Transcendental Meditation Benefits: Topping the Bestseller List

Scientific reductionism has its place, but much can be lost or overlooked when the whole is not kept in view, and that has never been more true than when science has investigated Transcendental meditation benefits, or any of the benefits of meditation.

Transcendental Meditation Benefits

Transcendental Meditation Benefits

Dissecting what is at its core is essentially a spiritual practice to understand its benefits carries with it the risk that the essence, its ineffable qualities, which in the end contain its greatest benefit and impact, will be lost.

Philip Goldberg’s excellent post on this topic is as eloquent as it is informative, so I’m going to let Philip’s post speak for itself…ᅠ

“…In 1975, “TM: Discovering Inner Energy and Overcoming Stress” was propelled onto the list when its lead author, psychiatrist Harold Bloomfield, appeared on Merv Griffin’s syndicated TV talk show (the Oprah of its day) with TM founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. The book remained a bestseller for six months, and then had a solid run on the paperback list. During that period, Merv devoted a second show to Maharishi, and TM centers could barely keep up with the demand. By the end of 1976, over a million Americans had learned to meditate.

This was the culmination of a remarkable eight-year run that began when the Beatles famously learned the TM and sojourned at Maharishi’s ashram in India. Between that watershed moment and the two Merv programs, meditation moved from the counterculture to the mainstream, from weird to respectable, from youthful mind expansion to middle-age stress remedy. Now, the celebrity meditators were not rock stars but Clint Eastwood and Mary Tyler Moore, and you could not get more mainstream than the nation’s big screen hero and its TV sweetheart.

The route from esoteric mystical discipline to respectable relaxation technique was paved by science. It started in the late ’60s when a young meditator named Robert Keith Wallace was persuaded by his guru, Maharishi, to study the physiology of TM. The research became his Ph.D. dissertation, and then a Science magazine article in 1970. Wallace’s follow-up study, conducted with Harvard cardiologist Herbert Benson, was published in 1971 in The American Journal of Physiology and Scientific American. The data sparked an avalanche of research. By 1975, a substantial body of evidence had demonstrated the efficacy of meditation on various measures of physical and mental health.

Now comes another psychiatrist, Norman E. Rosenthal, with “Transcendence: Healing and Transformation through Transcendental Meditation.” Once again, celebrity endorsements add pizzazz, in this case Mehmet Oz, David Lynch, Martin Scorcese and Russell Simmons, with cameo appearances by the gray eminences, Ringo Starr and Paul McCartney. And once again science confers credibility. Whereas Bloomfield was fresh out of his Yale residency when Merv Griffin showcased his book, Rosenthal has 30 years of distinguished clinical research and more than 200 scholarly articles under his belt. And by now TM has been the subject of over 300 peer-reviewed articles. The book describes the most recent findings, many of them involving common maladies such as ADHD, PTSD and hypertension, but not limited to medical conditions.

That meditation is good for you is no longer an eye-opening news flash. But the new book’s bestsellerdom suggests that a new generation wants to hear the message. In this era of soaring anxiety, depression and health costs, perhaps the only people who don’t think that’s a good thing are the makers of pharmaceuticals.

As someone who has chronicled the transmission of Eastern spirituality to the West, I hope that this time around we can avoid some of the pitfalls of the past. As the title of Rosenthal’s book “Transcendence,” suggests, meditation is not just a medical intervention. The deeper purpose has always been the development of higher consciousness, as described in the Vedic tradition from which practices like TM derive. But when yogic methods become medicalized and their benefits quantified, they tend to get disconnected from their spiritual roots — a loss for all of us.

Another consequence of the popularization of meditation was the rise of imitation practices. Health experts, self-help mavens and entrepreneurs did everything they could to de-Hinduize and de-Indianize the practice. Recently, we’ve seen a similar tendency as practices derived from Buddhism were secularized as “mindfulness.” The advantage of this adaptation, of course, is that it makes such practices far more accessible. The downside is that something vital can be lost in translation, thereby diminishing their effectiveness. Modernizing the language is one thing, but tinkering with the ingredients of a meditation practice is not unlike changing a medical formula or a food recipe..”.ᅠ

In his conclusion on Transcendental meditation benefits, Philip address another common trap or belief about the benefits of meditation, which is that all approaches to meditation carry with them the same benefits. However as Philip points out, recent research has begun to set the record straight. ᅠClick here to visit the original source of this post

A Reduction in Healthcare Costs a Meditation Benefit?

