Three Impacts Of Meditation Practice

What Meditation Can Do In Your Life

Mindfulness meditation is popular at this time in the Western world. For people who have no experience or knowledge of meditation, it is considered a strange concept that is also considered as being against some religions. These people are folks who are usually fearful of anything new. Obviously they do not have the courage to experiment or explore new concepts.  They are out of touch with the real world.

Meditation comes in various formats and methods. You can meditate with eyes open or with eyes closed. You can meditate with focusing on a point. You can also meditate focusing on nothing. You can meditate with breath. You can meditate while eating or even while walking. You can meditate with chanting and you can meditate with inner silence.

Depending on your personality or your liking, you can choose to practice whatever method of meditation you like.

I have had the privilege to work with hundreds of people having spent thousands of hours to help them change their lives with meditation. I am not a meditation teacher, but the techniques I use for therapy include the process very much like meditation.

Over the years, I have noticed how people’s lives change with meditation.

  1. Cleaning of the physical surroundings with internal cleansing.

At a certain stage, within a few weeks of starting meditation, the practitioner will start to clean up their physical environment. With meditation, the inner change happens with cleaning of negative emotions especially anger, guilt, grief and fear. As they reduce, a sense of calmness develops. As the body and the nervous system are cleared of the negative emotions, the meditator becomes uncomfortable with cluttered surroundings where they work or live. So it is natural that the person starts to clean up their immediate work or living space.  A lady once cleaned up the house and the attic and removed more than eight bags of unwanted goods in one go over a weekend. On another occasion, a lady gave away a lot of old clothes in charity in one go. The development was sudden, only a few weeks after she had started to meditate. These experiences are quite common when people start meditation.

  • Slowing down physically and mentally.

One of the attributes of long- term practice of meditation is that the person becomes grounded. Their physical activities are reduced. They become not highly active but do not slow  down to the extent to give the impression of becoming lazy. I remember noticing a change in some highly chatty people. They became quieter in their social interactions as they meditated. This physical slowness- or appropriateness- is matched by their mental state. They are no longer moving from one thought to the next in a distracted manner. They are able to quietly focus on the task at hand.

  • Physical needs are reduced.

At some stage, when a person has been doing meditation for a long time, a few months at least, their physical needs start to reduce. They eat lesser than before. This can result in a reduction in body weight without consciously meaning to reduce weight. I have noticed some people, who are mad into vigorous exercise, reduce their physical activities after they have taken to meditation. I remember a gentleman who attended me at some stage, who used to run marathon races. He stopped running marathons but he continued to engage in moderate physical exercise. Marathon running requires spending a considerable amount of energy in running. It also wears down the body. Stopping running the marathons, helps their body to reduce daily wear and tear. After many years of meditation, some meditators can find their sleep being reduced. Their need for sleep can be reduced to less than 7 or 8 hours. However, the quality of sleep becomes better. But the duration of sleep reduces. They can still wake up in the morning feeling refreshed. Overall, the body of a meditator needs less energy to survive. So their food intake, amount of physical exercise and sleep reduce to attain an appropriate level that is enough for the body to live by.

It is interesting to note that meditative practice brings about changes in your life, without you making any effort to bring about those changes.  You have nothing else to do except spend a few minutes doing meditation every day, regularly. Amazing things happen when you have the discipline to do meditation. If you have to be critical of meditation, then it would be better if you have the experience of doing it. Then your criticism will carry weight. 

Can Miracles Be Created?

Some People Believe That Miracles Are Co-incidental. Courtesy-

Do miracles happen by chance or can they be created?

Are the following stories true or are they a figment of someone’s imagination?

A professional singer and musician was struggling to establish her freelance presence in the competitive world of music. She was not finding much success. She dreamed of getting work as an actress where her music skills could also be used. She loved to do theatre where she could also play music. Such assignments were hard to come by. Then suddenly she got this offer. She got offered a part in a play. Also tied in with this commitment was the offer of doing music for the play. She was over the moon. She thought it was a one off opportunity. As weeks have gone by, she has so much more work now that she has difficulty in handling the assignments.

A budding film producer/ director was trying to find work. Contacts were limited. But the experience in working with ad films was to her advantage. She was hoping she would get some engagements to prove her mettle. Then suddenly, she got five emails in one day offering her different film projects. She had to then decide which ones to accept and which ones to leave.

An airline crew member was in the job for many years. Other colleagues had been promoted but this person was finding it difficult to go up the ladder. She did not know how to change things for her. Then she did something that changed her life. She got the promotion she was looking for, without making much effort.

