What is meditation, and how does it work? Here, Rego Park, NY teacher Angela A. discusses the basics, and how the practice can affect your health and wellbeing:
The word meditation is a Latin derivative of meditari and mederi (think and heal).
Just think and heal. Could that be really that simple!?
Well, meditation has deep roots that take us into the old, ancient times, when people used to spend most of their time doing manual labor and praying. Some of the Eastern Master Teachers referred to the word meditation as the dialogue between humans and nature (which was also called God). There was born a saying, “When we are praying we talk to God, but when we are meditating God talks to us.” Many of these teachers spent their time in the quietness of nature, surrounded by four major elements (air, water, earth, and fire), meditating and fasting, struggling to receive the spiritual enlightenment and ultimate universal wisdom. Their quest for truth brought fruitful results and enriched humanity with their inspiration and wisdom.
What are the Benefits of Meditation?
The benefits of meditation for beginners and beyond have been proved by modern science, as well. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, for example, discovered that by meditating we actually put our biological clock to resistance! How? By meditating we better cope with stress, and our bodies produce special enzymes that extends the telomeres, which are the part of our DNA that we know as the biological clock. Meditation not only helps us to stay young, but also brings peace of mind and increased body awareness. While we meditate we experience deep breathing and brain oxygenation, which allows us to focus on the present moment.
Research has also shown that meditation can contribute to an individual’s psychological and physiological well-being. This is accomplished as meditation brings the brainwave pattern into an alpha state, which is a level of consciousness that promotes the healing state.
What are Some Tips for Meditation for Beginners?
It’s very beneficial to meditate in the fresh air. Where we are outdoors, we automatically switch to breathing slowly and deeper, and it’s much easier to relax when we are surrounded by the elements, either in the park, near the river, or by the mountains.
Many of my students notice dramatic health benefits, including less pain, vigorous energy, and an immense amount of joy following our first meditation class. They also continue to meditate at home to involve other family members, including their pre-teens and children! This kind of activity brings all family members together in the circle of unity and love.
If you haven’t practiced meditation before, I suggest you make the first move today. You don’t need any prior experience to begin your journey – but I can guarantee you that once you start your practice it will become a part of your daily routine.
Angela A. is the founder and guiding teacher of the IsisLight Corporation and Indigo Discovery Club for Teens, where she teaches introductory, intermediate, and advanced levels of Harmonic Self Balancing Techniques. She offers workshops and individual sessions throughout the New York City and New Jersey area. Learn more about Angela here!
Photo by Moyan Brenn