Meditation Benefits: What is Meditation?

What is Meditation?

What is Meditation?

What is meditation? The word meditation has been misunderstood and used incorrectly, especially in the culture of the mass media. Meditation has come to mean everything from contemplating to daydreaming or fantasizing. In Yoga (Ashtanga Yoga) the word for meditation is dhyana and it is not contemplation or imagination.

Meditation is a specific practice that quiets the mind, taking us beyond our doubt, anxiety, judgments, in other words, beyond the prison of our mental conditioning. It is a state of consciousness beyond the ordinary waking state. Meditation is a means for understanding and experiencing the center of consciousness within.

Meditation is not a religion, though it plays a part in all the worlds’ wisdom traditions and is used to enrich the spiritual experience. Meditation is a science, which means it has defined principles, that there’s a specific process which is followed, and it produces results that can be verified.

The practice of meditation is the practice of clearing the mind, allowing it to become relaxed and inwardly focused. Meditation is a state of restful-awareness; your mind is clear, you are fully awake and aware, but your mind is not focused on the external environment or any of the events that are happening around you. You are cultivating an inner state that is one-pointed and still, so that the mind will slip into silence. When this stillness happens, and the mind falls silent and it no longer distracts you, your meditation deepens.

In this ‘modern’ age, we are not educated in how to look within; all our educational practices are focused on examining the external world. As a result we remain, mostly, unknown to ourselves, strangers to our true nature. Vast reaches of our mind go unknown, the deep reservoir of our unconscious (subconscious) mind remains a mystery and outside of our control. The result is confusion, doubt and disappointment, with these attributes often playing a major role in our lives. It’s been said that the whole of the body is in the mind but the mind (the intellect) is not in the whole of the body.  It is only through the awareness which arises in meditation that we can really develop control over the mind.

To reach the goal of meditation, which is to go beyond the mind and experience our essential nature, our biggest obstacle is our mind, which stands between us and pure awareness. This is the reason that it is often referred to as the ‘monkey mind,’ and why the practice of training the mind is compared to that of training a puppy. The mind resists any efforts to control it, because it seems that our mind has a mind of its own. It’s the uncontrolled mind that causes us to only experience daydreams, visions and fantasies instead of having the genuine experience of meditation.

The practice of meditation is the practice of stilling and calming yourself, releasing judgment and seeing things as they are. It is a way training the mind so that you won’t be caught up in its endless movement and distractions. Meditation is the process of systematically exploring your inner dimensions.     

Meditation is a commitment, you are committing yourself to a practice not a ritual or ceremony. Meditation is not about forcing the mind to be quiet (it really can’t be done that way); instead it is the process of letting go and discovering the quietness that is always present behind the screen of our internal dialogue. Meditation requires a certain discipline; there is a need for consistency. Meditation is like learning to play a musical instrument or paint a picture, if you want to reach the level where creativity can flow naturally through you; then you need to practice the techniques until you can let go of them.

Meditation is freedom from the endless noise and distractions inside your head. Meditation allows you to experience what is taking place around you without reacting. Meditation brings you the freedom to experience who you really are, free from all the mental activity, and you begin to experience inner contentment and joy.

This relief and respite from the hectic pace of everyday life is not an escape from the world but the foundation of inner peace. With practice you can begin bringing the attributes of meditation into your everyday activities, which allows you to move more effectively in the world. Applying the principles of meditation to the experiences that happen before you, you can become fully present to them, which gives you time to respond before reacting to them.

Meditation is very beneficial in that way; it exposes your unproductive habits and reflexes instead of acting them out and this leads to inner balance, harmony and freedom.

So what is meditation? It is the place where you remember your essential nature as centered, creative and peaceful, free to experience the joy of being fully present in this moment, NOW

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Benefits of Meditating in Public

Whatever you do, if you do it from your authentic self then there will be no need for the approval of others. This is the subject of this particular post, looking at the need for approval. The author maintains that a benefit of meditating in public, as a practice, is a way of learning to let go of your attachment, for the ego-self’s need for approval.

Dr. David Simon

Dr. David Simon

As one of my teachers, Dr. David Simon, explained it, the ego is consistently preparing to be offended. Letting go of that fear is a benefit of meditation, because through meditation we increasingly become conscious of our true selves.ᅠ

I. This is most important. Your need for approval gets put in the crosshairs. And it needs to be if you are serious about mastery, which is to say,

Meditating in public could help you release your need for approval more quickly, but any practice of meditation will awaken you to your higher self and beyond the ego’s need for approval.

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Andrew Cohen and his Personal Journey with Meditation

This is an interview with Andrew Cohen, the founder and editor of ‘EnlightenNext’ magazine and widely recognized as the defining voice in the emerging field of evolutionary spirituality.

Andrew Cohen

Andrew Cohen on meditation Benefits

Andrew tells us the story of his journey of self-realization, from his first spontaneous and unsought experience of cosmic consciousness, to his being invited to England and the beginning of his teaching practice.

