Many think of meditation as a silly New Age practice or “too hippie” for their taste. Some others think it is against their religion.
In the 1970s, Swami Muktananda arrived in Santa Monica, California from India to kick off his “meditation revolution” in the USA. A young reporter asked if her rabbi would allow meditation. Muktananda responded with this question, “Does your rabbi allow you to sleep?”
Meditation is not sleep. But it is very personally subjective and doesn’t conflict with any religious dogma or belief system. It requires daily practice for optimum benefits. It’s considered better to meditate for short periods daily than long periods occasionally.
Meditation requires you sit comfortably in a restful space, close your eyes, and allow mind chatter to settle on its own without forceful intervention. It also includes focusing on your breathing while calmly witnessing your thoughts and mental imagery without attachment or aversion.
Remain relaxed, aware, and alert. Start with short sessions daily and increase durations as you get more out of your practice. Eventually you’ll come to enjoy the tranquility and clarity of a quiet mind. This takes steady, patient practice.
Recently, medical researchers have been exploring the physiological and psychological benefits of daily meditation.
Research on meditation proves health benefits
(1) Heart health: Meditation leads to calmness and better stress management. One report from England claims it cuts heart disease in half. The study was done on people with a history of heart health problems. Another study in Southern California had similar conclusions.
(2) Blood Pressure: Blood pressure is lowered naturally by practicing meditation daily. This has been measured and recorded.