Meditation Benefits: Vipassana Meditation Brings Peace of Mind

Vipassana meditation brings peace of mind to the youth of India, at least around Mumbai, according to the Hindustan Times. Vipassana means “insight” in Pali, an ancient language of India. Vipassana is described as the essence of the teachings of Buddha, the experience of his teachings, because he attained the experience of the truth in meditation, so meditation is truly the essence of the teaching.

Vipassana Meditation Brings Peace of Mind

Vipassana Meditation Brings Peace of Mind

   

Vipassana is taught as a living practice of the Buddha’s teaching and it has been passed on for millennia. Vipassana as a technique is simplicity, is universally applicable and non-secular.

Vipassana is taught over a ten day period (though there are longer retreats) and is open to anyone that wants to practice this type of meditation. During this time the practitioner stays at the center, cutting all ties with the outside world. They are given instruction and told that refrain from all other activities such as reading, writing and, of course, any electronic devices are ‘turned off.’

While there is an open duologue with the meditation teacher, silence is observed between the participants. During the first three plus days the focus of practice is, appropriately enough, mental concentration, which is in preparation for formal meditation. Each day thereafter new practices or steps are introduced, until day ten when the silence ends. The tenth day is preparation for reentry into the everyday world, and the course end on the morning of the eleventh day.

The idea of meditating ten to twelve hours a day for days on end may seem a bit extreme to the uninitiated. In fact at the Vipassana centers around Mumbai, India, (as with all Vipassana centers) there is an evaluation process, like a doctors certificate, required to determine the fitness of the practitioner.

(For a detailed schedule of a ‘typical’ Vipassana retreat check out my post “The Benefits of Vipassana meditation.”)

But according to the Hindustan Times young people around Mumbai are embracing Vipassana meditation in order to relieve stress.

“Sujata Khanna, registrar, Pattana Vipassana Centre, Goregaon says that the number of people below the age of 30 who opt for Vipassana has increased noticeably in the past year. “While Vipassana was considered to be popular among the older crowd, we now find that the number of people below the age of 30 outnumber the senior crowd.”

She adds that during the vacation season, the ratio of women to men is higher: “Most come because they cannot handle the stress in their daily lives.”

Another reason for the youth to attend the intense retreat is to develop concentration skills that will help them in their studies and career.

“We always ask for a doctor’s certificate before they come, because Vipassana isn’t physically easy,” Khanna explains. “You have to sit for long hours and wake up very early, which is a big change from your usual routine. Some people do break down and cry, but a teacher is there to help them with the right techniques to deal with their situation. In fact, we’ve noticed almost 50 per cent of our young students come back.”

Advertising executive Labony Kaushal, 25, admits the only reason she thought of giving Vipassana a shot was to alleviate her boredom. “I was just tired of doing the same thing, and having nothing new in life to look forward to. I thought that 10 days of not talking to anyone would be good for me, since I’m not a very talkative person anyway.” Kaushal didn’t do any research before signing up, which she recommends for anyone who’s rolling the idea around in their head. “It’s not about religion; it’s an intense physical and mental experience because you’re just sitting and observing yourself. So, everybody’s experience is different.”

The first day, called Zero Day, is where an audio-visual explains the techniques of meditation to the new arrivals… and little else. “You expect someone to come up to you and tell you something, but you’re just sitting in one place, meditating. I got a headache on the first day, which is something they warn you of because your body is not used to it,” she recalls.

By the second day, Kaushal experienced a surge of energy, but admits the days dragged on. “I was doing a mental countdown to the end. And every day, it felt like I was running a never-ending race,” she says, adding, “But by the final day, I didn’t want to come back to Mumbai. And I definitely want to go back there soon.”

Ask Kaushal whether she’s noticed any permanent changes and she says, “ I was an angry person who’d react without thinking of the consequences, but I’ve become more patient now. I can feel a balance, though I would need to be in an extreme situation to test how powerful it is.”

