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Week 6 - Meditation

Meditation is an approach to training the mind, similar to the way that fitness is an approach to training the body.

BENEFITS OF MEDITATION

If relaxation is not the goal of meditation, it is often a result. In Buddhist philosophy, the ultimate benefit of meditation is liberation of the mind from attachment to things it cannot control (to be present), such as external circumstances or strong internal emotions. 

The many benefits of meditation include the following:

  • Lower blood pressure
  • Improved blood circulation
  • Lower heart rate
  • Less perspiration
  • Slower respiratory rate
  • Less anxiety
  • Lower blood cortisol levels
  • More feelings of well-being
  • Less stress
  • Deeper relaxation

Researchers are now exploring whether a consistent meditation practice yields long-term benefits, and noting positive effects on brain and immune function among meditators. In saying that the purpose of meditation is not to achieve benefits but to be present BUT yay to the longer term benefits! 

HOW TO MEDITATE: SIMPLE MEDITATION FOR BEGINNERS

This meditation exercise is an excellent introduction to meditation technique.

  • Sit or lie comfortably.
  • Close your eyes.  
  • Make no effort to control the breath; simply breathe naturally.
  • Focus your attention on the breath and on how the body moves with each inhalation and exhalation. Notice the movement of your body as you breathe. Observe your chest, shoulders, rib cage, and belly. Simply focus your attention on your breath without controlling its pace or intensity. If your mind wanders...and it will, return your focus back to your breath.

Maintain this meditation practice for two to three minutes to start, and then try it for longer periods.