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Engineering a Perfect Inner World

14 Apr

Some rights reserved by --Sam-- @flickr

My third experiment, 30 Days of Meditation, officially came to a close yesterday. Although it continued to be challenging in some ways – I admittedly forgot or skipped a few days here and there – overall I found it highly beneficial. I will definitely continue to meditate more regularly than I have in the past; there is scientific data that suggests when we put our minds into the alpha and theta waves (mental calm and wakeful rest), as opposed to the “planning & tasking” beta waves that are usually in action when we are conscious, it brings tremendous benefits. Reducing stress, improving focus and memory, and emotional clarity are only some of these. Continue reading

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What Fills the Quiet Space when we Stop?

5 Apr

Meditation is fast gaining recognition worldwide. In America, 10 million people now claim to meditate daily and this number is rapidly growing.

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 Continue reading

The Ins and Outs of Ohm

28 Mar

 

Young monks meditating in Chiang Mai, Thailand

First things first: for some strange reason I haven’t totally figured out yet, this Meditation Challenge has been in some ways the most difficult one for me. You would think that only wearing six items of clothing for a month, or figuring a way to give something every single day would be much more challenging. And often, the actual practicalities of those projects were. But meditating every day has proven to be harder than I thought. Continue reading

Go Easy on Yourself

18 Mar

I’m a week into my 30 days of meditation, and I don’t have any major results to report yet. I feel like this one will take longer to recognize the best effects – especially since I do meditate occasionally already, and I do a relaxation or form of meditation several times a week with yoga. Of course the immediate effects of a meditation include relaxation, calming and focusing your thoughts, reducing stress, etc. I have been with my family all this week, and I guess if I can go in a back room and meditate for 15 minutes or so, with all the noise and laughing and baby crying coming from the other room – and still be able to mostly let go of my thoughts and relax, then it is definitely effective at clearing and focusing the mind.

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On to the next 30 Days!

11 Mar

Help the youngest victims of today's earthquake in Japan

I’ve just completed by second 30-Day experiment – the Giving Project has come to an end, and I am ready to embark on my next experiment: 30 Days of Meditation. This experiment experiment will consist of a disciplined meditation, 15-20 minutes in length, EVERY single day. Before we get to that, though, I’ll recap briefly the last days of the Giving Project. Continue reading