Meditation • How do I do it?

Generally speaking, the various practices or methods of meditation all work toward the goal or resting the busy mind, our computer brain, and thereby experiencing an altered state of consciousness.

Meditation - Image of purple water lily on black background

There are many different meditation practices and none can offer direct cures for disease.  Considering that stress seriously undermines health, and meditation relieves stress, it’s a good bet that the practice of meditation will influence your health or your recovery.

Disciplining the mind to be still is not a simple task and it takes practice to achieve the hoped-for state of peace. You may benefit by setting aside the same time every day. Like our sleep patterns, it helps to train our subconscious to be ready to enter that mode if we keep a regular schedule. Choose a quiet place where you won’t be distracted. Be comfortable

Whether you choose a form of meditation that uses a mantra, one that focuses on the breath and the body or another that promotes our presence with life just as it is in the moment, do it every day.  If ten minutes is all you can do, start with that.  If it’s all you ever can do, then stay with it.

In Vipassana meditation, I was taught to focus first on the breath and then on various parts of my body, without attachment or repulsion; just to notice everything. After several days of doing this daily, one can almost sense the movement of atoms.  When you focus on the little finger, you do not feel the pain in the big toe. There are Vipassana retreats around the world.

There have been many studies of meditation’s effect on the human brain that show definite changes in brain activity during meditation. There are studies that suggest people who meditate live longer and evidence that it is helpful in reducing anxiety, pain, and depression.

Meditation has become big business but the studies and trials are small. Fantastic claims of cures for specific conditions are likely overstated and unsupported by evidence. Here, yet again, is an opportunity to do a self-study. Whatever science can or cannot prove by small or large trials will have an impact only [perhaps] on your choice to try, but it will have no bearing on your own results.

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