Using Meditation for Success!
The broadest and the most commonly understood and used meaning of meditation is mindfulness. It simply means focusing your thoughts on a single thing. Though there are vast varieties of meditation and with them come countless tools and techniques to practise it, training yourself to focus should be the first thing to be learned. “When a stray thought arises, the practitioner must be quick to recognize it, and then turn back to the focus of their attention,” says George Dvorsky, writing about meditation. “And it doesn’t just have to be the breath; any single thought, like a mantra, will do.” Although, before you practice meditation, the objective should be very clear in your mind. Is it just for relaxation, for a certain health objective, bringing down the blood pressure to normal, preparation for a big speech the next day or faster healing etc.?
Mayo Clinic, a non-profit medical practice and medical research group based in Rochester, Minnesota and the first and largest integrated non-profit medical group practice in the world, employing more than 3,800 physicians and scientists and 50,900 allied health staff has reported, ‘When you meditate, you clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress.’
There are many ways by which meditation can help you achieve success:
- It clears the unnecessary input load on the brain and hence reduces the level of stress. This helps a person to gain a clear sight of his goal.
- Meditation increases the process of gyrification of the cerebral cortex (folding of the cerebral cortex) which increases the speed of processing of information in the brain.
- It can help you overcome self-detachment and help you to reconnect with yourself.
- Meditation can improve the multitasking ability of the brain.
- It helps you to reduce the noise in the brain.
- Meditation results in long lasting changes in the mental state.
- It helps in reducing the base effects of rumination.
- It helps in reducing the physical and symptomatic manifestations of stress.
- Helps in improving health.
- Helps you to reconnect to your objective.
- Helps you to prepare for an impending battle.
- It can help improve your sleep pattern.
- It can help to restore and correct the natural working of the endocrine system.
- It can affect your personality positively.
- It can help you to improve your focus.
- It improves creativity.
Have you ever found yourself up against the wall and then used meditation to release that vice grip choking you?
History of meditation can be found recorded in the Hindu text as old as 5000 years . It has been practiced by sages, seers, leaders, great men like Gautam Budhha, countless celebrities and many more to achieve intellectual and spiritual actualization. The most common form of meditation, the Transcendental Meditation (TM) is actually a very simple technique that has a profound effect on multiple levels of our mind as well as our life.
It involves sitting upright for twenty minutes a day, twice daily ,in a quiet and comfortable place preferably early in the morning and before going to sleep at night and direct all your attention on the act of breathing or a mantra. If you are using the act of breathing for the TM, then to overcome the natural tendency of the mind to wander, it might help you to think of the word in while you inhale and out while you exhale.
Meditation can be effectively therapeutic. The study of Dr. Herbert Benson is conclusive in this area. The cardiologist of Harvard medical school in a study found that TM was very helpful in bringing down the heart and respiratory rates and hence reducing the blood pressure in people with hypertension. Moreover after a session of meditation they were extremely relaxed yet highly aware of their surroundings, a state that Benson called ‘relaxed response.’ Further studies showed that meditation is capable of altering a person’s response to stress, becoming a very important tool of stress management.
Sharon Salzberg, a New York Times bestselling author and teacher of Buddhist meditation practices in the West and co-founder of the Insight Meditation Society at Barre, Massachusetts with Jack Kornfield and Joseph Goldstein, says, ‘Dedicating some time to meditation is a meaningful expression of caring for yourself that can help you move through the mire of feeling unworthy of recovery. As your mind grows quieter and more spacious, you can begin to see self-defeating thought patterns for what they are, and open up to other, more positive options.’ She also advises, ‘Some people have a mistaken idea that all thoughts disappear through meditation and we enter a state of blankness. There certainly are times of great tranquility when concentration is strong and we have few, if any, thoughts. But at other times, we can be flooded with memories, plans or random thinking. It's important not to blame yourself.’