Not Your Mama’s Meditation
After 25 years of studying both science and spirituality, I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that meditation is the apex of each. The method I teach is different than traditional practices, but let’s put that aside for just a moment and tackle the truth, because ultimately, there is no right or wrong method, as long as it gets the job done. I’m not going to wax poetic or new age hobble gobble here; we’re going to look at this practice from a purely scientific perspective. Ready?
The brain is a complex structure of nearly 100 billion neurons. Less than 20 years ago, neuroscience discovered that our brains continue to grow into old age. This discovery of “neuroplasticity” can be attributed to technological advances in brain scanning and imaging. Ultimately, meditation helps the structure of the brain in a myriad of ways. Besides increased corticol thickness and increased gray matter density (much more sexy than it sounds), it also helps thicken the pre-frontal cortex. Further, I am convinced it strengthens the white matter, which gets little press, but ultimately is the “delivery system” of messages between neurons and gray matter.
My favorite. Why? because almost everyone alive has some kind of negative subconscious programming. In a way, It’s kind of my passion to help people overcome it. When we meditate, we can actually change and replace self-limiting and false beliefs that hold us back in life. Fears, self-doubts and poor self-images can dramatically shift with a dedicated practice. People who meditate feel more confident, have a better outlook on life and respond to upsets and obstacles with much less stress than people who don’t Further, with my method of including visualization, you are actually creating an image of something you want.The subconscious mind operates in images and emotions, and cannot tell the difference between something you’ve imagined and something you’re actually experienced.
It would take a book to write about all the health benefits of meditation. For instance, reducing stress alone is huge, especially when we consider that a large majority of disease and illness can be directly attributed to or worsened by stress. Studies also show that meditation improves our immune system as well as just about any chronic condition you can think of. Finally, cardiologists are recommending it to heart patients. But all that aside, let’s take a chemical close-up. When you meditate, you reduce your cortisol levels, increase your dopamine and possibly, serotonin. These chemicals are crucial not only to your physical health, but your moods and your overall outlook on life. Further, as more positive neurotransmitters replace harmful ones, new neural pathways begin to develop in the brain, which ultimately ties back into the neuroscience and subconscious focuses above.
Like it or not, we are all energy. At a subatomic level everything in the observable universe is made of atoms that are made up of waves and particles. More accurately, waves and particles that vibrate. Ultimately we are 99% more energy than matter, yet we focus the majority of our attention on the .01% that is particle. Only in meditation are we able to take our focus away from that demanding .01% and spend time affecting the wave. Quantum physics shows us that (as Albert Einstein was on to) we’re all light. If you want to get really technical, the empty energy that comprises everything is actually biophotonic emissions, or information. Anyway, when we meditate, we are able to create experiences that allow us to heal our bodies while having much more impact on our futures as we come in tune with the information field that permeates all things.
Now that was science (and there’s more links below), but isn’t it kind of interesting that all of that supports what spiritual masters have been saying for years? There is simply no better way to improve your life than to incorporate a mediation practice. On all levels: health, outlook, energy and even success.