At a certain point, I began to go to Buddhist meditation courses, mainly because in that retreat environment I could meditate all day and night if I wanted to, for weeks at a time. The profound peace and intense clarity that resulted from such

Andrew Cohen is a spiritual evolutionary and is redefining the spiritual ideal of enlightenment for the 21st century, and he’s dedicated to creating nothing less than a revolution in consciousness and culture.

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Ahh Haa – Could a More Creative Mind be a Mediation Benefit

Let’s start with the conclusion about this meditation benefit, creativity. And it’s that we are a long way from, “locating creativity in the brain or working it like a muscle.” However, there is hope that by quieting all the self-talk, or as those in the wisdom traditions call it, the monkey mind, that the hidden creative urges will emerge.

Ron Alexander, a meditation teacher and director of the Open Mind training Institute, as built his practice on helping others to enhance their creativity and he’s done that using mindfulness meditation techniques. This practice of Alexander’s is grounded in science; neuroscientists have been learning that our brains have what’s called neuroplasticity, and that brain cells can actually increase by a process known as neurogenesis.ᅠ

They called in a therapist and meditation teacher named Ron Alexander. “Over two years, I did a series of seminars on creativity, reengineering, and revisioning, so that individuals in the division could begin to access new creative directions,” he  
Fast Company

What does all that mean? It means that mindfulness meditation is a way to improve executive functioning in the brain, that part that’s associated with abstract thinking, integrating of sensory information, and planning.

Again, creativity has not been linked to any one portion of the brain so it would be stretching things, at this point, to say that meditation conclusively increases creativity. So the real meditation benefits maybe in quieting the mind so that our hidden creativity can rise to the surface.

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The Meditation Benefits for Childhood Learning

SEL is short for social and emotional learning and is the basis on which Goldie Hawn, yes that Goldie Hawn, created the MindUP curriculum, a program aimed at helping your kids improves classroom learning and behavior with real world application.

This is not some ‘new age,’ airy fairy stuff; this program is ground on a solid science based platform that showed, “SEL improves academic achievement, as measured by standardized tests and grades as well as conduct problems — including disruptive classroom behaviors, aggression, bullying, school suspensions and delinquent acts.”ᅠ

Basically, Hawn’s foundation wants to teach kids how to meditate. And New York state is getting behind this movement, so New Yorkers, get ready for your kids to ommmm all the way home. I’ve always been a big fan of meditation, and those moments when my  
The Stir (blog)

The Hawn foundation working with one of the nation’s oldest educational materials companies, Scholastic publishers, created a curriculum for schools to implement the MindUP program. Over a thousand schools are using the MindUP program and improvement in grade as well as test scores and reduction in bulling and disruptive behavior.

It’s the core practice, based on meditation techniques, which are the foundation of the MindUP program. It’s this meditation benefit that allows our kids improve their capacity to focus, pay attention and succeed.

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The Meditation Benefit of Happiness

The Purpose of Life is to be Truly Happy

According to the wisdom traditions the purpose of life is to be truly happy, and our desire for happiness is an integral part of our nature, and it’s evolutionary. The mistake we make very often is, believing that if we get, accomplish or become something else, then we will be happy. Not realizing it’s the other way around, that by being happy now, it will lead to our getting, accomplishing and becoming what we most desire.

The Meditation Benefit of Happiness

The Meditation Benefit of Happiness

The wisdom traditions teach that happiness is found in being and not by doing, and it’s defined as bliss, contentment and joy without need or cause. Understanding intellectually, what happiness is and where it’s found, is much different than applying that knowledge. You can learn to address the root causes of unhappiness, but that’s only half the challenge, the other half is in the application and the practice. This is where meditation becomes a benefit.

Happiness and meditation have been long been linked together and now western science understands why. Scientists have now identified, the happiness set point, where happiness is located in the brain and the neurotransmitters of happiness.

The Neurotransmitters of Happiness

According to these researchers, it’s the release of neurotransmitters in the seat of higher thinking, the pre-frontal cortex, which changes the brains set-point for happiness. Meditation stimulates the release of neurotransmitters, including opiates, serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. So, we now know that happiness isn’t some elusive emotion, it’s a physiological state which can be studied and measured. The effects of meditation on all the neurotransmitters change the brains set point for happiness in a way that no single drug can.

The Most Powerful Benefit of Meditation

As important, as the physiological effects are, there is a more powerful benefit that meditation offers in awakening true happiness. The Eastern spiritual traditions, from the beginning, understood that life inevitably contains suffering, from accidents to aging, from natural disasters to death. These same Eastern traditions diagnosed suffering and found five main causes of unhappiness and then came to understand that all of them were contained in the first; ignorance of your true identity. Once you experience your true nature, who you really are, then your suffering will come to an end.

Meditation is the key to discovering your true identity which lies in deep in your consciousness beyond your mind, intellect, and ego. Meditation allows you to discover, and most importantly, experience, that part of you that transcends space-time, cause and effect; the part of you that’s immortal, your core consciousness. The experience of self-realization is experience of enlightenment, which is the only permanent cure for unhappiness.

Enlightenment is knowing your real self, or as Deepak puts it, “In the world of constant change, there is something that doesn’t change,” know that ‘something,’ is the real you. When you experience yourself as the non-change in a world of change, and come to know the underlying ground state as who you really are, then you have discovered the key to true happiness.

