How would you feel if in a few minutes every day you could relax so deeply that you dissolve away stress and fatigue?
More than ever before we are aware of the negative and accumulative effects too much stress has on our lives and loved ones. Stress impairs our ability to think clearly, feel strongly and act efficiently; it can ruin relationships.
Some psychologists have taken to calling stress the “Black Plague of the twenty-first century,” because it is a runaway condition with no obvious cure. Stress causes inflammation, weakens the immune system and is a risk factor for all kinds of serious health problems, from heart disease to depression.
In “Human Motivation,” Dr. Robert Franken makes the point that stresses are not the problem: how we react to stresses is what matters and makes all the difference to our mental and physical health.
First, he differentiates between good “eustress” and bad “distress.” If you jump out of an aeroplane because you have to, you would have distress. If you jump out for fun, you would have eustress.
The physical stress response comes in waves. The first wave, the classic initial “fight-or-flight” response, releases one set of hormones that dissipate after 10 seconds if no threat is identified. If the fight-or-flight response continues, a second set of hormones is released. It lasts 15 minutes to an hour and it is these hormones that are linked to health problems.
So if we can change our attitude to stress – letting go of anger within 10 seconds, accepting work problems as normal – we can do much to prevent the plague in our own lives. That, in turn, should reduce the tendency to spread it to those around us.
Vedic Meditation is one of the most natural stress reduction techniques available.
Once learned, you have it for life. Typically you would do two sessions a day sitting with eyes closed for 15-20 minutes. This is enough to give the mind AND body a level of rest that is deeper than sleep. This type of rest, gained through Vedic Meditation, relieves tiredness, dissolves deep-rooted stress and leaves you feeling refreshed and energetic.
Like cleaning your teeth, we simply slip Vedic Meditation into our routine and enjoy the benefits. Your thinking is clearer and more dynamic, and you have more energy. You feel calmer, yet more alert and present in every experience.
Everyone experiences something slightly different as we are, after all, very unique individuals. However, mostly the benefits of meditation add up to a more positive and dynamic approach to life. Work, recreation and relationships become more rewarding and life generally becomes easier.
Eliminate stress, think more clearly, reduce blood your pressure, sleep better, have more energy, slow the aging process. And these are just the side benefits of Vedic Meditation.
To give you a brief comparison to other meditation techniques (which is like comparing apples with oranges), Vedic Meditation does not require you to concentrate, or focus, on anything. Nor do you contemplate anything. Most religious meditation involves contemplation, as do mindfulness techniques – affirmation and visualization techniques also fall into this category – phew, we do none of that.
Vedic Meditation is a powerful form of meditation that is really simple to learn and effortless to practice. It comes with no strings attached – you don’t even have to believe that it works and it will regardless, you only need to follow the simple instructions, like “close your eyes”.
In summary, meditation techniques can be classified into three distinct categories, each deriving very different outcomes.
- Concentration: using the conscious and active level of the mind to concentrate or focus on an object, breathing, word or sound tying to force out all thought. Concentration type techniques can help you to develop your ability to focus your attention, thereby developing your ability to focus and/or concentrate more clearly in daily life. This can be very useful for studying, reading, improving memory, sports and overall concentration levels.
- Contemplation: as mentioned above many religious meditation techniques involve contemplation of a phrase or verse, the meaning of life etc. Interestingly, spiritual practices also use contemplation in the form of visualization and affirmations.
For example; Mindfulness Meditation is an adaptation of Buddhist Vipassana meditation by which one learns to be mindful, “the intentional, accepting and non-judgmental focus of one’s attention on the emotions, thoughts and sensations occurring in the present moment.”
Mindfulness meditation can become “a mental position for being able to separate a given experience from an associated emotion, and can facilitate a skilful or mindful response to a given situation.” Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mindfulness_meditation Seeing things as they are beginning to untangle the tangles of attachment, fear and confusion. One is able to live more from a place of joy, compassion, equanimity and wisdom.
- Transcendence: Concentration and contemplative techniques engage the active thinking level of the mind to achieve the desired goal. The goal often being about the experience or place reached while meditating and then carrying that into daily life. Transcendence techniques such as Vedic Meditation allow you to ‘transcend’ the active thinking level of the mind. Which in turn allows your mind AND body to gain a very deep level of rest, causing the release of stress, clearing the mind and many, many other benefits as mentioned elsewhere on this website. Imagine being able to transcend your worries, fears and stresses, even for just a few minutes, while simultaneously dissolving their impact on your mind and body – ah, now that’s what meditation is all about, don’t you think?
You may now begin to understand why one cannot really compare mediation techniques, and why it may often seem unfair to do so. It is also why you find people who practice more than one technique. For example; someone might use a concentration technique to help with short-term goals for sport or business and then Vedic Meditation for longer-term goals of better health, reduction in ageing, better sleep and so on.
If you have learnt another technique and/or have practised other techniques you may at first struggle with the effortlessness – because it really is deceptively easy. We don’t even need to ‘try’ to meditate. The technique almost works by itself, we just give it a little direction. You stay completely alert, awake and aware of what’s going on around you. You don’t black out or lose consciousnesses, you remain in complete control to enjoy the experience and reap the rewards.
Right from day one you will see the improvements in your life. Less stress, greater happiness, improved relationships. And from then it just gets better
Related article: A Few Practical Points About Vedic Meditation
If you think that you are ready to learn how to meditate,
give me a call, Warwick Jones, 021 532 768