Becoming an adept meditator does more than simply relax the mind and body. It is in this relaxed mind/body state where the most beneficial and rewarding aspects lie, and it’s not just reserved for surface level changes. Our trillions-strong community of cells feel it too, and scientists have the data to prove that where there is a change in perception and awareness, there is a change in the most foundational levels of our organism.
A study headed by Herbert Benson of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) has found that not only do the typical physiological effects of meditation and relaxation play out, but there is a marked change in genes as well. The study was conducted with 26 volunteers, all of whom had no previous meditation experience. Their gene profiles were analyzed prior to teaching them any meditation techniques. Benson and his colleagues found, after eight weeks of 10 to 20 minute relaxation exercises practiced daily, upon analyzing the volunteer’s gene profiles again, that beneficial genes expressed more than non beneficial ones. This lends credence to claims of perception literally shaping one’s health. (source article: http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn23480-meditation-boosts-genes-that-promote-good-health.html#.UbnaALvLigV)
These findings also tie into cellular biologist Dr. Bruce Lipton’s findings in his decades long research in epigenetics, which propounds Continue reading
Housed deep in the center of the thinking organ known as the brain, as a protruding component of the epithalamus (the topmost portion of the diencephalon), is the pine cone-shaped gland lovingly referred to colloquially and indirectly as “the third eye”, or the pineal gland. This gland has been revered for centuries by cultures all over the world, and is displayed in various places as a pine cone shaped symbolic form, though I’m sure that most people are unaware of it. A commonly known function of this gland/body is the regulation of the sleep wake cycle via commandment of the production of melatonin, and regulation of aspects of mood. But ancient knowledge, and now recent scientific studies, have pinned the pineal gland as a major psychological and spiritual center of the body, and it is now being discovered that it may be due to the release of a certain chemical that has been used by indigenous peoples for centuries.
Dimethyltryptamine (or DMT), a potent psychedelic compound that has been cited as causing the dreams that we have at night, has been found by science to be released by the pineal gland. DMT is not only found to be present in humans, but as has been Continue reading
A very informative independent documentary that I stubbled across on meditation, delving into it’s history, practice, and the science behind it. I am attempting to encourage as many people as possible to start meditating if you have not already, and also support the perpetuation of this practice, for it is the greatest thing that one can do for themselves.
*If video does not load, follow this link to view: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h-R3hb6Ha9A *
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In a world such as this, one in which we humans have created such unnecessary competition and stress, the concept of a still mind may seem to be something one has no hope to obtain. However, it is possible. What is a still mind? It can be described as a mind free from the susceptibility to the enticements of the constant borage of thoughts which the brain is subject to every waking moment of every day. In other words, a mind like the feathers of a duck when it is caught in the rain. It would be impossible, grossly tedious and time consuming to attempt to avoid every single rain drop that falls from the sky. Thus a ducks feathers allow for the drops to run right of, leaving no place for the drops to abide. It is as a serene lake in a quiet dawn. Clouds passing over head are reflected in the water, then are no more when the clouds have gone.
To reveal the stilled mind, first ask who is looking for a still mind? Which thought is the one that wants to be still? Or which past experience, and future want is the one that strives for stillness. Who are you?
Relax the body and meditate, observing the erratic din of the thought mill as it runs around the brain. See what the thoughts do. Observe with no intention and no imposition of will. Any attempt to direct or regulate the thoughts will stir the water, akin to kicking up the sediment of a pool of containing particulate.
It is important to avoid becoming irritated if (or more likely, when) thoughts bombard your mental space. As time goes on, the thoughts will fall away of their own accord, but do not force it–to uncover stillness, one must place oneself in the position to receive it.