(My background knowledge of this subject.)
I have been a practitioner of Tibetan Mahayana Buddhist meditation for many years. I have taken my refuge vows and Bodhisattva vows. I have been initiated into my Vajrayana linage and have my daily practice. Along with this I do Samadhi, Mindfulness and Emptiness meditation practices weekly and daily. I also hold a Diploma in Spiritual Healing specializing in meditation.
Meditation has many, many benefits and this of course has been known about for eons by yogis and many spiritual practitioners. The west has embraced more of the Buddhist methodologies of meditation touting “Mindfulness” as a bit of a miracle! It’s not, it’s just meditation! The Buddha attained enlightenment by using this simple method, simple but powerful. Now western science has done some study and the results are quite in line with what the high Lamas have been teaching for many thousands of years. Like we needed science to tell us that! Some of science’s discoveries found the following;
Physiological Benefits of Meditation
- Deep rest-as measured by decreased metabolic rate, lower heart rate, and reduced work load of the heart.
- Lowered levels of cortisol and lactate-two chemicals associated with stress.
- Reduction of free radicals- unstable oxygen molecules that can cause tissue damage.
- Improved blood pressure.
- Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels.
- Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease.
- Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients.
- Slows down the aging process.
Psychological Benefits of Meditation
- Increased brain wave coherence.
- Greater creativity.
- Decreased anxiety.
- Decreased depression
- Decreased irritability and moodiness
- Improved learning ability and memory.
- Increased self-actualization.
- Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation.
- Increased happiness.
- Increased emotional stability.
The spiritual benefits I will not talk about here but needless to say there are many!
WHAT IS MINDFULNESS MEDITATION
Mindfulness meditation is a mental discipline. You start by focusing your attention on your breath, a sensation in the body, or a chosen word or phrase. You note the thoughts, emotions, and background sounds that arise from moment to moment, observing them without analyzing them or making judgments about what’s going on around you. If you drift into thoughts about the past or concerns about the future, you bring your attention back to the present, for example, by refocusing on your breathing. It takes practice. For those a little more along the road with their practice another popular meditation practice and one used by Buddhists is Samadhi or “Single Pointed Focus”. This means to go through the preliminary stages like in mindfulness; to slow the breathing, relax and observe but rather than just watching your thoughts, you try to maintain focus one one object or visualization. If you begin to drift, and you will, you gently refocus onto the original object. This is a great meditation discipline for getting ready to do more in depth tantric or esoteric practices later and just a greatly beneficial daily practice to enhance all apsects of your life and well being.
LEARNING SAMADHI (SINGLE POINTED MINDFULNESS)
There are literally hundreds and hundreds of supposed experts in mindfulness “Training” now and all of them are charging you plenty of money to learn something the Buddha taught for FREE! It is mean’t to be FREE, it is for the benefit of all beings. I personally have gained greatly from meditation practice and I feel it should be freely taught in schools and to anyone wanting to learn it. To this end, I am making available here a series of instructional videos on Samadhi meditation taught by Geshe Gnawan Gendun of the Australian Tibetan Buddhist Centre. In keeping with what i was taught there, I am passing this knowledge on freely to those who wish to learn it. No need to pay to learn Samadhi Mindfulness Meditation. Some of these videos are very short as they were broken down from the original DVD. Feel free to share them if you like, the more people that benefit, the better.
Free Samadhi Meditation Course
I hope this encourages you to try meditation and make it part of your lifestyle of well being and happiness. Until next time.
Craig Hitchens – MST & Natural Health Specialist