People who meditated for about 30 minutes a day for eight weeks had measurable changes in gray-matter density in parts of the brain associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress. New York Times, 8/28/11
A new study shows [that] people who underwent meditation training produced more antibodies to a flu vaccine than people who did not meditate. Washington Times, 8/14/03
Not only do studies show that meditation is boosting their immune system, but brain scans suggest that it may be rewiring their brains to reduce stress. Time Magazine, 8/4/03
When we meditate several important things happen physically and mentally. First, we are “focusing internally” and letting go of the outside world (similar to going to sleep, but without losing consciousness). This allows our brains to shift into more stable, stronger brain frequencies (called alpha and theta by scientists) normally reached during sleep. When we can reduce our brain frequencies to these levels while staying awake we are able to bring the unconscious mind to the conscious level.
Cool video about the origins, history & benefits of meditation
I have been doing a lot of guided meditations, combining about 7-15 minutes of guided followed by 10-15 minutes of meditation on my own, to music or nature sounds – that seems to be the combination that works for me, though I had to play around a lot to get to it. I found a cool site called Silva Life System that has a great, FREE 6-part guided meditation course.
My friend and fellow journalist Seema Mathur also let me know about a cool group meditation going on in New York, led by the esteemed Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Wish I could go! But Sri Sri is coming to Texas right after that – and Seema invited me to a silent Satsang meditation on April 13 at the Texas Ashram. Excited!
Here is the description – sounds blissful, doesn’t it?
This course is an opportunity to experience powerful silence along with the deep serenity of Hollow and Empty meditations. The practice of silence has been known throughout the ages, in many different traditions and cultures, as a great tool for elevating consciousness. When profound meditations are added to this silence we find that our ever-changing thoughts come to a rest and our mind becomes clear giving rise to a sense of natural joy.
How often are we really silent? Really still with ourselves? It’s only been a few weeks since I have been meditating daily, but I do feel more centered, more of a sense of calm, and more focused.
What do you find when you slow down enough to feel it?