By Darshan Goswami, M.S., P.E., Vol. 17, No. 5.
Want to live longer and be healthier? Good genes, plenty of exercise, and eating right should help. But you might also try sitting down, closing your eyes, and breathing properly. In other words, meditate. Meditation practice can take you inside for an out-of-the-world experience.
Can meditation improve your health? While the debate rages in journals and medical schools, millions of Americans practice meditation every day.
Meditation is an ancient discipline, but it is increasingly being embraced within traditional medical circles as a powerful healing tool. Scientists have recently discovered methods to see what goes on inside the brain during meditation, and now new research may help explain why it works. These scientific studies show that meditation not only has clear effects in areas of the brain focused on emotion, but also may strengthen people’s ability to ward off illness.
Meditation is simply a quieting of the mind and inner spirit. It is the ability to sit still and block out all thoughts, while listening to your inner spirit and speaking directly to Source. Meditation can be used to restrain the wandering of the mind and bring you back to full awareness. By helping you to relax, meditation can improve your concentration and relieve stress.
Today, meditation is studded with glamour. It is getting widespread publicity and endorsements by movie stars and celebrities, and is practiced by well-known personalities such as Goldie Hawn, Richard Gere, and Al Gore. You don’t have to be religious or rich or have huge amounts of free time to meditate, however. You can do it no matter how old or busy you are. So, if you want to learn how to beat stress, achieve inner peace, understand more about yourself and increase your sense of well-being, then meditation is for you.…
How to Meditate
There are many ways to meditate, and even a few minutes can make a big difference in the way you feel and think. You can teach yourself meditation by following a few simple steps:
If you’re a beginner, start slowly. Five minutes is enough. If you like it, you can increase the amount of time as you see fit. To start, find a quiet place where you will not be interrupted. Wear loose, comfortable clothes. Create a serene environment by having tranquil sounds or classical music playing in the background….