Is there really a meditation benefit that could result in a reduction in our healthcare cost? ᅠI firmly believe the answer is yes. Certainly, on a personal level meditation will impact an individual’s health care coast, which if practiced by enough people, could have an impact on the overall health care system.

A Reduction in Healthcare Costs a Meditation Benefit?

A Reduction in Healthcare Costs a Meditation Benefit?

 

Mind-body fitness is the ultimate goal when it comes to developing a comprehensive approach to wellness and meditation is a key component in this approach because of its stress reliving effects. But meditation is more than an effective relaxation technique. The health benefits of meditation have been shown not only to prevent heart disease but to reverse those effects.

This is what Dr. Robert Puff’s article is all about, so I’ll let him tell you in his own words… ᅠ

The nation’s current healthcare crisis has added a new dimension to the old saying, “Prevention is the best medicine.” With rising co-pays, high deductibles, confusion over coverage, and prescription drug headaches, healthcare consumers recognize that getting sick is more complicated than ever.

So if the solution to a dysfunctional system is to avert illness, then what approaches provide proven results? One answer lies in a practice that dates to the origins of human civilization. Scientific research is pointing to the health benefits of meditation. “Major studies show that a significant cause of illness is stress. And meditation is one of the most powerful ways of reducing it,” says Dr. Robert Puff, a clinical psychologist based in Newport Beach, California.

From a Genetic Standpoint, Some of Us Are Toyotas and Some Are Fords

Stress isn’t the cause of every illness. But many common ailments can be attributed to it. So how are stress and sickness related? Dr. Puff, who has been both meditating and teaching meditation for three decades, compares our bodies to automobiles, where each car’s brand is like a person’s DNA. Just like we can’t turn a Toyota into a Ford, there’s not much we can do to alter our genes.

Imagine that everyday, we slam on our brakes continuously, never change our oil, and overlook all maintenance. At first, our bodies may not reveal signs of damage. Over time, however, the neglect will show — sometimes subtly and other times dramatically. If we are Toyotas, perhaps the result will be a transmission in disrepair. If, on the other hand, our bodies are Fords our transmissions may be fine, but our brakes will no longer function. Similarly, everyone has genetic predispositions particular to him or herself. In the end, we’re all going to wear out, but the speed and how that deterioration manifests itself will be different for each person. Regardless of our own DNA, however, reducing stress significantly elevates everyone’s chances of living longer and experiencing less wear.

Meditation Gives Our Minds a Break

“We can have intense jobs and deal with difficult matters both in and outside of work. But if we meditate regularly, we can still experience peace of mind regardless of our responsibilities,” says Dr. Puff. To illustrate, he provides another analogy. Meditation is like the work breaks we take everyday. If we had to exert ourselves eight hours continuously, without relief, our time at work would eventually become unbearable. But lunchtime and breaks throughout the day allow us to make it through. “Meditation gives our minds time off from constant mental activity. Over the long term, we reduce overall stress, and this, I believe, is one of the main reasons that meditation increases physical health,” he says. And major organizations are listening. Fortune 500 corporations and prestigious hospitals hire Dr. Puff to speak about the benefits of meditation. They are acknowledging the research: meditation increases concentration and decreases stress.

During these difficult economic times, companies are struggling to provide medical benefits, and consumers are having to pay more out of pocket. Getting sick is rapidly becoming cost-prohibitive for everyone. “Meditation is simple, effective, free, and has no side effects — no prescription drug can make those claims,” says Dr. Puff.

