Beneath the tens of thousands of thoughts you have each day is buried a vast reservoir of peace. Within this peace is a deep source of wisdom, a wise guide that can enable you to know yourself more profoundly and find happiness and success in your life. Meditation is an effective way to connect with that source – a technique that has proven its effectiveness for more than 5,000 years.
What is Meditation? The word meditation is derived from the Latin words: meditari (to think, to dwell upon, to exercise the mind), and more fundamentally, from the Sanskrit word mederi (to heal).
Benefits Of Meditation
Daily meditation exercises may help lower blood pressure and heart rate, improve breathing, manage stress, and decrease the stress-produced chemicals (e.g., cortisol) in the body and brain. Anxiety and stress may be reduced, a generalized feeling of well-being attained, and relationships and overall performance enhanced.
Meditation can be an important part of a wise strategy to:
- manage stress and anxiety,
- combat phobias and obsessive thoughts,
- relieve depressive feelings,
- improve concentration,
- overcome addictions,
- eliminate insomnia,
- prevent panic attacks,
- and increase self-motivation and peak performance.
Types Of Meditation
There are many different types of meditation, yet essentially all of them involve the practitioner setting aside more or less regular times for contemplation on a subject or series of subjects of a deep nature. These Meditation techniques were almost exclusively associated with various religious and spiritual practices until recently. Only since the middle of the past century have we been aware of its enormous value in a clinical setting.
The components of the meditative experience are serenity and insight. Serenity steadies, composes, unifies – an inner shift you can feel – and it concentrates mental activity. Insight can then help you to see and discern what was unclear before, and to freely explore thoughts, emotions, and behaviors.
To attain true traditional states of meditation the road is quite arduous. Many classical yoga texts describe a several-stage process. The first stage requires months or years of practice and involves sitting, standing, or walking according to very specific postures and movements, very careful control of the breath, and a deep relaxation.
Only after the master has acknowledged that all this experience has allowed the student to reach a certain depth, is the student deemed ready to enter the more advanced stages. These stages are often called “contemplation” – a process consisting of concentration, contemplation, and ultimately absorption.
Q: What did the meditator say to the hot dog vendor?A: “Make me one with everything.”
How to Use Meditation
Dr. Miller’s first studies of meditation were in the early 1970s. He realized the immense power that could be accessed through the various forms of meditation and set out to harness this potential for treating physical illnesses, emotional imbalances and maladaptive habits and addictions.
Most meditation schools teach that learning the disciplines involves committed daily practice of 20-40 minutes, along with many classes and retreats. Though the practice of meditation clearly creates balance, serenity, relief of symptoms, and accelerated healing, something this demanding is not clinically very practical.
So, by merging healing meditation techniques with those of hypnosis, Dr. Miller developed a rapid way to tap into our inner serenity. You may know of this way as guided imagery. Centered, at peace, and in touch with their own inner wisdom, his patients were able to gain new perspectives on their lives, and gain access to their physiology that would enable stress relief, rapid healing, improved performance of mind and body, and true happiness.
Since Dr. Miller’s pioneering work, meditation has become a mainstay for many holistic practitioners who want to help their patients and clients to move beyond the reflexive, reactive mind and tap into their deeper potentials.
You can listen and experience examples of Dr. Miller’s guided meditations in his Free Guided Imagery & Meditations.