benefits of meditation

The healing effects of total silence

wildmind meditation newsFlorence Waters, The Telegraph: A week without noise in Ibiza proves a meditation revelation for Florence Waters.

I remember the first time a friend confessed he was going on a silent meditation retreat: no talking, Wi-Fi, books, phones or pens for what sounded like a very long week.

Though a little curious, I was embarrassed enough to change the subject immediately. Perhaps this is how people felt in the Nineties when someone disclosed they were having therapy. But when I saw him afterwards he was clearly moved by the experience; “I can’t really explain, you’ve just got to do it,” he ventured. “I …

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A mindful gift from Thich Nhat Hanh (Thay) to all of us

wildmind meditation newsElisha Goldstein, PsychCentral: Last week I wrote about Thich Nhat Hanh’s brain hemorrhage landing him in the hospital. The most recent update from Plum Village shows that while his condition is still in a critical stage he has opened his eyes and even reached out to touch the attendant next to him. In continuing this time of honoring his life I wanted to share with you one of the gifts he has given me that I often share with others.

These are the short phrases he weaves into breathing or walking that helps us be more present, loving, grounded, and aware in …

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Jerry Seinfeld credits meditation for endless energy

wildmind meditation news

Michael D’Estries, Mother Nature News: Comedian, who has practiced Transcendental Meditation for 40 years, says the technique has helped him stay balanced throughout his career.

For more than 40 years, Jerry Seinfeld has twice daily practiced Transcendental Meditation, a mantra meditation he credits with giving him endless energy and peace of mind.

“When I think about the things I love more than money, more than love, more than just about anything, I love energy,” the 60-year-old said in an interview earlier last month. “I love it and I pursue it, I want it, and I want more of it. And I think this is the reason by the way why I’m so enthusiastic about TM. Physical and mental energy to me is the greatest riches of human life. And TM is like this free account of an endless amount of it.”

Transcendental Meditation (TM), introduced in the mid-1950s by an Indian yogi, is experiencing a resurgence as people with stressful lives seek out easy-to-follow relaxation solutions. While TM is a form of mantra meditation that one generally has to learn through paid training, there are alternatives if you’re working off a smaller budget. Results usually expected from any form of meditation include lower blood pressure, greater focus and reduced anxiety.

In an interview with Bob Roth, executive director of the TM-focused David Lynch Foundation, Seinfeld detailed how he fits meditation into his daily routine.

“I’ll get up at 6 a.m. My kids get up about 6:45 a.m. And so I do the TM before anybody gets up,” he said. “And how does it feel? It doesn’t feel like anything. I don’t understand it. But here’s the difference. At 1 p.m. that day, my head does not hit the decks like it used to. That’s the difference. If I didn’t do TM that morning and I’m working, then by 1 p.m. I’m shot, and I think most people are. And now, at 1 o’clock, I’m feeling good. I just sail through the day, and then I have my second TM at 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.”

Other recognizable names who are big fans of meditation include Oprah, Jared Leto, Miranda Kerr and Paul McCartney. MNN’s own Starre Vartan is also a big believer in the practice, having practiced meditation since she was 15.

“Try out what works for you,” writes Vartan. “I find I like different kinds of meditation on different days, and as a person who doesn’t really like a regular schedule or following rules, it works for me to mix it up. The opposite might be true for you — maybe the same time, same place, same breathing sequence and mantra is how you will make meditation yours. But you’ll never know unless you try.”

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Tandem meditation 101: how meditating with your partner builds intimacy

wildmind meditation newsJason Nik, Care2.com: As a Life Coach, I’ve had many clients in relationships that meditate, but somehow it always surprises me when they tell me they only meditate on their own. When these clients are going through relationship troubles and I suggest meditating together, they look at me as if I don’t understand the concept of meditation.

We all know that the benefits of meditation have been well-documented as decreasing anxiety and increasing happiness for an individual among other things; but some of the time we have spent meditating alone to enhance our individual lives could also be spent meditating with another to enhance our relationships.