Different types of meditation exercises may be more effective than others for specific health problems; meditation benefits are on the whole undeniable. Meditation fosters awareness and awareness of the body increases the desire to maintain feelings of health and wellbeing.ᅠ

One note about a statement made in Dr. Puff’s article, in which he, “compares our bodies to automobiles, where each car’s brand is like a person’s DNA. Just like we can’t turn a Toyota into a Ford, there’s not much we can do to alter our genes.” ᅠIn fact meditation can affect how our genes express themselves and it also affects our DNA because it’s been shown to have a positive effect on telomerase activity in the immune cells. So while we may not be able to ‘turn a Toyota into a Ford,’ meditation may allow us to go from a Ford focus to a Lincoln. And if we can do that then at least we can begin to reduce our personal health care cost. Click here to visit the original source of this post

The Benefit of Meditation is Way out Is Within

It’s been said that happiness is the goal of goals; it’s a benefit of meditation and is in fact the very purpose of life, called by the ancient wisdom teachers, Lila meaning “play.”

The Benefit of Meditation is Way out Is Within

The Benefit of Meditation is Way out Is Within

 

Far too often we delude ourselves with the belief that when I achieve this or get this, then I’ll be happy, which if it works at all, is as short lived as a sugar buzz. Real happiness only comes from within. Good health or real successes in life are the by-product, or side effects, of happiness not the cause.ᅠ

Here in a post that’s a follow up to their blog last week, “Meditation: Not What You Think,” the Shapiro’s enlighten us on this benefit of meditation.

“Whether through time-tested traditional practices such as meditation or simply being quiet and reflective, taking time to just be with ourselves has both an immediate and an enduring effect. We get more peaceful. We get happier. We get kinder, more compassionate and wiser. We are not disappointed. What more could we want?

Meditation is the greatest gift we can give ourselves but it is easily misunderstood. Just as there are numerous choices in the world — where we live, what we wear, what work we do, etc. — so too there are many choices when it comes to meditation techniques or forms of inner journeying. However, we often see people holding tightly to their method or technique as if it were a matter of dire importance, which misses the deeper meaning of meditation.

In our blog last week, “Meditation: Not What You Think,” we made the point that meditation is actually not any particular technique or method but an experience of radiant emptiness that arises naturally as all trying stops.

In other words, meditation is not about reaching higher states of consciousness, having visions, or even or feeling good — although that is fine if it does happen. It is just about stopping and being with whatever arises, whether good or not so good. It is about freedom in this very moment! We are all part of the same all-pervading conscious.

A favorite story of ours is about a monk who meditated for many, many years always longing for a sign that he was progressing, that his meditation was worthwhile. Then one day he suddenly had a vision of a beautiful golden Buddha that filled his mind. He was so happy he ran to his master to share it with him. The master was very pleased. He praised the young monk: “This is very good, very good,” and then added: “And if you keep meditating hopefully it will go away!” ᅠᅠ

Meditation is not really about doing it’s about being, it’s about consciousness and presence, it’s about being you and being aware of that; meditation is not so much about what happens ‘on the cushion,’ but what you bring with you into the everyday world. The story of the monk, related by the Shapiro’s, speaks with humor to this benefit of meditation.Click here to visit the original source of this post

Quit Smoking as a Benefit of Meditation

Did you know that you can quit smoking as a benefit of meditation? I’m not sure why it is as humans we’re attracted to things that are not good for us, maybe it’s a rebellious attitude held over from childhood or the ‘it can’t happen to me’ belief system, ᅠbut whatever it is, all too often we find ourselves caught up in toxic habits and addictions.

Quit Smoking as a Benefit of Meditation

Quit Smoking as a Benefit of Meditation

 

I was able to quit smoking and so did Pragito Dove, who shares her own story of addiction and how she discovered the benefits of meditation when dealing with addiction.

While it’s not necessarily the practice of meditation that, by itself, directly defeats the cravings that comes with the physical addiction to smoking. What meditation does, first of all, is create the space to make conscious life affirming choices and second, meditation allows you to uproot and examine the underlying anxiety’s that from which we sought relief.

Here’s a meditation technique that will start you in the right direction and something that should be used as one of many tools you’ll need to move beyond smoking.

