The embracement and participation in Meditation has only been an emphasis in Western Culture in recent years. Whereas there are ancient cultures who used this form and cultures today who have done so for centuries.
Should it be of importance in our daily life? Perhaps so! Personally, I have experienced very calming effects as I have learned to allow my mind to clear of all the gibberish that takes one on and on wearing them out. Yes, Meditation is a practice one does alone and for oneself. Ultimately, this practice allows one to let the past go; allows one to focus on a current issue; and then work through to a resolution. Ultimately Meditation contributes to our becoming and maintaining a healthy life-style and experiencing that all encompassing goal of Well-being.
As a society dependent on Scientific Studies, there are indeed proven attributes of using Meditation in our lives.
One experiences less depression, anxiety, worry, and impulsiveness.
Often Stress, fear, loneliness & depression are lessened.
Self-esteem and self acceptance are assisted and enhanced.
The resilience against pain & adversity is increased.
There is an increase outwardly shown in optimism, relaxation & awareness.
Emotional eating & smoking are assisted in their reduction.
Because of personal focus, one is better able to develop positive social connections.
There is noticeable improvement in your mood and emotional intelligence.
When practicing Meditation one experiences an increase of mental strength & focus, memory retention and recall.
Person shows better cognitive skills and creative thinking; decision making and problem solving as well as information processing are improved.
Meditation assists one in information processing; to ignore distractions, and helps those with ADHD needing management.
3. Healthier Body:
Mediation has been found to Improve the immune system & elevate the energy level; also breathing and heart rates show improvement.
People are known to live longer; experience fewer heart and brain issues; show less inflammatory diseases and asthma; and for women assist in lessening premenstrual and menopausal problems.
Plus, there is a preventive factor toward Arthritis, Fibromyalgia, and HIV
I have included the following for your information. It is a summary history taken from The Chopra Center, a renowned resource for Integrated Health Interventions. Meditation Practices go back many centuries.
• 5000-3500BCE; through archaeological studies, it has been determined that people used meditation some 5000 years ago.
• 1500 BCE; There is early documented evidence that teachings of the Vedas occurred in ancient India.
• 600-500BCE; Both the Taoist Chinese and Buddhist Indians began using Meditation.
• 400-100 BCE; The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali were brought to These outlined the eight limbs of yoga still used today.
• 400 BCE – 200 CE; an epic poem and scripture was written called the Bhagavad Gita. This discusses the philosophy of yoga, meditation, and living a spiritual life.
• 653 CE; Japan opened their first meditation hall leading to the 8th century evolvement of Japanese Buddhism.
• 18th Century; As the West was developing, translations were made of the ancient teachings for scholars to access
• Famous Publications;
• 1922, Hermann Hesse “Siddhartha, the story of the Buddha’s spiritual journey of self-discovery.
• 1927, “Book of the Dead” attracted Westerners to Tibetan Buddhism.
• 1950’s; insight meditation started in Burma—The Vipassana movement.
• 1958; Jack Kerouac published “The Dharma Bums” an exploration of his early experience with Buddhism which attracted interest and curiosity.
• 1960”s; In America and Europe, both Hatha Yoga and Transcendental Meditation began to gain popularity.
• 1979; Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction was founded by Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts. It was used to treat patients with chronic illnesses and gained the interest of mindfulness practices and meditation in the medical world.
• 1980; Most people who meditated “stuck out”.
• 1996; the Chopra Center for Wellbeing was founded by Deepak Chopra and David Simon.
• 1997; Eckhart Tolle published “The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment.” An introduction to present-moment awareness and tuning into the deepest self.
• 2003; Deepak Chopra published “The Spontaneous Fulfillment of Desire.” Highlights-meditation and the focus on one’s deepest desires. Specifically, inspire us to turn everyday coincidences into meaningful miracles and connect to the infinite possibilities that exist in everything and anything around us.
• 2007: A study conducted by the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine was published boasting that 9.4% of all Americans had meditated.
• 2012: You can find many groups, organizations, colleges, spirituality/retreat centers, wellness programs being offered in a variety of venues!
• 2014: August 8 the first Global Meditation for Peace was held worldwide sponsored through the Chopra Center. http://www.chopra.com/ccl/video/global-meditation-for-peace You may view the video.