The Power of Meditation
Author: Shannon Miller
Have you ever considered the power of meditation?
Are you meditating? Should you be?
Do any of the following conditions apply to you?
- lack of focus
- chronic pain
- health issues
- problems over or under eating
- feeling of disconnect
If even one of these conditions applies to you, then meditation can benefit you. Studies have shown links between some relief or even incredible relief from those above symptoms, just from a few minutes of quiet focus a day. A very eye-opening study on meditation by MIT, in fact, shows that meditating for a few minutes a day changes brain wave patterns that are associated with chronic pain. The result is actually feeling less pain or, in some cases, relieving it altogether! That’s amazing!
The power of the mind is not to be underrated. Your mind and your body are interwoven. They talk to each other all day. It is not a one-directional conversation. Every cell in the body sends messages to the brain and vice versa. When the conversation is more connected, then we find more relief in so many ways.
Meditating is like being a silent observer of the body’s cues. It begins with focus on the breath, and sometimes then focuses elsewhere, but the initial focus on the breath makes all of the difference. The breath is the source of life, and pulling back into that simplicity of the breath calms the mind and body. As we become silent observers, we also feel more connected to what our body tells us. We are less likely to do things that would harm it, such as starve or overeat. We are more in tune with health problems, which can lead to calming of symptoms.
When we focus for a period of time on simplicity, we reduce the anxiety and stress that the untrained brain tends to have. This reduces our angry outbursts, helps us focus on what is important, and helps us focus on a task rather than try to multi-task. It helps us stay calm and slow down. Just a few minutes a day can do all of that because it is training the brain to focus, and training us to be an observer of events rather than be emotionally drawn in to negativity.
Some people believe that if just 1% of the world would meditate, we could solve all of the world’s problems.
There is a town in Iowa called Fairfield that boasts more meditators than any other town in America. They teach children how to meditate, and the town gets together to meditate every day. As a result, there is very little crime. There has been one murder on record, in 2002. 88% of their students graduate from high school. They boast green living, and a very inter-connected community.
Starting to meditate is simple; follow these steps:
- Get comfortable, sitting or lying down.
- Focus on deep, belly breathing.
- When your mind starts thinking about something, ask it to come back to the breath, or put a picture of a light in the middle of your mind.
There are many more lessons in meditation, and a great leader and educator of this movement is Deepak Chopra. Chopra offers free meditation practices, and more information about the many benefits of meditation on his very comprehensive Chopra Center website.