Showing posts with label guided meditation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label guided meditation. Show all posts

Loving Kindness Meditation

  • Begin by silently saying to yourself, "May I be joyful, calm, and free of suffering."
  • Simply repeat this statement to yourself, wanting or wanting it to come true. 
  • If you notice that your mind is particularly "stuck" in a negative cycle, you can immediately confront it.
  • For instance, you may say, 
    • "May I be joyful, may I be tranquil...," 
    • "May I learn to let go," 
    • "May I accept whatever happens," 
    • "May I have the fortitude to confront my anxieties," 
    • or "May I be forgiving." 

You'll probably discover, as with the other strategies, that your mind wanders after a while, and you'll need to return your focus to the sentences frequently (remarkably, the mind seems to be able to "speak" these sentences silently even when we're not paying attention to the process). 

The objective here, too, is to be forgiving and approach it all like puppy training. 

You can attempt moving on to others once you've settled into one of these phrases and channeled caring intentions toward yourself (the meditation can also be done in the reverse order, starting with another person and then moving to yourself). 

It's always simplest to start with a benefactor—someone you can readily love and care for. A teacher or other inspirational figure, alive or not, such as Jesus, the Buddha, or the Dalai Lama, might be a friend, family member, or other loved one. 

  1. Close your eyes and envision being with the other person. 
  2. Feel their presence. 
  3. Then start saying things like, "May you be happy, may you be calm, may you be free of sorrow," or anything like. 
  4. Again, the mind is prone to stray, and you'll have to carefully draw it back to the image you've picked. 
  5. After you've spent some time focusing on someone who makes you feel loving-kindness, you can move on to someone else who is significant to you. Call to mind persons who matter one by one. 
  6. After a while, you'll be able to conjure up visions of tiny groupings, such as immediate relatives or close friends. 
  7. Continue to repeat the sentences, channeling caring intentions toward them, while keeping them in mind. In this manner, the meditation continues, stretching outward to include more and more individuals. 
  8. Return to pictures of individuals who more easily inspire sentiments of compassion or loving-kindness if you discover your sentiments of compassion or loving-kindness have dried up. 

Expanding the circle, you might envision all of your family and friends gathered, followed by your workplace, clients, neighbors, or any other group you belong to. 

We soon spread the same good thoughts to larger and larger communities, until we've covered our entire town, city, nation, and, eventually, the entire world. 

This activity can be extended to include all living things. 

It finally settles on the wording,

“May all creatures be joyful, may all beings be tranquil, may all beings be free of suffering”

What did you find out about yourself? 

For everyone of us, loving-kindness meditation brings up quite distinct experiences. 

You'll probably have different sensations each time you do it, just like with other disciplines. 

Take a few minutes right now to scribble down what you noticed at each part of the exercise, as if you were recounting the experience to a friend. 

  • Concentration and mindfulness meditation can both benefit from loving-kindness meditation. 
  • It's all too tempting to be brutally judgmental of our wandering thoughts when practicing focus. 
  • When our minds wander, loving-kindness meditation can help us increase our ability to be nice to ourselves. 

Similarly, while practicing mindfulness meditation and seeing all of the noble and not-so-noble contents that arise in consciousness, lovingkindness meditation assists us in greeting all of them as welcome visitors. 

Lovingkindness meditation can be included into a concentration and/or mindfulness meditation session, or it can be done in its own right.

You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation here.

Mindfulness Meditation for Non Judgement

Acceptance is First Cultivated Within Us. 

All of the formal meditation techniques covered so far entail focusing attention on certain physiological sensations and monitoring the contents of the mind without attempting to modify them. 

They are geared on promoting present-moment awareness and acceptance. Acceptance is sometimes the most difficult aspect of these techniques. 

Our brains may be harshly critical, accusing us of not paying attention, thinking too much, or experiencing something we shouldn't. 

Judgement Meditation

  • Doing a few minutes of "judgment" meditation at work is a funny way to see this: Meditation on Judgment. 
  • This one normally just takes 10–15 minutes to get the information across. 
  • For a minute or two, sit as you would for breath meditation and follow your breath. 
  • Then start paying attention to your thoughts. When a judgment comes up, discreetly name it as "judging." 
    • Many people become aware of an inner stream that runs something like this: “Hmm, I'm doing really well.” 
    • So yet, no conclusions have been reached. 
    • Making a decision, thus judgment. 
    • Oh no. I should've seen I wasn't going to be very good at this. 
    • Making a decision to judge again.
    • Okay, I understand. None of that is true. 
    • I'll just pay attention to my breathing. 
    • Ascending, descending, ascending, ascending, ascending, ascending, That's a lot better. Making a judgement. 
    • I'm damned if I'm not always harsh. “I am judging.”  
    • Return your focus back to your breath each time you label a judgmental though. 

Loving-kindness meditation is an old technique for dealing with our harsh or judgmental inclinations. 

It may take various forms, all aimed at softening our hearts and assisting us in being more tolerant of ourselves and others, a process known as "affectionate awareness." 

Compassion and mindfulness are described as two wings of a bird in ancient meditation writings, underlining the importance of having an open heart in order to have open eyes. 

