Over the last four months my intention has been set on truly developing my focus on pure meditation. Yes, most of us have heard about the benefits of meditation and maybe deep down inside know that more than likely it really would assist our over all well being. There is a tremendous amount of research and documentation out there discussing the “what, when, why and how” of meditation, and it is becoming more widely practiced in Western society. Many of my colleagues and friends practice meditation daily professing that it maintains there state of balance and harmony. The idea of simply sitting and or laying down in a comfortable quiet place where you will not be disturbed, simply focused on your inner self seemed so “whoa whoa” to me. My inner circle continues to encourage me to go with them to their meditation circles or even pick up a CD, DVD or go onto You Tube and download a free session.” Yeah, yeah”, I would tell them one day…what was preventing me from at least trying it?
The last four months have made me a believer! There, I said it and now I meditate 3-4 times a day. Why now you may be asking. Well, let me put it like this.
.I want and need to “Participate In My Greatness” and I was seeing, feeling or doing that at all during this time. I was busy, so busy being busy but not accomplishing what needed to be done. I would start a project and not finish it, because something else showed up and I needed to go do that. I make three steps forward and then “whamo’ get knocked back five steps. Oh my gosh this was ongoing, I couldn’t get clarity or focused and I was so distracted. The those self-defeating little voices would start whispering in my ear and then would scream in my head “you can’t do that, you aren’t…well you get my drift. I was not fully present in my own life and definitely not Participating In My Greatness! My FB friend Jason Lasby put it like this:”I think the Practice Meditation vs. Spirituality, through meditation we can clear our minds of the worries of the present moment, in doing so we become still within ourselves, allowing the moment to be as it is, accepting that I am here right now, in this place, just being in this moment. Spirituality means we have to believe something, in meditation we allow all things to be as they are without defined structure, which is a prerequisite of spirituality and religion, don’t get hung up on the technicality of my words, doing these things will help you find happiness, but true happiness is found within, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, the truth is that it can not be bought or sold and it can’t even be told to you, no one else could possibly know what to do to make you happy, that is your life’s mission, you don’t have to sacrifice your life to a higher power to be happy, for if you are happy, you are that higher power”!
So, I wanted to share a study that I found and thought it would be a great read.
P. King, MSW
1425 University Blvd. Suite 425
Hyattsville, Md 20783
Re: Posted by: Participateinyourgreatness.com
How Meditation Changes Your Brain: A Neuroscientist Explains
Posted in Meditation by Truly Buddha On March 13, 2014.
Do you struggle, like me, with monkey-mind? Is your brain also a little unsettled, restless, capricious, whimsical, fanciful, inconstant, confused, indecisive, or uncontrollable? That’s the definition of “monkey mind” I’ve been given!
If you need more motivation to take up this transformative practice, neuroscience research has shown that meditation and mindfulness training can cause neuroplastic changes to the gray matter of your brain.
A group of Harvard neuroscientists interested in mindfulness meditation have reported that brain structures change after only eight weeks of meditation practice. Sara Lazar, Ph.D., the study’s senior author, said in a press release, “Although the practice of meditation is associated with a sense of peacefulness and physical relaxation, practitioners have long claimed that meditation also provides cognitive and psychological benefits that persist throughout the day.”
To test their idea the neuroscientists enrolled 16 people in an eight-week mindfulness-based stress reduction course. The course promised to improve participants’ mindfulness and well-being, and reduce their levels of stress.
Everyone received audio recordings containing 45-minute guided mindfulness exercises (body scan, yoga, and sitting meditation) that they were instructed to practice daily at home. And to facilitate the integration of mindfulness into daily life, they were also taught to practice mindfulness informally in everyday activities such as eating, walking, washing the dishes, taking a shower, and so on. On average, the meditation group participants spent an average of 27 minutes a day practicing some form of mindfulness.
Magnetic resonance images (MRI scans) of everyone’s brains were taken before and after they completed the meditation training, and a control group of people who didn’t do any mindfulness training also had their brains scanned.
After completing the mindfulness course, all participants reported significant improvement in measures of mindfulness, such as “acting with awareness” and “non-judging.”
What was startling was that the MRI scans showed that mindfulness groups increased gray matter concentration within the left hippocampus, the posterior cingulate cortex, the temporo-parietal junction, and the cerebellum. Brain regions involved in learning and memory, emotion regulation, sense of self, and perspective taking!
Britta Hölzel, the lead author on the paper says,
“It is fascinating to see the brain’s plasticity and that, by practicing meditation, we can play an active role in changing the brain and can increase our well-being and quality of life.”
Sarah Lazar also noted,
“This study demonstrates that changes in brain structure may underlie some of these reported improvements and that people are not just feeling better because they are spending time relaxing.”