Clinical psychologist and psychotherapist Seema Hingorrany admits she’s seen a substantial rise in the number of young patients opting for Vipassana, and cites stress as the main reason. “Patients between the ages of 22 to 30, who find that they cannot cope with the stress in their lives and the constant need to be in touch with people, take this step because Vipassana teaches you to detach yourself,” she says, adding, “Many of them are going through a break-up in their relationships, or have parents who are getting divorced. They listen to recommendations from friends or their spiritual guru, or have read up on the subject.”

Hingorrany says that she gets emails and calls from patients asking what the right age for Vipassana is, but she opines, “It’s not about being the right age, but having the right reason. If someone is emotionally disturbed or unbalanced, I wouldn’t recommend this intensive introspection because it might further upset the mental balance and cause you to crumble.”

For those who return from their retreat successfully, Hingorrany notices a change in their composition. “I’ve seen patients achieve a balance in body and mind.  Many reveal that their stress-related migraines and allergies disappear. And of course, they become emotionally stronger because they have enhanced their coping methods.” Read more…

The experience of Labony Kaushal is actually a common one. In the beginning most students find the meditation practice to seem more like torture instead of the deep inner peace they are seeking. They feel themselves very resistant to the forced timetable (like getting up at four or four thirty in the morning), the sparse facilities, instructions of the teacher, all the discipline and even the technique itself.

The big surprise for most of the students is, as it was for Kaushal, by the tenth day there’s the realization that Vipassana meditation brings peace of mind, that at some point the meditators slip into effortless effort, discover detached involvement and maintain a peaceful alertness.

My favorite books on Vipassana meditation are, “The Art of Living: Vipassana Meditation by William Hart” and “Insight Meditation: A Step-By-Step Course on How to Meditate by Sharon Salzberg.”

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The Benefit of Yoga as Meditation

Here in the west the word “yoga,” has, in popular culture, become synonymous with the physical postures (asana) while meditation is seen as a separate practice. Yet at its core, Yoga means union, and its essential purpose is the integration of all the layers of life, body, mind and soul, so there is an ‘oneness’ in the essence of the practice between the postures and meditation.

The Benefit of Yoga as Meditation

The Benefit of Yoga as Meditation

 

When yoga is practiced in this way it enters into every aspect of our lives and becomes a living meditation in much the same way the Buddhist practice of mindfulness becomes mindful living.

This is the basis of the article by Alice Walton, writing in Forbes, part two of her post, “The Psychology of Yoga,” which is worth clicking past the pop-up advertisement to get to. I’ll start you off with a little taste…ᅠ

“Having explored the nuts and bolts of yoga’s amazing health benefits, it seemed natural to switch from the objective to the subjective, and take a look at what yoga has been shown to do in the mind. After all, many people say that after starting yoga they feel mentally stronger, more relaxed, less depressed, and more level-headed than before. Heck, I’m the first to admit it’s the best therapy I’ve ever had. So to discuss how and why these changes occur, I turned to two well-recognized and seasoned practitioners.

Stephen Cope, director of the Institute for Extraordinary Living at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health, explains that yoga itself is a form of meditation, and herein lies its power. “Yoga provides attentional training and self-regulation,” he says. “In practicing yoga, we’re training our awareness to attend to the low of thoughts, feelings and sensations in the body – and to be with these different states without self-judgment or reactivity.”

In other words, yoga teaches a new kind of attention. People who practice yoga learn how to accept all the stress-inducing thoughts that flit around in one’s head – negative self-talk, worries, snap judgments – as just that: thoughts, and nothing more. Since reacting to our thoughts is typically what gets us into trouble, learning to attend to them and accept them nonjudgmentally is key. Then we can let them go, says Cope, and “make wise choices – not based on reactivity to these states, but on our best interests.”

This idea of paying attention to one’s thoughts in a nonjudgmental way is what mindfulness meditation, or mindfulness training, is all about. This ancient practice has gained a lot of interest from researchers (and regular folk) in recent years. Scientists have studied how mindfulness courses can change people’s reactions and behaviors, and how they can literally change the structure of the brain. Attentional training and mindfulness have been shown to provide major benefits in treating everything from stress and depression to serious addictions. And yoga seems to work in much the same way.”