A businessman was in debt with the banks for a six figure sum. He was distraught as business was in a mess. Then he did something that changed his business. In another six months time, he had a six -figure sum in the bank, having paid off his debt.

A young lady was struggling to conceive after eight years of cohabiting with her husband. She was not sure what could help her. She then did something that changed her life. She conceived successfully after six months.

A struggling small time actor had the dream of joining Broadway. He was based in Ireland and Broadway is in London. He thought that it was just going to be a dream. Then he did something. One day out of the blue he got a call from a director in Broadway to offer him a role in a play on Broadway. He grabbed the opportunity.

These stories are actually real life experiences and observations. What did these people do to make things happen?

 What is common to each of them is that each person involved, took the steps to change themselves as a person at an emotional level. Each of them was my client. I had the privilege to guide them through their journey.  

They knew that they were responsible for their own destiny. But did not know how to change it. They were carrying on with their daily life, in their respective professions without even expecting something dramatic to happen. Some of our experiences were contrary to what we had read in some of the books on creating miracles.

It is as simple as this.  Change your emotional state to a more positive state by getting rid of your anger, fear and grief. This is what creates miracles.

 It may sound quite “unscientific”. But what we do in my clinic, involves only science and nothing else.

You have within yourselves the power to create miracles. The only thing is you need to know is how to shift your emotions and then just do the work to shift them in a focused manner. The world around you changes accordingly. The resources around you will re-align themselves to create what you wish to have. The above experiences also proved that there are certainly some rules in Nature that you need to follow to create miracles in your life.

These are the four lessons we learnt:

1.Not one of these people was expecting miracles to happen but their lives did change.

2. All of them had a certain wish but did not know how the wish would be fulfilled.

3. They simply took it to rid themselves of their negative feelings of anger and fear that had been parts of their life till that time.

4. They were certainly not “striving hard” to get what they wanted.

Is Human Suffering A Subjective Experience?

The Most Well Known Researcher on Human Suffering

We can reduce our suffering if we have discipline

It is said that one of the reasons Siddhartha Gautam Buddha left home for the forest was because he wanted to explore why we suffer. His whole journey was about wanting to overcome suffering. As the story goes, he was successful in achieving his goal after being in meditation for many years.  His conclusion was that we, as human beings, suffer because we cannot bring ourselves to a point of living when physical and mental suffering is not experienced.  It means that almost all of us can bring ourselves to the point where we can stop suffering physically and mentally.  This belief was the key on which Buddhism was based.

This was all a philosophical issue for me at one time. It was something that was in the realm of “spirituality”. It meant nothing to me in real practical day-to-day life. I was one of those people who was ignorant of what it meant to be free of suffering and what Buddha had stated. Suffering is a part of human life. It has been taught to us by our elders. It is also a common belief in many religious faiths.

 How can one stop “suffering”?

As time and experience has taken hold of my senses, it has dawned to me that there may be truth in what Buddha had stated.

What does it mean by- you can stop your own suffering- statement?

It means that if you and I are in a trauma situation then we will perceive pain based on our personal perceptions. You come from a different background than me. You will experience pain in a different intensity than I. If I come from a deprived, traumatised upbringing, I will experience pain- emotional or physical- more intensely. If you come from a safe, loving upbringing, your perception of pain will be different.

An article was published in Psychology Today, authored by Susanne Babbel PhD. In it she mentions that there is a link between chronic pain, stress and trauma (see reference link below).

When the body experiences trauma, the muscles become tense. Simple day- to- day experiences are enough to create tension in muscles. This tension mounts up as life goes on. We do nothing about it. As this tension increases, it sensitises the body to experience pain. It also lowers the threshold for experiencing pain. A minor traumatic event is then perceived to be painful. 

The body tends to remember trauma. A lady who had had a road traffic accident had pains and aches in exactly the same spots 25 years later when she recalled the experience in therapy. She was under the impression that she had left the event in her past as a closed chapter.

Depending on how much tension someone’s body holds, they will experience physical pain in proportion to that.

What is the solution?

Clear the body’s tension regularly. This can be done by regular physical exercise AND by meditation. Any kind of physical exercise including yoga, tai-chi, walking, aerobics or moderate gym exercises is good.  Meditation relaxes the body and releases the tension. This “relaxation” can also be accumulated over time. When a trauma happens, the body responds by increasing muscular tension because it goes in a defence mode. For a regular meditator, this tension is not enough to be experienced as a painful event. So they experience less hurt.

So Gautam Buddha was right after all. Physical and emotional tension make us more prone to subjectively suffer pain. Release of physical and emotional tension on a regular basis is a must to reduce our suffering. The more tension you carry in your body, the more likely you are likely to suffer physical pain.