What is meditation?

Benefits of meditation

By focusing our attention on the breath, on various senses and on the inner-body, in meditation classes we withdraw from our busy life. We step out of the fast stream of thoughts to find a quiet place within ourselves.

In the beginning when we sit down and look inside, we often find much noise going on in our mind. Instead of codemning and judging this, we accept it as it is and just observe all that is going on. When we continuously practice in this way, all the more often we get to a place of stillness in meditation. We can then move on to applying the same techniques in our daily life, and thus we may become more calm and aware in our day-to-day affairs.

Meditation can consist of a still and mindful centering, walking meditation, meditation with attention on sounds, image, breath, candle meditation and so on.

In meditation, like in yoga, we acknowlege that the evolution concerns us all. Therefore the personal experience in only a part of the practice. Whoever meditates, participates acively in the evolution of all the dimensions of the Self, therefore the society as a whole too. By becoming more calm, free and conscious, we inevitably exert positive influence upon everyone else of our surrounding.

Even though meditation is performed mainly as spiritual practice, scientific studies of Western medicine have been pointing to the physiological benefits of meditation and its effect of various medical conditions.

Meditation:

- decreases respiratory rate and slows the heart rate

- increases the ability to relax

- lowers the blood pressure

- increases exercise tolerance in heart patients

- allows the person to reach deeper level of relaxation

- reduces anxiety attacks and increases relaxation response

- enhances the immune system. Research has revealed that meditation increases activity of 'natural-killer cells', which kill bacteria and cancer cells.

- increases self confidence

- increases serotonin production. Low levels of serotonin are associated with depression, obesity insomnia and headaches

- reduces pre-menstrual syndrome

- helps with allergies

- helps with arthritis