to direct your subconscious mind, which has a tendency to stray away from your true goals, to your goal in life.
The best known of these benefits is stress reduction, but as we pass midlife, meditation becomes so much more than a simple stress reduction practice and instead can become an important part of our overall health regiment.
And now it’s becoming increasingly evident, the third key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle, and aging successfully, is meditation.
Because we don’t all age at the same rate, three different measures of age have used to describe the aging process. Self-Acceptance: You learn to compassionately accept yourself as you are and accept others as they are as well. Self Confidence: You have the perception that you can handle whatever comes your way with strength and grace.
The results showed a “number of significant changes in the preprogram baseline and the post program baseline scans in the” group practicing a specific type of meditation. So if you meditate, not only will you live longer, but you will think clearer, you will be less likely to suffer from depression and will feel a greater sense of joy and well-being. But if we meditate regularly, we can still experience peace of mind regardless of our responsibilities,” says Dr.
A number of the genes were involved in the body’s response to ‘oxidative stress’ and cellular metabolism. In a 2010 study, meditation was shown to have a positive effect on telomerase activity in the immune cells.
The hope being that maybe the test will motivate people to take action, or better yet sit quietly and meditate, to improve their health. Budzynski has done extensive research on learning and suggestion when the brain is in a theta state. Look at your hand and ask yourself… “Am I this hand?” You will get an answer from within… No. Zen emphasizes experiential wisdom in the attainment of enlightenment and de-emphasizes theoretical knowledge in favor of direct self-realization through meditation. Since koans are, ostensibly, not solvable by intellectual reasoning, koan introspection is designed to shortcut the intellectual process leading to direct realization of a reality beyond thought. Although Meditation happens in mind and not in the sitting posture, so one should not stuck up in having an ideal sitting posture.
The eyes are kept lowered, with the gaze resting on the ground about two or three feet in front of body. By keeping the back straight, the diaphragm is allowed to move freely, which results in deeper, easier and natural breathing.
But not to worry, once you master the art of alpha meditation you’ll be able to practice these wonders over your very own body! To some all this will sound like gibberish spoken by gypsies and spiritual healers etc who are turn out to be phony.

Thus, with the help of this technique you achieve a spiritual centre that helps you balance out your problems.
Elizabeth Blackburn (who was awarded the prize for her work on telomere biology), along with her associate, Dr.
You want to live at home and not have to go an assisted living facility, for example, later in life.
Certainly, on a personal level meditation will impact an individual’s health care coast, which if practiced by enough people, could have an impact on the overall health care system. The health benefits of meditation have been shown not only to prevent heart disease but to reverse those effects.
Over time, however, the neglect will show — sometimes subtly and other times dramatically.
One of our biological responses to mental and emotional stress is oxidative stress, which produces free radicals. To explain this hypothesis has been formed that meditation could help to achieve a very good state of balance in biochemical development which would maximize the efficient use of DNA to induce itself to self-repair. Theta, Budzynski suggested, is the state in which superlearning takes place—when in theta, …. Almost one in five adults suffers the consequences of poor sleep, which causes daytime fatigue and affect the quality of our lives. One of the benefits of meditation is that as your regular meditation practice develops, worries and anxieties begin to diminish and as a consequence sleep comes more easily. Zazen calms the mind and increases the ability to concentrate enough to experience insight into the nature of existence and thereby gain Enlightenment (Satori).
When beginners reach the level of reaching to the count of ten without getting disturbed by thoughts, they can start to count an inhalation and exhalation as one instead of two. It is good to meditate every day for some time, in the morning and at night, to start cleansing or purifying.
Connecting with the best of your being helps you to live more consciously, so that you can relate to others with greater peacefulness, positivity, flexibility, value and efficiency. However alpha meditation has been scientifically proven to help your mind heal your body and its diseases!
By practicing alpha meditation daily you can not only improve your body’s physical and spiritual state but you can also improve your life and its condition. Second, and closer to our ‘real’ age, is our biological age, a measurement of the functioning of our physiological systems in comparison to the average of the same aged population, and the final type of measurement are the biomarkers of age based on all our different biochemical and physiological measurements and then compared to the group averages of all ages. So while we may not be able to ‘turn a Toyota into a Ford,’ meditation may allow us to go from a Ford focus to a Lincoln. Eventually practitioners can just concentrate on the breath, without any need of the counting. Zazen settles the mind in its original state of purity and clarity, from where one can see the world as it is.
In that space of introversion you can connect with your original spiritual qualities, recharging your inner batteries with positive thoughts for the day that you are beginning. The daily practice of meditation in order to prepare the day in the morning and to clean and clarify at night keeps the mind healthy. Imagine yourself at work achieving success, imagine your headaches going away or yourself having the best hour’s sleep in a few minutes! While before you were faced with a stack of failures and disappointments, now you will feel the wheels turn as fortune hands you out a better hand.
In one recent study, practicing mindfulness meditation for six hoursa day, for three months in a retreat setting, increased telomere length and enhanced PWB. If, on the other hand, our bodies are Fords our transmissions may be fine, but our brakes will no longer function.
The hands form an oval, which can rest on the upturned soles of feet if sitting full lotus or rest on thighs if sitting in Burmese or any other position. Once the mind is able to be unhindered by its many layers, one will then be able to uncover and realize one's true nature or Buddha nature.
This is the state that stands at the threshold of a deep slumber, one that will allows you to wake up refreshed and say “Now this is a beautiful morning!” Alpha meditation uses this state of your mind to achieve tricks that you can’t even dream of!
In two studies in which I’ve been involved, one published and one presented in abstract form at the conference in Sweden, it was revealed that PWB can be increased by practicing a simple twelve minute meditation called Kirtan Kriya (KK).
If we had to exert ourselves eight hours continuously, without relief, our time at work would eventually become unbearable. In the end, we’re all going to wear out, but the speed and how that deterioration manifests itself will be different for each person. Regardless of our own DNA, however, reducing stress significantly elevates everyone’s chances of living longer and experiencing less wear. Over the long term, we reduce overall stress, and this, I believe, is one of the main reasons that meditation increases physical health,” he says. In the same way that you eat and bathe every day, you learn to nourish and cleanse your spirit or soul by meditating. The time that you devote to meditation, you get back, because it increases your concentration, focus, clarity, efficiency and determination in action. They are acknowledging the research: meditation increases concentration and decreases stress.

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