To play on an old saying, couples who meditate together stay together.

Meditation creates an entirely new peaceful world for you and your interest to share together. Perhaps even more exciting, people who just met or recently started dating can meditate together, developing a bond that months of getting to know each other could not replicate.

In any relationship, it takes time to get close to someone. In that time, you have no idea what obstacles may rise up in the way of your relationship developing. Time is important to develop a relationship, but if you want to build a close bond early, meditation with your interest is a great way to start. Meditating with someone new in your life creates a different kind of intimacy that forges a unique bond between the two of you. It may seem strange at first to meditate with someone else. Meditation is perceived to have been built for solitude and seclusion; however, when you consider the core principles of meditation, suddenly meditating with a partner makes so much sense.

One of the core principles of meditation is the removal of distractions. Work, money, health, etc.­­ these are all distractions in our personal lives that can be stressful for us to deal with. They are also things that (with proper meditation) we can remove from our minds—this creates the stress­ free clarity that we crave. In the same way those issues can be obstacles in our personal lives, they can also be major obstacles in our relationships.

Meditating with a partner will allow you both to remove those distractions from your minds so you can take the time to focus on what is most important: each other.

Having no judgment is another core principle of meditation. People so easily make quick judgments about others. Sometimes we think good things about a person, and other times we think bad things about that person. Whatever judgments are being made, meditation is a no-judgment zone. That means when you meditate with someone you are interested in, you put yourselves on the same level. It’s very important in any relationship that you start off on the same level, or you may create an imbalance that as your relationship progresses could eventually tip over, destroying everything the two of you built together.

The most important principle of meditation is awareness. In singular meditation, awareness is when our senses become heightened in order to consciously feel everything around us and achieve a peaceful state of mind. When we meditate as an individual, our sense of touch is not explored much. When we meditate with another, touch plays a significant role in building our bond.

It always amazes me how little people touch one other in the early stages of getting acquainted. As babies, the sense of touch is the first sense we acquire. As a adults, touch still plays a large role in our lives. When two people touch each other they send emotional signals between one another. The sense of touch plays such an important role in connecting with someone, but often times people are uncomfortable touching someone new.

In general, society far prefers to communicate with words or through facial expressions rather than through touch. Even worse is society’s refusal to communicate naturally at all, with a preference of communicating through texting. Communication may be faster through texting, but it strips away our natural connection and results in a disconnect.

On the other hand, touching brings two people closer together than any other form of communication. With touch, people are able to communicate on a truly emotional level. In order for two people to meditate together touching is required. It is through that touching that you remove the solo nature of meditation and instead create an awareness of each other. Intimacy begins with touching, and if you want to build a bond with someone you need to be comfortable touching them.

How does someone meditate with another, you ask?
Here are seven simple steps to begin your journey of meditating with a partner.

1. Find a quiet place where the two of you cannot be interrupted. Turn off your phones or place them on silent. Put them out of sight to keep them out of mind.

2. Wear comfortable clothing, the same clothing you would wear when meditating by yourself as long as your partner is comfortable with that clothing.

3. Sit cross legged, facing each other.

4. Hold both of your partner’s hands. How you hold hands is up to you, just make sure you are both comfortable with the position.

5. Look into each others’ eyes. Remember, this isn’t a staring contest so you’re more than welcome to blink. Also, don’t simply stare at their eyes, instead look into their eyes as if you’re searching for something deep within their soul.

6. Breathe. Don’t chant, just breathe. If you are used to chanting when you meditate on your own this will be a bit of an adjustment, but the reason I suggest you refrain from chanting is hearing someone else’s chant may catch you off guard. Meditating together relies so much on developing a succinct rhythm together

7. Start with five minute sessions and gradually increase to your desired time in dual meditation.

There are many different methods of meditating with another. This is a good starting point as it is comfortable and doesn’t require too much effort from either participant.