The benefit of yoga as meditation is that the whole of the human nervous system is renewed; the body enjoys greater energy and health, the mind is freed from memories of the past and fantasizes of the future and perception becomes clearer and non-judgmental. ᅠClick here to visit the original source of this post

The Benefits of Meditation on Smoking Addiction

A study that took place in India, at the Mount Abu medical wing, found that a significant number of volunteers where able to stop smoking for six months after being taught Raja Yoga. Raja Yoga (royal yoga) is centered on meditation and self-realization.

It is believed, by the authors of the study, that meditation increased the volunteer’s ability to focus on their will power. By developing greater self-awareness it was easier for the participants in the study to convince themselves to quit smoking.ᅠ

Ramajayam, a member of the Vidyalaya, explained a study of smokers and their de-addiction process as influenced by Raja yoga meditation techniques. “The research was done in our medical wing at Mount Abu. The Raja yoga training was given for three

Self-realization is a process of shedding light on many memories and emotions that we have buried deep within us, which are the root cause of the addiction in the first place. By bringing awareness to these causes of suffering we can begin the process of healing and that may be the biggest benefit of meditation in dealing with addiction.

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The meditation Benefit of Invigorating Your Love Life with Tantra

For many people in Western culture the word Tantra is associated with sexual practices which have been used to appeal to a popular audience. This is a misconception; Tantra’s beginning is traced to the early centuries C.E. when it arose as a prominent form of Indian spiritual practice.

Library Image. Photo: Getty Images

Meditation Benefit of Tantra: Getty Images

Tantric meditation is a practice that involves awakening the Kundalini energy, which is a powerful divine feminine energy that resides at the base of the spine.  Kundalini is a life force energy that moves up through your chakras (see the benefits of Chakra Meditation) clearing out any energetic blockages.

“Tantra is about seeing life as a meditation,” says Del. “So it can improve love-making as it encourages you to be wholly present, through simple methods such as breathing and body movements that make any experience of the senses — eating,

Believing that our senses are the gateway between the spiritual world and the everyday reality the tantrikas (those who practice Tantra) use the senses as a way to achieve enlightenment. The balance that needs to be maintained is not confusing sensual awareness with sensual indulgence.

Just as sexual energy give birth to life, when we internalize the energy of creativity we give birth to our higher self.

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Helping Overwhelmed caregivers a Meditation Benefit

Because caregivers for both the ill and the elderly are under so much stress that the relief meditation provides make it a natural tool to use to help alleviate the stress. Studies are showing that a meditation routine improves the mental and physical health of caregivers.ᅠ

HONOLULU — Home-based caregivers of ill or elderly family members are under enormous physical and mental stress, but daily meditative yoga may be a simple, effective strategy for maintaining health, according to a study presented this week at the  
Los Angeles Times

The caregivers in this study were divided into two groups, one practiced Kirtan Kirya yoga, a meditation exercise, and the other group listened to relaxation tapes. And while both group benefited, those who practiced the meditation reported greater improvements in the quality of their lives, including the feeling that care-giving wasn’t as much of a burden as it had been before.

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Easing Irritable Bowel Syndrome-a Meditation Benefit?

Now here’s a meditation benefit that even I was unaware of, well at least until I read this study, done at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This study found that mindfulness meditation helped improve the quality of life and the mental distress that accompanies irritable bowel syndrome.

There was a significant reduction in symptoms in the mindfulness practitioners compared to a control group.   Irritable bowel syndrome is a chronic illness will sometimes start at early adolescence, and can range from mild to serious.ᅠ

The study authors also noted that mindful meditation was inexpensive and widely available. One expert praised the research results as original and powerful. “It’s a small sample, but I’m impressed. It’s not so easy to do this with treatments that are

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Even though this was a small sample the researchers involved were “impressed” with the results. Because mindfulness meditation teaches the practitioner how to focus their attention and relax, it “empowers” the sufferer to deal with a difficult to treat illness.

