To explain Meditation we should start with the Definition. But even that is not as easy as it sounds.
Because Meditation has been around for thousands of years, and is interwoven throughout the different cultures and religions of the world, one definition to keep everyone happy is a task indeed!
But we have to make a start, so; Meditation is ‘A mental discipline by which one attempts to get beyond the reflexive ‘thinking’ mind – into a deeper state of relaxation.‘
The above statement is the desire – or process of Meditation.
The benefits have been ‘felt’ for thousands of years, but now science has evolved to ‘prove’ what is actually happening.
The Science of Meditation
It has long been known that meditation slows breathing, heart rate and blood pressure.
As a relaxation tool alone, meditation is a very effective method to combat stress.
But recent scientific breakthroughs have given a different insight.
Your brain, which is a continual hive of electrical signals, alternates between four different states.
The frequency of the electrical impulses are continually changing to match your worldly experience.
Think of the different intensities, or focus needed for driving in traffic or reading under a tree; taking a bath or having an argument. Every situation you encounter requires different brain function.
You experience Beta brain-wave patterns for engaging activities. Driving, working, planning…
The top end of this Beta range is reached during periods of stress or anxiety.
The chemicals released from the brain when in this state are necessary for us to function, but prolonged, repeated or continual
exposure has dire health effects. Beta is necessary – but small bursts are preferred.
Alpha brain wave patterns are produced when you are relaxed and your brain activity has slowed. You are most likely in an Alpha state when watching television, reading a book, or just before falling asleep.
Theta brain waves are most commonly encountered within dreams, but are also related to moments of deep insight or revelation.
The Delta state is the slowest brain wave pattern. It occurs in deep, or dreamless sleep. It is only in this state when the brain releases many beneficial hormones (such as Human Growth Hormone) which helps to heal the body.
Children spend more time than adults in this Delta State. It is necessary for their bodies to grow and to handle great physical changes.
As we age, we work longer, have more demands on our time, and usually sleep less.
The result is that we spend far less time in this Delta state.
Without reaching the Delta state, our body does not give itself the care it needs. This has the effect of speeding the aging process, and can lead to a decline in our health.
But as I said at the start – science has caught up. They realized that we also enter the Delta state while in Meditation.
The Benefits of Meditation
All people who have meditated throughout history have ‘felt’ these benefits, but those of you currently meditating, or are about to try, be assured science also agrees that meditation is an excellent tool to tune your mind and body.
Independent of religion or belief, or even the method used to enter a meditative state; the benefits to the mind and body are universal.
But more than that; Meditation also provides an opportunity to connect with your true self, your spiritual purpose and what is known as the universal knowledge. It is common to experience great insights or think of a solution to a problem – without even trying.
So the benefits of Meditation are multi-pronged. It helps the Body, Mind, Emotion and Spirit.
Meditation is the act, or practice, of moving beyond conscious thought, into a greater state of relaxation.