Meditation is the new brain food. Studies in neurobiology indicate that a meditation practice can decrease stress-related responses as well as increase self-awareness, compassion and mental equilibrium.
Modern science is now up to speed with ancient wisdom. Marcus Aurelius, Roman Emperor from 161 to 180, said:
Nowhere can (wo)men find a quieter or more untroubled retreat than in their own souls.
Who doesn’t spend time obsessing – about themselves, about regrets from the past, about fears of the future? It would benefit all of us to connect with breath in the present moment and try to achieve more peace of mind in today’s hectic, often chaotic, world.
There are several contemplative practices, taught in the meditative tradition, which can help us stay emotionally present in difficult circumstances. Sophisticated technology and the scope of the Internet have opened a whole new world of possibilities:
- Mindfulness meditation articles define the value of unconditional presence and the basic steps of the practice.
- Videos about yoga of sound and vibration concentrate on calm and balance. Listen to Tina Turner and a group of children singing a Sanskrit peace mantra.
- Blog posts describe journaling, how it activates the mind/body connection and releases mental toxins while providing perspective and clarity.
Whether you’re taught a discipline through brick and mortar workshops or digital activities, you’ll find tools to motivate you along the way. For some, attending classes and meeting new friends will keep you accountable. For others, learning through apps with exercises and virtual reinforcements help track your progress.
No matter whether you’re a Millennial or a Baby Boomer, you can enhance wellbeing by developing meaningful meditation skills. We all feel lighter when we let go of negative beliefs and the painful emotions that hold us back. Chosen and generated by you, these skill sets will be yours to deepen and keep forever.
When our minds are clearer through the practice of meditation, our positive feelings are mirrored in how we are in the world. With greater self-awareness, we may share more loving-kindness with others. And certainly our planet needs more of that right now.