Smoking Meditation

” Whenever you think about smoking a cigarette, become aware of taking the pack out of your pocket slowly, with full awareness. Then take the cigarette out of the pack with full awareness, slowly – not in the old hurried way, unconscious and mechanical. Start tapping the cigarette on the pack very alertly. Listen to the sound, then smell the cigarette and enjoy the beauty of it…just as in the Zen tradition when the tea kettle starts boiling and the aroma of the tea reaches your senses.

ᅠThen put the cigarette in your mouth with full awareness, light it, inhale with full awareness, slowly. Savor the taste, the smell, the sensation of the smoke entering your lungs. Enjoy every small action, every part of it and you will become more and more aware. As you release the smoke from your lungs, relax, enjoy the sensation and feelings in your body, be aware, go slowly, then take another puff.

The secret, I found, of breaking a habit such as smoking is to bring awareness to it. To deautomotize yourself from a mechanical habit brings great liberation. Once you bring it out into the light of conscious awareness, and SEE what it is, sooner or later, it simply drops away.”

You are changing a behavioral pattern and when you’re releasing a toxic behavior so it’s a good idea to replace it with one that is nourishing, meditation and visualization are two of those nourishing behaviors. Use this meditation benefit as an opportunity to detoxify your life and start a personal detoxification program. Click here to visit the original source of this post

Yoga and the Meditation Benefits of Helping Disabled People

One of the meditation benefits along with a yoga practice is greater self-awareness and as this deeper awareness grows so does compassion, which leads to a happier healthier relationship with life, however, the opposite is also true, becoming disconnected from the body can lead to becoming more self-destructive. For those with disabilities embracing this awareness is a way to create a shift in consciousness that can transform the world.

Because meditation is either about turning awareness inward or being fully present in the moment, the practice is truly accessible to everyone. Meditation has be found to be of benefit in so many areas, such as, relief from emotional pain, depression and relief from physical pain.

When you think of yoga, do you picture a group of people meditating with arms outstretched or a disabled person in a wheelchair? Dubbo resident James MacKay has cerebral palsy and has found the art of relaxation has been able to help him deal with muscle control and the frustration of being confined to a wheelchair.


James started to do yoga around four years ago, which has helped him to develop self-confidence as yoga has him feeling a lot less stressed.ᅠ “It has changed the way I think and feel about myself,” James said.


This is encouraged by James’ yoga teacher with her exercises to keep him motivated and create a more peaceful environment for him to be in. It not only helps him emotionally but it helps him physically with his spine. Doing yoga has helped James’ spine become stronger and given him more ability in everyday activities.


Kim Smith, who is James’ yoga instructor, has been teaching yoga for 10 to 12 years. She first discovered yoga about 15 years ago and feel in love with the idea of becoming a yoga teacher.

In Kim’s line of work she sees a lot of change with her students and is seeing improvements every day. “We talk a lot about positive thinking and becoming more mindful of our thoughts,” Kim said.


As well as her work with Break Thru, Kim also teaches teenage yoga, kids’ yoga and adult yoga, which helps these groups to learn different relaxation exercises at different stages.


Kim says doing yoga makes her feel inspired because ‘it’s a feel good thing’. “When there is a lot of stress, it is good to be able to teach peace, love and happiness but also feel good about life ourselves and others in the process. “It is such a satisfying thing to do,” Kim said.


Meditation is a part of yoga as it helps the individual to focus on being positive about life. Kim helps her students feel comfortable while meditating by saying things like ‘let go of the outside world, let go of any commitments or obligations and just breathe into this space’.


Kim says we can get results from simple activities – for example, just stopping, resting and focusing on breathing can benefit our flexibility, circulation, balance and self-confidence.


As Kim and James have said, yoga is not just about meditation, it’s an activity that can benefit everyone.”

Meditation changes our relationship with ourselves; it reveals our sense of purpose and allows us to shift for an ego centric perspective to one that is more world centric. It’s this shift in perspective is that leads to feeling of greater compassion not only for others, but as importantly, for ourselves.

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The Benefits of Meditation Inseparability of Mind and Body

With the explosion of both scientific and popular interest in meditation there is equal interest in how it all works the neuroscience and biology of meditation.