So I have a gut feeling that the benefits of mindfulness meditation are a meditation benefit for the whole mind-body.

Is there a benefit in a chocolate meditation?

How could chocolate play apart in meditation and, moreover, how could it benefit a meditation practice? In a word, mindfulness, and in a few more words, mindful eating.

Mark Williams, clinical psychologist at the Oxford Mindfulness Centre (OMC) suggested that a “chocolate meditation” may be one of the best ways to help someone understand mindfulness. This introduction to mindfulness seems lighthearted and fun, which it is, and yet, in these few moments of increased sensory awareness, we begin to notice that time slows down and we become more present.

This “chocolate meditation” has a deeper purpose. Because, Prof Williams, has been using mindfulness as a treatment for clinical depression, in combination with Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) as a way of helping patients manage their anxieties.

We start the chocolate meditation. Standing together, we each unwrap a chocolate, shut our eyes, inhale its aroma, then look at it and, finally, eat it. Guided by Prof Williams’s gentle voice, the world slows down as I create a pocket of space in which  
Telegraph.co.uk

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Professor Williams has co-authored a book, ‘Mindfulness: A Practical Guide to Finding Peace in a Frantic World’, introducing a combined approach of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and mindfulness, called Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT), which he first developed in the 1990s.

According to Professor Williams, Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy, “is the first genuinely preventative treatment for serious depression,” and “has been clinically proven to halve the risk of depression in those who have suffered the most debilitating forms of the illness.”

The Soul of Meditation

“The Soul of Healing,” is a video by Deepak Chopra, the post I’ve connected to here, is about the experience that the author took away from watching it. He quoted Deepak as he explained how to know your soul, or at least how to know that it exists.

The Soul of Meditation

The Soul of Meditation

Soul, Spirit and Consciousness are synonymous. It is conscious, our subjective awareness that allows us to experience anything in the objective world. Meditation is the process by which we become self-aware of our own consciousness instead of our thoughts. We become aware that we are the witness of our thoughts.ᅠ

Meditation allows you to just be and allows your spirit to blossom. The Soul of Healing. Deepak Chopra. Last Saturday, April 23, I went to Avant

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The paradox is as our ability to separate ourselves from our thoughts, by becoming the witness grows, we begin to notice that the separation between us as the ‘seer, the process of seeing and the thing seen,’ closes, and we begin to feel an oneness a unity with that which we are watching.

Yoga and Meditation: The Benefits

I’ve found it interesting, as I’ve travel my own path in yoga and meditation, to see how others perceive theirs. In this post the author opens with her revelation that, “I used to think that Yoga and Meditation were the same thing(s).” And she also includes online definitions of yoga and meditation; reading those definitions it would be easy to see how someone would conclude that yoga and meditation were not ‘one and the same.’

It’s a common miss conception (not as common as it once was) in the west that yoga is only the postures (asana), and meditation is simply sitting quietly.

The word yoga means “to join’ or “unity” and the postures are one ‘limb,’ of the eight limbs, that make up the practice of yoga, and are met to be a part of, and in support of, meditation.ᅠ

Yoga and Meditation: The Benefits. By Kathryn Goetzke. I used to think that Yoga and Meditation were the same thing. In my twenties, I rolled my eyes at both, preferring the adrenaline pumping action of movement – any movement – to the

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This is not meant as a criticism or a judgment only and observation, and because they “serve very different purposes…” for the author her perspective is valid and beneficial, and in truth for many years it was my own.

Benefits of Buddhist Meditation as our birthright

This story is one man’s personal journey, but one that is open to us all, into the light of love and compassion, out of the darkness of pain and suffering and a war with Mara.

Mara is a demon of the heart, creator of road blocks and procrastination that urges us to try and escape from the shadow states of mind that arises as we awaken.

The only reason I opened my self to these meditation practices, often called heart practices, at all was because I had tremendous faith in the practices of mindfulness (paying attention to the present moment), the Buddha and my teachers, who assured me

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In the end we are led to the conclusion that our ability to love, forgive and fell compassion are our birthright and that all that is required from us is a willingness to seek out that birthright.