Whether you have known the person you’re meditating with for a long time or for only a little, follow these steps and you will be amazed at the deep and lasting bond you have created with another.

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Meditation moment: what is meditation?

wildmind meditation newsSteve Shields, Record-Bee: For thousands of years, human beings have practiced techniques of mental focusing, designed to change the habitual conditioning of the mind. Central to many spiritual and philosophical traditions and known in English as meditation, these practices are considered a major means for enhanced awareness and self-mastery.

In recent decades, modern science has dramatically confirmed what advanced meditators have long claimed — that meditation, correctly practiced, offers deep and lasting benefits for mental functioning and emotional health, as well as for physical health and well being.

THE MANY PRACTICAL BENEFITS OF MEDITATION INCLUDE:

  • Marked and lasting reduction of stress
  • Increased ability …

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Exploring your past is a prerequisite for true mindfulness

wildmind meditation newsJohn and Elaine Leadem, PsychCentral: Mindfulness. It means living in the moment. By now, most of us are well aware of the great emotional and spiritual promises of living mindfully. It is believed to lower high blood pressure, heal trauma, and enhance our problem-solving abilities. Studies show that mindful people may be happier.

Many traditional philosophies however, stress the importance of purposefully going back in time and exploring our past experiences. We revisit where we have been and how we have become the people we are. Those of us who are members of 12 Step recovery groups are asked to complete a comprehensive 4th …

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Meditation the new tool to reach peak performance

wildmind meditation newsAlex Hutchinton, The Globe and Mail: It’s relatively easy to spot the physical differences between, say, an Olympic rower and a couch potato. But it’s the mind as much as the muscles that make a champion – so is it possible to pick an “elite brain” out of a crowd of ordinary grey matter?

That’s the challenge that a team of psychiatrists and neuroscientists at the University of California San Diego have been grappling with for the past few years. In brain-imaging studies with subjects ranging from Navy SEALs to elite athletes, they’ve found a telltale pattern of activity in certain brain regions …

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Proof that meditation can grow your brain

wildmind meditation newsStephen Adams, Mail Online: Meditating really is a workout for the mind, according to scientists who have found it can make the brain bigger.

Practicing simple meditation techniques such as concentrating on your breathing helps build denser grey matter in parts of the brain associated with learning and memory, controlling emotions and compassion.

Just eight weeks of meditation can produce structural changes large enough to be picked up by MRI scanners, American scientists have discovered.

Harvard neuroscientist Dr Sara Lazar said: ‘If you use a particular part of your brain, it’s going to grow because you are using it. It really is mental …

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Why ageing is all in the mindfulness

wildmind meditation newsMargaret Jennings, Irish Examiner: Meditation and ‘knowing ourselves in a deeper way’ can reduce our anxieties and fears about getting old, and increase our acceptance.

IN 1981, Timothy Sweeney returned from a long meditation retreat and told his mother, with whom he had a “very difficult” relationship, that he would have to discontinue it, if she didn’t change.

His mother was 65 and had, he says, a “lot of unfinished business, emotional baggage”, and had pain from spinal surgery.

Sweeney, then 27, and his mother were living in California. She decided to do a ten-day meditation retreat with Jack Kornfield.

“She was still herself, the Jewish …

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Four ways meditation can help you figure out what you want out of dating

wildmind meditation newsLodro Rinzler, Bustle: We’ve all been there. That blind set up/Tinder match/person you flirted with briefly at the party shows up for your first official date and, lo and behold, they’re not at all who you think they were. They represented themselves so badly, so dishonestly, that when you met them you thought they were:

  • charming
  • a successful entrepreneur
  • good looking
  • sharp as a tack

In the light of day, they are:

  • oddly racist
  • trying to come up with “the next big app idea” out of their mom’s garage
  • smelly
  • dull

In today’s dating world, most people do not represent themselves authentically. When …

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