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Explore Meditation Practices

Ellie Meditating by River

Published October 25, 2015

The earliest written records of meditation, around 1500 BCE, come from the Hindu traditions. Today meditation is being practiced in our Western culture because of its physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits.

Mindfulness meditation is the practice of being in the present moment fully. The meditator’s mind expands in an openness to embrace each unfolding moment. As the meditator deepens their practice, they gain more wisdom, truth, compassion, and interconnection with all things. These insights guide the meditator in living their daily life in ease and love.

Physical Benefits

Mayo study: Meditation might also be useful if you have a medical condition, especially one that may be worsened by stress. While a growing body of scientific research supports the health benefits of meditation, some researchers believe it’s not yet possible to draw conclusions about the possible benefits of meditation.

With that in mind, some research suggests that meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

Allergies
Anxiety disorders
Asthma
Binge eating
Cancer
Depression
Fatigue
Heart disease
High blood pressure

A study published May 15, 2013 by the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health revealed that $28 billion could be saved annually in sick days and medical costs from colds and flu if more people meditated.

Emotional / Mental Health Benefits

The emotional and mental health benefits of meditation include:

  1. Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations
  2. Building skills to manage your stress
  3. Increasing self-awareness
  4. Focusing on the present
  5. Reducing negative emotions

Societal Benefits

Meditation might fundamentally alter how we treat those around us. It has the potential for preventing everything from bullying to domestic violence to callousness and indifference because it increases compassion for self and others.

Meditation Styles

Meditators can focus their attention on an object like their breath, a mantra such as OM, visualization, part of the body, a candle, guided imagery, picture of a teacher, or sounds. Another style is when the meditator monitors their internal and external experiences. Regardless of the style, nonjudgement and nonattachment are to be practiced.

The physical position of the meditator may be seated in a lotus, half lotus position, with a zafu cushion between legs, using wooden benches or on a chair.

Moving meditations include walking, Qigong and Meditative Movements.

Meditation Resources

Free Deepak & Oprah Online Meditation starts Nov 2, 2015. Vipassana Wisconsin Location This is the most intense meditation I have attended to date. Review the video to learn more about this practice.

Books

Meditation for Dummies Stephan Bodian
wherever you go there you are by Jon Kabat-Zinn
Zen Mind, Beginner’s Mind by Shunryu Suzuki
Breaking Habit Being Yourself by Joe Dispenza
The Cow in the Parking Lot by Susan Edmiston, Leonard Scheff

Twin City Centers

Clouds in Water – St. Paul
The Meditation Center of The Himalayan Yoga Tradition – Minneapolis
Mind & Body Spiritual Center – Minneapolis
Common Ground – Minneapolis
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