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Meditation For Health

21 May marked World Meditation Day.

Meditation has been part of my life in some form or another since my early 20's.

It is so much more than just sitting still for an extended period of time and contemplating your navel.

I have used many different forms of meditation over the years and have found the benefits tremendous.

The earliest form of meditation I used was guided meditations. This was in my early 20's and my introduction was though John Kehoe. Mind Power into the 21st century. He opened my mind to new possibilities of being. Using the power of the subconscious mind to align to new potentials. Using meditation to access the subconscious to reprogram habits and beliefs.

Following this I found Transcendental Meditation. 20 minutes, twice a day, chanting a mantra. Using the breath and continuously noticing thoughts that arise to then move back to the mantra.

At the time I experienced this I was not ready for this level of meditation - I was still in my mid 20's and this was in stark contrast to the guided meditations I had become accustomed to. This was only me and my thoughts. I lapsed into a period of non meditation after this. That is until my early 30's. I had discovered Zazen. Zen meditation was a practical guide to finding that stillness but at a pace I could manage. Some days I would sit for 5 minutes, some days for 10. Just being patient in the process. I still did guided meditations but had found a different way to connect conscious and subconscious.

It was only in my mid 30's that I started exploring yogic meditation and pranayama that I was able to sit for more extended periods of time in silent meditation. I often coupled my practice by moving through different levels. Chanting, breath work (pranayama) and then period of quietening the mind. There are so many breath meditations and chants you can use within the yogic tradition. Mantra's, mudras and pranayama to achieve various states of connection.

I still so clearly remember a meditation I encountered at a buddhist retreat. The bhikkhunī shared the most beautiful meditation. The jist was that I am the mountain, the seasons change, but the mountain stands. It was such a profound experience. Meditation has the power to connect us to a place we don't know existed and allows us to recall that place when the storms rage and we need to call on that inner calm.

Here is a link to a similar meditation script. I often take meditation scripts and record them as a voice note so I can use it as a guided meditation later.

I think for someone starting out meditation can feel so daunting, it most certainly did to me, but the reality is there is so many ways to meditate. The trick is to find a way that works for you and the truth is that might look different on different days. There is no right or wrong. Just finding your way to connect to self.

Here are some meditation techniques you can investigate and some great guided meditation teachers I have been following over the years.

Guided meditation - Wayne Dyer, Joe Dispenza, John Kehoe

Movement meditation - Yoga

Silent meditation - Zen

Trancendental Meditation

Pranayama - breathing meditation - Simon Borg-Olivier

General Mindful Meditation - DavidJi

I have a meditation altar in my studio and go there most mornings to meditate. Some days I have 5 minutes and some days 20 minutes or longer. Be kind to yourself. Do what you can initially and the rest will follow.

Here are some items I find essential in my meditation space with links on Etsy if you would like to add this to your sacred space. I find things that talk to me and place them in my space but my meditation seat, incense burner and little Buddha are a few of my favourites along with my candles. Hope you like these suggestions.

I get a commission if you decide to make a purchase through my links, at no cost to you.’ Aways grateful for the support through community. I only promote products I have tested or believe in. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Here is a great article By Paul Jerard

Meditation For Health

Practicing meditation and affirmations are two of the most powerful ways to change lives, but research suggests that they are even more effective when used together. In 2004, neuroscientists used brain scans to show that meditation can actually change the way the mind works. The study compared two groups of people during meditation - inexperienced college students and Buddhist monks with over 10,000 hours of practice. All of the participants were asked to generate a feeling of compassion toward the universe while meditating. Results showed that the monks underwent an increase in the production of gamma waves, in levels up to 30 times that of the other participants. The left prefrontal cortex - the seat of positive emotions - lit up with activity, swamping the activity of the right frontal cortex - the seat of negative emotions. Surprisingly, the brains of the monks had been trained through meditation to respond with compassion when they saw suffering. This means that the mind can actually be trained to respond in certain ways, just as the body can be trained to do Yoga or Qigong.

How Meditation and Affirmations Work Together

• The conscious mind, or the logical, thinking part of the brain, does tasks, such as solving math problems or reading maps. It represents the moments when the brain waves are in a beta state or wide awake. This is the time when the mind is focused, tense, alert, or worried; and it can hold no more than six or seven pieces of information at one time. • The subconscious mind is the part of the brain that makes associations and determines reactions. It contains fear, wishes, worry, habits, and personality traits. The conscious mind, in a waking state, does not easily allow access to the subconscious. For affirmations to be effective, they must bypass the conscious mind and enter the subconscious mind. • The subconscious is most susceptible to suggestions when relaxed, or just before falling asleep, or waking up - the alpha and theta brainwave states. Because it cannot distinguish between reality and fantasy, the subconscious can be successfully re-programmed with affirmations and visualizations at these times.

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