  • Loving-kindness meditation promotes clear vision by reinforcing the goal to be welcoming and compassionate, rather than masking our true feelings with false positive ones. 
  • The overriding rule for all mindfulness activities is to notice and accept whatever is truly happening in the moment. 
  • The most basic loving-kindness meditation practice is quietly repeating evocative sentences to generate feelings of compassion. 
  • Starting with a period of concentration meditation, perhaps paying attention to our breath or performing some slow walking exercise, is typically the best way to go. 
  • After the mind has calmed down a bit, we strive to produce acceptance and compassion. 
  • This works best when we start with ourselves; other times, it works better when we start with others. 
  • It doesn't matter what terms we choose; you may use whatever terms suit your cultural background and personal preferences. 

It's advisable to practice this meditation for at least 10 minutes to have a feel for it. If you have the time right now, start with a period of concentration exercise, then read and attempt these instructions.

You may also want to read more about Mindfulness Meditation here.

Truth about Meditation as a Therapy

Listening to the breath, chanting a mantra, or detaching from the thinking process are all tools used in meditation to center the mind and bring about a state of self-awareness and inner peace. There are cultic and non-cultic varieties, the latter of which was produced for medicinal or scientific purposes. Meditation's calming and tension relief are believed to have prophylactic and preventive health effects, as a slew of scientific articles claim to demonstrate.

However, these studies have methodological flaws, that are discussed here, along with a brief review of the best evidence for meditation's medicinal efficacy in clinical populations. Meditation does not have a Cochrane review. Demonstrating that such physiological symptoms like a slower heart rate or a specific electroencephalographic pattern exist during meditation and characterize a "relaxed state" can provide insight into how meditation functions, but it does not prove its therapeutic value. Most studies looking at the long-term effects of meditation have had poor architecture.

When transcendental meditation, a common type of mantra meditation, trials was conducted, they often compared self-selected meditators with non-meditators or experienced meditators with novices. These studies did not account for methodological variations in individuals who want to learn the procedure and those who do not, as well as those who stick with it versus those who stop. In randomized trials, positively predisposed participants are often selected, resulting in assumptions of gain that vary from those of control subjects. The favorable outcome of transcendental meditation trials for cognitive benefits was limited to participants who were given passive controls such as eyes closed rest.

Trials of naïve participants and plausible controls such as pseudo meditation were found to be inconclusive. A previous meta-analysis of cognitive behavioral therapies including meditation for hypertension found a related connection.  Many co-interventions, heavy mortality, and insufficient mathematical interpretation are among the other flaws. Recent clinical trials have been somewhat more robust, but the number of participants has been reduced. Co-interventions such as cognitive rehabilitation have been used in all controlled studies of mindfulness meditation or disconnected perception of experience, but successful controls have not been used, since outcomes cannot be removed or differentiated from non-specific effects.

Few results in patients with poorly managed asthma were changed by sahaja meditation or passive witnessing of thoughts, but the differences did not last two months. People with epilepsy who practiced sahaja meditation saw a substantial decrease in quantitative stress tests and seizure frequency, but sufficient intergroup comparisons were lacking, and anxiety levels and seizure frequency were significantly different between groups at baseline.

Benson relaxation response, a non-cultic type of transcendental meditation, had no significant effect on blood lipids, weight, or blood pressure when added to a risk reduction program for elderly men with hypercholesteraemia, and while patients with irritable bowel syndrome reported a reduction in symptoms after six weeks of practicing Benson relaxation response, the only significant difference was between the two groups.

Transcendental meditation has been widely researched, but most of the research is still being done by scholars who are affiliated with the organization that offers transcendental meditation and are eager to show its special importance. The 35 trials of transcendental meditation were consistent with slightly greater effect sizes than other approaches, according to a meta-analysis of trials of calming and meditation for trait anxiety. However, it involved unregulated experiments, and there is little evidence that the result was unaffected by test design, type of supervision, or other confounders.

The significance of healthcare populations remains questionable since it omitted trials of people with mental disorders. As a result, a revised and independent meta-analysis of anxiety-related mediation research is desperately needed. The impact sizes of cognitive behavioral strategies for hypertension is particularly sensitive to the methods used for baseline measurements, according to a meta-analysis of studies.

Since then, a study using appropriate baseline tests has shown that three months of transcendental meditation activity lowered clinic-measured diastolic and systolic blood pressure compared to a group of people who were granted schooling. The impact size of progressive muscle relaxation was in the center. In the transcendental meditation community, the mean modified increases in systolic and diastolic blood pressure were 10.7 mm Hg and 6.4 mm Hg, respectively.

This study, along with many others by scholars affiliated with the transcendental meditation association, suggest that meditation has a beneficial impact on blood pressure, a claim that should be objectively verified. 

A study that found beneficial effects of transcendental meditation on exercise tolerance in men with coronary artery disease was not randomized and had significant baseline differences in exercise tolerance between groups that surpassed the effect sizes recorded.

Co-intervention with food, exercise, herbal supplements, and inadequate data collection due to attrition and lack of funds confound the observed beneficial impact of transcendental meditation on the thickness of the intima media of the carotid artery, an indicator of atherosclerosis.

A small study that found some benefit from transcendental therapy for asthma had significant issues with procedure adherence. The evidence for transcendental meditation's therapeutic efficacy in other conditions is either equally flawed or limited to small-scale studies. 

Overall, the evidence for any form of meditation's therapeutic efficacy is poor, and evidence for any impact beyond that of reliable control measures is still weaker. The only protection concern seems to be in severely depressed patients, who may have psychotic episodes because of meditation. The limited research that does exist is in areas where stress reduction can have a significant positive impact, and potential studies with better design can have more definitive positive effects in this field.