01638 742 167
07712 446 264
Integrative Mind Specialist
Meditation is a practice to calm the mind and achieve inner peace and personal transformation. It is a state of quiet
alertness where we can still the mind and enhance our creativity. It is cultivating a relationship with ourselves. Meditation
is a process of conscious breathing, focusing primarily on our breath moving in and out of our body, or alternatively,
focusing on an object or sound.
When we meditate, our body’s chemistry changes, our brain changes. Our brain was once thought to be static but research has shown that the brain is malleable and has plasticity. This means that our brain is constantly changing in response to our thoughts, feelings, lifestyle, physiology and environment. It means that we do not just have the neural pathways we formed as a child, it means that we have much more input and control over our own mind and body.
By using regular meditation or mindfulness techniques, our brain possesses the amazing and remarkable ability to create new neural connections and neural pathways. This may sound easy but it does take practice.
By practising meditation/mindfulness for just 20 mins a day, research has shown through MRI scanning taken before and after an 8 week mindfulness course that the brain’s fight or flight centre, the amygdala, appeared to shrink. This region of the brain is associated with fear and emotion and is involved in the body’s response to stress. As the amygdala shrinks, the pre-frontal cortex, associated with higher order brain functions such as awareness, concentration and decision making becomes thicker.
Why do we need to meditate?
Do you know how many thoughts our minds have every day? Experts estimate that our mind has between an incredible 60,000 - 80,000 thoughts a day, with between 70% - 80% of those being negative in nature. Isn’t that amazing but negative thoughts can cause us much stress and anxiety.
Our minds create a fight or flight response to stress hormones and evidence shows that when our body continues in a stressful state for a long period of time, damage can occur to our physical and emotional well-being. It’s no wonder then, that with all that mental traffic and noise going on inside our head, giving us countless options and creating fear, doubt and worry, that we actually ever get round to achieving anything and can feel exhausted at the end of each day! The Buddha called it the ‘Monkey Mind’. Its constant chatter is relentless. So how can we stop it? Whichever thoughts we ingest, we begin to give them credence. Far better then, to be choosy and picky over what we think.
I like the analogy of the two wolves, the story goes:
An old Cherokee told his grandson
“My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is anger, jealousy, greed, resentment, inferiority, lies and ego. The other is good, it is joy, peace, love, hope, humility, kindness, empathy and truth”. The boy asked, “Grandfather, which wolf wins?” The old man replied, “The one you feed”.
Meditation doesn’t mean you have to sit cross-legged and chant. Just by concentrating on the breath and allowing our minds to be still, creates a peaceful sanctuary and emotional upliftment. As our thoughts float in, and they will, the art is to acknowledge them, release them but not to engage with them. This takes much patience and practice but the benefits are immense.
When we become aware of the moment they pop into our mind and then consciously release them, we have actually
mastered the art of Meditation.
Meditation is looking at your thoughts rather than from them. Much like standing at a platform waiting for a train. You could observe the train as it comes rolling into the station with all your thoughts on board but then just observe it as it rolls back out again. Not picking any thought to look at in particular but just accepting they are on board and looking at them in a non-judgemental way. They are what they are, they are just thoughts, they are not real , you only make them real when you give them attention. It is just allowing those thoughts to roll in and roll out of your mind.
Just acknowledge they are there and know that you have the choice of when to think about a particular thought. It may be at that moment, later in the day, tomorrow or next week, it doesn’t matter when, only that you make that choice of whether to engage with it and how long you take to think about it. It is only then you begin to realise that you are now in control
of your thoughts instead of your thoughts controlling you!
The Benefits of Meditation:
• Reduces stress, anxiety and depression
• Increases creativity
• Encourages a healthy lifestyle
• Increases acceptance
• Improves the immune system
• Increases self-awareness
• Relieves muscle tension and insomnia
• Lowers blood pressure
• Improves concentration
• Increases compassion and self-awareness
• Increases happiness
• Improves the cardio-vascular system
• Improves self-esteem and confidence
• Improves relationships
• Releases fear and chronic pain
• Promotes inner peace and calmness
For more information on personal or group workshops call
Jill on 01638 742167 / 07712 446264 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
“Within you there is a stillness and a sanctuary to which you can retreat at any time and be yourself”