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August 2017

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Health Benefits of Meditation

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Health Benefits of Meditation

Post by Night Eyes on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:01 am

Here's a really comprehensive article on all the health benefits Meditation has to offer Smile

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Re: Health Benefits of Meditation

Post by Luney on Mon Jan 30, 2017 9:05 pm

Meditation is supposed to have so many great benefits, unfortunately I've never been great in meditating, not even before I had kids Shruggy smiley I always either fall asleep or my mind wonders off to mundane things scratch

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Re: Health Benefits of Meditation

Post by Night Eyes on Tue Jan 31, 2017 7:10 am

I was reading something yesterday because I kept getting twitches when i was meditating, and it mentioned falling asleep, and they just said if that's what happens then its just what your body needs at the time, but the more you meditate the less it will happen.
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Re: Health Benefits of Meditation

Post by Evie on Thu Feb 02, 2017 12:14 am

@Night Eyes What a wonderful infographic and summary. Smile Thanks for sharing!

@Luney When I am anxious or insomniac I find that a good guided meditation is one of the few things that can help me get to sleep. Wink I'm not a wonderful meditator either, also mainly because I just don't do it enough, but I find that really simple body scan meditations or focusing-on-the-breath meditations are very effective at tapping into true awareness.

As to minds wandering off, that is definitely normal, especially for beginner-level meditators but even for experts. I remember reading somewhere about a Buddhist retreat (?) where they made meditation jokes about mind-wandering. Swami Vivekananda also mentions mind-wandering...

How is it to be attained? In a dozen different ways. Each temperament has its own way. But this is the general principle: get hold of the mind. The mind is like a lake, and every stone that drops into it raises waves. These waves do not let us see what we are. The full moon is reflected in the water of the lake, but the surface is so disturbed that we do not see the reflection clearly. Let it be calm. Do not let nature raise the wave. Keep quiet, and then after a little while she will give you up. Then we know what we are. God is there already, but the mind is so agitated, always running after the senses. You close the senses and yet you whirl and whirl about. Just this moment I think I am all right and I will meditate upon God, and then my mind goes to London in one minute. And if I pull it away from there, it goes to New York to think about the things I have done there in the past. These waves are to be stopped by the power of meditation.

(from Swami Vivekananda, Meditation and its Methods, pp. 31-32)

Recent research actually demonstrates that mind-wandering is the default state of the brain. "A human mind is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind... The ability to think about what is not happening is a cognitive achievement that comes at an emotional cost." (Matthew A. Killingsworth and Daniel T. Gilbert, "A Wandering Mind is an Unhappy Mind," Science 330, no. 606 [2010]) But meditation teachers such as Andy Puddicombe emphasise that learning to meditate isn't about suddenly shutting off the stream of thoughts, but instead about becoming the observer of those thoughts -- the more you practise, the more the thoughts naturally disappear and the easier it is to get into a state of pure awareness.

A few animated shorts from Puddicombe's Headspace program:

Also, here's a (brief) Ted talk by Puddicombe on how taking out just 10 minutes to meditate in every day is already extremely beneficial:

The mind can go in a thousand directions, but on this beautiful path, I walk in peace. With each step, the wind blows. With each step, a flower blooms.” - Thich Nhat Hanh

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