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has funded a number of research projects to study the effects of meditation. One of the questions that is being asked is, ‘can the meditation benefits that meditators claim to experience, such as, stress relief, deeper awareness or greater focus, be seen in real physiological and neural changes?’ᅠ

Benefits Of Meditation. Therefore it would seem that science firmly points to mindful meditation helping our minds in many ways Just these two studies

One of the most intriguing areas of research on the effects of meditation is exploring the possibility that the actual physical structure of the brain my change by regular meditation practice.

The conclusion that is becoming increasingly apparent through research is the inseparability of mind and body, and that we can change not only ourselves but our world with attention and focus, all benefits of meditation.

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Are there Meditation Benefits for Atheist?

This story is about a young man, from India, who has embraced atheism, and according to this post at least, joined a growing movement of “free thinkers.”

I’m not going to tackle the ‘believer’s vs. non-believer’s’ question in this post nor the repressive attitudes of any kind of fundamentalist practice; no, the question I’m addressing here is the one I asked in the title, are there meditation benefits for atheist? And I can, confidently say, yes.

Why confidently, because of the preponderance of scientific evidence. While an atheist may miss the subjective experience that other meditators discover while practicing, they can’t miss the measurable, verifiable effects meditation has on the mind and body.ᅠ

Every classroom had a picture of the late Sathya Sai Baba and every day the teacher forced him to meditate while imagining the guru’s benevolent hand resting on his head — all this despite the troubling allegations of sexual misconduct in the guru’s  
GlobalPost

Personally, I agree with the Dalia Lama’s view on science and the ‘subjective’ affects meditation, “each gives us valuable insights into the other.”

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Top Research Psychiatrist Promotes Meditation Benefits

This post is, essentially, an interview with Norman Rosenthal, M.D. professor of psychiatry at Georgetown University Medical School, who is best known for his study and treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). Dr. Rosenthal as just published a book, “Transcendence: Healing and Transformation Through Transcendental Meditation,” which features case studies and interviews with meditators, including such celebrities as Paul McCartney, Russell Brand and many others.

At the end of the article there is a video presentation with Dr. Rosenthal and in it he starts off qualifying himself by saying, “…I’m not a TM insider” and noting that he came to the practice later in life. However, Dr. Rosenthal, quickly makes it known that he’s did his research and in the process discovered a large volume scientifically measurable data.

A world-renowned psychiatrist is speaking out about a powerful antidote, he believes, for many of our modern woes, a way to help overcome stress-related disorders while opening a new window to the potentialities of the human brain.

There have been a number of posts this week about Dr. Rosenthal speaking about Transcendental Meditation and his new book; this one by Jeanne Ball is by far the best. Dr.  Rosenthal is another scientific voice adding to the validity of the benefits of meditation.

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Is Learning how to Receive Support and Love a Meditation Benefit?

Becoming more self-aware is the number one benefit of meditation, because self-awareness creates the opportunity for self-acceptance. You need to know and accept who you are now, especially if you want to transform any aspect of your life. When we are more self-aware, it also means we have the opportunity to become less self-critical and allowing ourselves to open to receiving.

For me a guided meditation or centering technique is like a poetic journey that my mind agrees to take By simply choosing to

Because the Universe operates through a constant exchange of energy and information, with giving and receiving being the different aspects of the flow, creating homeostasis or balance is the key to peace and happiness. And the act of being able to graciously receive is as necessary as giving, especially when receiving life’s most precious gifts like love, appreciation, laughter, wisdom, support or joy.

Self-awareness creates discernment, allowing to dig deeper and distinguishing the root causes of feeling and emotions, which are often different than what they appeared to us to be on the surface.

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Benefits of Meditation and the Gayatri Mantra

This is a beautiful mantra is based on a hymn of the Rig-Veda and is cited throughout Vedic literature. Deva Premal, a classically trained musician, truly offers a meditative and spiritual interpretation of this mantra.

Deva Premal

Deva Premal

Learn how to harness the benefits of meditation like millions of others!

The Gayatri Mantra, as the story is told, was chanted by her father to her while she was still in her mother’s womb and continued to be a lullaby sung to her at bedtime, so it’s no wonder that it was the inspiration for her first album, “Essence.”

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