Two of the best sources for deeper exploration into this meditation benefit are; Marci Shimoff’s book, “Happy for No Reason,” and Deepak Chopra’s book, “The Ultimate Happiness Prescription.”

Here are this weeks post on the Meditation benefits of Happiness.

Meditation for Women: Can Meditation improve Gross National Happiness?

In my work for the David Lynch Foundation, I find teaching at-risk children the Transcendental Meditation technique is one of the most valuable tools you can give a young person. They grow in self worth and inner happiness as they daily …

Publish Date: 04/18/2011 6:10

Video: Sharon Salzberg talks meditation and “Real Happiness

Sharon Salzberg’s “Real Happiness” challenge: What’s it like to meditate for 28 days? | Our March 2011 review of Salzberg’s new book Real Happiness | Shambhala Sun Audio: Sharon Salzberg (Dec 13, 2010) | Sharon Salzberg: “Surprised by …

Publish Date: 02/18/2011 10:22

Meditation Cultivates Happiness and Changes Your Brain – Kalu

“Many studies have shown that meditation is good for the mind. It’s also good for the body; it is good for the immune system, blood circulation, and overall sense of happiness” he said. At the Open Center event, Rinpoche told his …

Publish Date: 05/08/2011 7:16

Happiness and Meditation

I think, without them, all the other steps would be nothing. 2. Meditation, Happiness and the Trap of the Intellect ( Here, intellect plays a major role in one’s happiness. …

Publish Date: 05/01/2011 6:58

And Now for Some You Tube Happiness

Russell Simmons: Happiness and Transcendental Meditation

For more information visit – Russell Simmons explains how through practice of Transcendental Meditation http everyone can easily grow in happiness. Russell Simmons (Def Jam) was one of the founders of the hip- hop movement and is now an en…

Smiling Buddha Meditation Technique for Peace and Happiness (free article with full details). If you want to be happy, peaceful and have confidence, then the Smiling Buddha Meditation Technique is perfect for you. Although this meditation uses mantras, mudras, etc to bestow it’s benefits, it’s …

Matthieu Ricard: Habits of happiness What is happiness, and how can we all get some? Buddhist monk, photographer and author Matthieu Ricard has devoted his life to these questions, and his answer is influenced by his faith as well as by his scientific turn of mind We can tra…

Happiness Happiness Top 20 most famous happy quotes and happiness quotations. Get 16 free self improvement and selfhelp guides with inspirational quotes, affirmations, happiness, meditation, relaxation, positive, manifestation, mo…

A Complement to Cancer Treatment-a Meditation Benefit

Using meditation as a complementary treatment for cancer is gaining wider acceptance as more and more rigorous studies begin to emerge. But as the author, Joseph Nowinski Ph. D points out; we are talking about complementary and not alternative treatment.

It’s noted, in this piece, that there is no evidence that meditation leads to remission or a cure, it does help with the mental stresses, as well as, helping reduce some of the side effects of chemo.

I am a big time meditator and do lots of energy work. Frankly I think that has had some impact on my being alive eight-plus years with mets. We all have to die of something. I am not afraid to die, but am afraid to die before I am able to fully accept

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There are two types of meditation that are often studied, concentrative meditation and mindfulness meditation. These two different types of meditation are ones being used in the newest research and it’s from them that we can expect to see the newest meditation benefits.

7 Myths about Union, Yoga or Meditation

Yoga is related to the English word yoke. Meaning to bind together; Yoga is the union of the mind body and spirit and in this union with the spirit your actions and desires are one with nature. While less prevalent today than a few years ago, still, many have the misconception that the asana or positions is all there is to yoga.

Another myth is that Yoga and meditation are separate practices, but at the deeper level they are the expression of the body/mind union, both being simultaneous experiences of one another.

Dada Vedaprajinananda, is a yoga and meditation teacher with more than 40 years of experience, and has heard every misconception out there when it comes to yoga. 1. Yoga is a sport: One of the important components of yoga is the practice of physical

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This Myth of the separation between the mind and body practices is explored a bit in, “the physical side of yoga is the most important,” myth. There are so many other myths surrounding meditation and Yoga, that I’m certain that the list could be a great deal longer, but this is a good start.

Meditation for beginners symbolized by OM …

The OM is the mystic symbol of the syllable A-u-m, the sum total of all energy, the first cause, the all-pervading sound.

Meditation for beginners symbolized by OM

Meditation for beginners

Medicine Buddha Mantra By Khenpo Pema Chopel Rinpoche · Meditation – An Amazing Stress Reduction Technique That is Easy to Do · meditation and prayer…3/om-aum-symbol-4

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The best meditation for beginners starts with the “beginners mind,” what was your intent and motivation, what was it that set you on the path to learn to meditate?

For those with a “beginners mind” this site is a wonderful place to start. If your motivation is about having peace of mind, less stress and more happiness, or if you are want to cultivate more gratitude, lovingkindness or compassion in your life, these experiences are all benefits of meditation. Meditation is about supporting your inner potential, and it’s about being fully present.