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The Many Benefits of Meditation

 




Meditation has undoubtedly soared in popularity over the past 30 years in Western cultures. It is now taught in a variety of mainstream setting such as hospitals and corporations because it offers so many physical, emotional and spiritual benefits. Meditation has been practiced throughout human history, as many cultures have recognized it as the primary practice for ending suffering. Tibet, Japan, China, Japan, and other Asian countries have numerous unique meditation practices, many of which have found their way to the West.

Having Health Now focuses on two meditation practices that are applicable to both beginning and advanced meditation practitioners. Even if you have never meditated before, these practices can be easily learned. Shamatha, or mindfulness meditation, originated in Tibet thousands of years ago. This is a basic technique that involves following the breath. Vipassana, or body scan, is a Southeast Asian practice that involves paying attention to the sensations of the body.
The benefits of both of these practices are profound, all-inclusive, and relevant to the needs of most people. These benefits have been well documented by pioneering researchers such as Herbert Benson, MD and John Kabat-Zinn, PhD.

These practices can:

  • significantly lower blood pressure and cholesterol
  • cure insomnia
  • offer relief from anxiety and depression
  • help to heal from chronic pain
  • reduce the frequency and severity of headaches
  • boost immune function
  • greatly reduce all stress-related health concerns

    Why are these practices so powerful? This is best answered by beginning a practice and seeing for yourself why it is so important. Simply breathing, resting the mind in silence, and feeling the sensations of the body can dramatically change our relationship with life. Most of us are always going; we are constantly active, either mentally or physically. It is rare that we ever stop and relate directly with each moment. Meditation practice enables us to find a place of inner stillness. This place is full of life and energy. It can only be accessed when we are not identified with our discursive thoughts and feelings. Many cultures have asserted that this inner stillness is the most healing and rejuvenating space that human beings can be in.
    My CD, Meditation: Mindfulness Practice for Beginners is a step-by-step guided practice for entering this stillness. Although the CD is designed for people that have never meditated before, more experienced practitioners will also find it beneficial. One of the most helpful things about the CD is that it clearly explains why we cannot force ourselves to enter this healing space. Inner stillness can only be found when we stop ‘trying’ in the normal sense of the word. Only when we can release our typical expectations and agendas can we taste the power of these practices. The guided track on the CD is meant to be listened to repeatedly. Eventually, you will be able to enter a meditative state with ease.