The concept of meditation was once considered out of the normal behavior spectrum and unacceptable. Years ago, I had a direct sales colleague tell me meditation was inviting the devil into my home. Our acquaintance never bloomed into friendship.
Meditation and the Brain
There have been many studies into the health benefits of meditation. The National Center for Complimentary and Integrative Health, part of the US Department of Health and Human Services, issued Meditation: In Depth, NCCIH Pub No.: D308, Last Updated: April 2016, https://nccih.nih.gov/health/meditation/overview.htm#hed2. The article cited is just one of the interesting articles they published which are all in the public domain.
Some research suggests that meditation may physically change the brain and body and could potentially help to improve many health problems and promote healthy behaviors.
In a 2012 study, researchers compared brain images from 50 adults who meditate and 50 adults who don’t meditate. Results suggested that people who practiced meditation for many years have more folds in the outer layer of the brain. This process (called gyrification) may increase the brain’s ability to process information.
A 2013 review of three studies suggests that meditation may slow, stall, or even reverse changes that take place in the brain due to normal aging.
Results from a 2012 NCCIH-funded study suggest that meditation can affect activity in the amygdala (a part of the brain involved in processing emotions), and that different types of meditation can affect the amygdala differently even when the person is not meditating.
Research about meditation’s ability to reduce pain has produced mixed results. However, in some studies scientists suggest that meditation activates certain areas of the brain in response to pain.”
Personal to You
Meditation can be as simple as focusing on one deep breath into your stomach and then filling your chest to the count of four and exhale from your stomach then chest to a count of eight. Or it could encompass a 45 minute or longer session. Or anything in between.
Location for meditation can be anywhere you have minimal distractions; I.e. at the ocean, in a forest, in front of an altar (An altar is simply a collection of items that have meaning to you.), in your house, at work (for the one breath meditation or if you’re on a break and are able to visualize effectively), etc.
Choose loose fitting clothing if you’re intending to do a longer meditation. Otherwise, wear what you find comfortable.
Position is your choice, but I don’t recommend laying down because you will fall asleep. Sitting on the couch is just as effective as sitting in lotus position.
I have two meditation practices; one for daily meditation and the other a visualization meditation. In both of these practices I find nature sounds or drumming on my iPhone as my aid in focusing. I normally sit in front of my altar, otherwise it’s whatever time I find in my day.
On my altar I have a candle, a mini waterfall, symbols of the current season, items to represent earth, water, fire, and wind, and additional items that have special meaning for me.
The daily meditation is to listen for answers to earlier prayers or messages from the Universe.
The visualization meditation is to help bring to fruition my vision board. This is part of Law of Attraction as I practice it.
There are many ways to find additional information about meditation. These could include internet searches, books, audio files, your local new thought store, etc.