The Jan. 9 issue of Parade magazine says that meditation is the No. 1 health booster available.
And a recent NBC News story revealed that Visitacion Valley Middle School in San Francisco falls quiet twice a day as the sixth, seventh and eighth grade students meditate for 15 minutes, with remarkable results. “Quiet Time” has decreased suspensions by 79 percent and attendance and academic performance has noticeably increased.
So, why is meditation just now being discovered (or re-discovered)?
All the evidence says quiet reflection creates greater awareness of your thoughts and feelings. It helps you to see things in a different way. It has a calming effect and can help relieve stress and frustration. In that space, you can make decisions with greater clarity and think more positively, creatively, and productively. It brings greater harmony between your brain hemispheres, which are often, if not usually, at odds with each other.
Personal reflection helps us to change our natural, default setting to a more aware and considerate state. It helps us conquer instinctual negative reactions and to become more proactive. In our reflection time, we can consider how we’ve thought, felt, and acted in past experiences and how we could have reacted differently. This then carries forward into how we act in the future.Read More on The Huffington Post
But study after study is changing this view to fit the facts.Read More on The Huffington Post
Our thoughts influence our emotions, and vice versa. To truly achieve internal harmony, we must understand and manage both. And in order to do this we must engage in the practice of reversing our senses.
It’s clear that our emotions have a direct impact on our thoughts. Frustration and stress make it difficult to focus on our vision. Feeling jealous about someone else’s success makes it difficult to think positive thoughts about him or her. We get cut off while driving, and immediately our blood boils, our heart starts to pound, we want to hurt the jerk. Such a simple thing can seriously throw off our entire day.
Ronald Potter-Efrong, anger management expert and author of Healing the Angry Brain, explains that when we get angry, our limbic system gets activated and our body switches into “fight or flight” mode by increasing our heart rate, respiration, and blood flow to muscles. Here’s the kicker–usually, all this happens without our conscious awareness, meaning it inhibits our thought processes.
Scientists from the University of Valencia recently completed a study on the brain’s cardiovascular, hormonal and asymmetric activation response to when we get angry. The results, published in the journal Hormones and Behavior, reveal that anger provokes profound changes in the state of mind of the subjects (“they felt angered and had a more negative state of mind”) and in different psychobiological parameters. When we get angry, the researchers concluded, our heart rate, arterial tension and testosterone production increases, cortisol (the stress hormone) decreases, and the left hemisphere of the brain becomes more stimulated. Neus Herrero, main author of the study and researcher at UV, explains, “Inducing emotions generates profound changes in the autonomous nervous system, which controls the cardiovascular response, and also in the endocrine system. In addition, changes in cerebral activity also occur, especially in the frontal and temporal lobes.”
Again, the point is that it’s not enough to manage our thoughts; our emotions must be monitored and managed as well. And how do we manage our emotions? Why, by our thoughts, of course. This is the essence of reversing our senses–overcoming powerful negative emotions harbored by our subconscious mind.Read More on The Huffington Post
Clearly one of the most influential men of our time, Steve Jobs was a big believer in meditation to still the mind, access intuition, become more creative, stay focused, and make wiser decisions.Jobs was a Zen Buddhist for many years. In 1974 he traveled to India in search of a spiritual guru. When he returned, he found one in his hometown of Los Altos, California: Kobun Chino Otogawa, a Japanese-born Zen master. Jobs studied at Kobun’s Zen Center and they developed a close relationship, discussing life and Buddhism during midnight walks. Jobs told biographer Walter Isaacson, “I ended up spending as much time with him as I could. Zen has been a deep influence in my life ever since.” Continue reading
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”
– Jim Rohn, Personal Development GuruFocusing on our thoughts and emotions changes who we are. That internal change leads to smarter doing and better results in our external world. Going inside ourselves helps us to develop better thought processes. It helps us to access our intuition to make better decisions. It makes us more peaceful and happy, which then strengthens our relationships. We simply feel better all around, and that spreads to other people as well. People enjoy spending time with us and we create more value for them. As with anything worthwhile, you won’t see results with these mental disciplines for the first few weeks of implementing them. It takes consistency over time to get the hang of it, to start getting real value from your meditation sessions, to start seeing results in your life. Three things are absolutely imperative to make meaningful internal adjustments in your life: knowledge, application, and practice. 1. You must be able to see your situation clearly and understand the principles of thought and emotion that are constantly affecting you. 2. You must apply this knowledge on a regular basis by being aware of your thoughts and emotions. 3. You must practice some form of quiet personal reflection to allow yourself to calm yourself internally. As motivational speaker and personal change expert Tony Robbins says: “If we want to direct our lives, we must take control of our consistent actions. It’s not what we do once in a while that shapes our lives, but what we do consistently.” Consistency is the key.
Read more about these concepts in the book, Reversing The Senses.