Meditation Matters

Meditation Mumbo-Jumbo…documented with Science!

MRI’s show change in grey matter density with as little as 8 weeks of practice. EEG’s track brain activity during meditation showing what areas are enliven by meditation and which are calmed. Studies are reproduced with similar results all over the world. Double blind research studies as well as comparative effectiveness and epidemiological studies agree that mediation offers profound benefits for the body and mind. While science is able to show benefits and some explanations, the spiritual connections that can be made during meditation are still left as individual to the meditator and not included as components of modern research. I’m choosing to use easy access resources instead of scientific journals to ease you all into the science. If you want the hard stuff of the NCBI, let me know!

Meditation can change your brain.

  • Meditation improves processing of thoughts, new information and sensory input.
  • Meditation increases your capacity for compassion & empathy
  • Meditation reduces stress & fear
  • Meditation improves sense of self

Read more
Chopra Center
Harvard Gazette

Meditation changes your body.

  • Reduces Chronic Pain
  • Improves many digestive challenges like IBS.
  • Improves Immune Function
  • Increases Heart Rate Variability

Learn more
Scientific American (interesting videos) –
Harvard Gazette (different than previous article)

There is no one correct way to meditate, rather many different techniques with various results.

  • Using breath connections
  • Mantras
  • Mindfulness
  • Trancendental
  • Body Scans
  • Loving-Kindess
  • Spiritual Connections
  • Counting and number work

This list could go on forever. How can you choose the best style of meditation for your needs? It often takes a teacher and sometimes a group to begin your meditation practice. Take classes with different teachers and learn many techniques, paying attention to your responses. Be open to what is working, and if it is not, return your mind to a technique of meditation that has offered you a sense of calm and focus in the past.

Learn more:
Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley

Meditation is not as simple as sitting still and quiet however that is a fantastic start. We at JOURNEYoga believe it is a powerful tool of transformation and is a possibility for everyone. Start or continue your JOURNEY to better health, less stress and and more meaningful connections!

Do Something!
Sit down. Shut up. And Breath…. if it were only that easy.
Maybe sign up for a class at JOURNEYoga instead.

Manifestation: How do you get where you want to be?

How do you get from before to after? How do you move from consciousness into action? How do you get the results you are seeking in life? Why does your brain settle on some thoughts more than others? Why move from what was, to what is, much less imagine what could be?

Purusha and Prakriti are Vedic/Upanishadic concepts of consciousness and turning your consciousness into action/result. Discussing this in a yoga class or two, I’ve been asked to simplify the idea. It think the secret lands in the word manifestation… and a connection to my previous blog post. It’s complicated. But does it have to be?

Purusha is consciousness, including the divine collective consciousness. Complicated.
Prakriti is the cosmic energy that exists within all matter. Complicated.
Manifestation is the actuation of your thoughts and efforts into a tangible awareness or even an object. Complicated.

Now… use your connection to purusha to manifest the prakriti you desire. Mind bogglingly complicated.

Without the fancy language, there are a few steps to follow.
1. Discern what you really want in life by sorting through your thoughts and setting goals. Those goals should read as positive affirmations.

Now, this is the tough part. . .

2. Separate your efforts from the results of those efforts. When the right effort is put forth, results occur. There is no difference. The only way to control the result, is to control the effort you put forth. Release connection to the result. Completely. Like I said, this is the hard part.

Keep your mind focused and continue making the “right” effort.

3. Wait. Change will come and you will have manifested exactly what you asked for through conscious effort!

Let me offer a few examples:
You make a grocery list (conscious goals set). You are hungry as you enter the grocery store and while you may pick up some fresh produce and protein, keeping your goals in tact, but you also pick up some potato chips for the drive home. While you made a list, it wasn’t super focused. Refining consciousness includes defining goals. The goal was really to purchase healthy food to nourish the body. So it wasn’t the effort that went astray, it was a lack of conscious refinement.

You need to stop dating needy people. How do you consciously define your dating goal? “I don’t want needy people” still associates the mind with what you do NOT want and likely the effort will still remain on needy people and therefore you efforts will lead you right back to needy people. Set the conscious goal on a positive statement. “I will fill my life will giving, happy people.” When your consciousness perceives something other than giving and happy, it can dismiss what does not meet the expectation. You may find new friends that fill your need for community instead of a date… what is the real reason you are dating?

It’s time to change jobs. You are in an interview and asked why you are looking for a new job. Don’t tell them what’s wrong with your current job. State the positive qualities you are looking for: challenging, collaborative, creative, flexible etc. If you are simply looking for something different, you might jump from the fire into a boiling pot! Be specific and keep your thoughts focused and effort on the path YOU determined.

Even more powerful, is aligning your consciousness and goals on the collective, the diving energy, true Purusha. The divine is a giving, loving, energizing, omnipresent force. Your efforts to align with the divine, result in a truly blessed life!

Do Something!

Define your life goals.
Commit to the continued effort of staying on target.
Then wait for it….
Because the results will MANIFEST.