Meditation

The Buddhists say,

The gift of learning to meditate is the greatest gift you can give yourself in this life.”

For many people, the practice of meditation can be quite difficult. Although it seems an easy process, the fact that we have approximately 60,000 thoughts in one day, when we start to meditate and try to quieten the mind, the mind suddenly become vey busy with other thoughts and feelings.

Try and sit in a quiet environment for just for 1 minute and clear your mind, concentrate on your breathing and think about nothing.

Meditating can be described as learning to have a relationship with your true spiritual self. When a person decides to learn meditation, they should understand that it is not classed a form of religion although prayer is a form of meditation, a focus on a specific element whether that be prayer, a flame, a mantra etc. Many practitioners advocate that we should practice twice per day, 20minutes each time but even just a couple of minutes each day, where we just switch off and clear the mind can have significant benefits.

Many people lead such hectic lives, they don’t stop from the moment they awake to the moment they are asleep. At moments in the day when you are rushing around with your mind so full of the tasks you need to complete, just stop, take a step back, take a deep breath or several and allow yourself to refocus and regroup. Make this very short task regular practice and will help hugely in getting through and effectively manage the day.

After your day has finished and you have some quiet time, attempt to meditate, even if it is just for several minutes. Each session will take you one step closer to reaching that spiritual place that really does exist inside you. It will naturally reduces stress and anxiety levels and promote a feeling of healthiness and well-being.


For more information, please read our meditation for beginners guide.

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The Transcendental Meditation® (TM) technique is a simple but effective procedure that is generally practiced for twenty minutes twice per day, once in the morning and once in the evening. It has been learned by millions of people worldwide and has been the subject of many of research projects.

Below are some of the details regarding the practice of TM techniques.

Environment

While it is certainly enjoyable and possibly more beneficial to practice Transcendental Mediation in a quiet place, free from distractions, it is not necessary. Many busy people practice TM techniques whilst at work, on the train or bus,  in airports, etc.

Posture

Transcendental Meditation is practiced sitting comfortably with the eyes closed. The practitioner can sit on a chair, sit on a bed or on the floor, it is important to be comfortable but it is equally important NOT to lay down.

Concentration

For concentration techniques a practitioner may choose to focus on a candle or recite a mantra, this helps to eliminate all thoughts and allows him/her to use visualization or to focus on a specific thought, part of the body etc. Then, if the mind becomes distracted and wanders from the candle or the visualization, the technique requires that we bring our attention back to the candle or mantra. Transcendental Meditation is a completely effortless form of meditation where the mind can flow naturally to the goal of silence, changing the brainwaves allowing the practitioner to experience peace and tranquillity. This will happen naturally with regular practice.

Breathing

Practitioners are told to breathe normally during TM practice and focus their attention on the mantra. The TM technique does not focus on the breath as with other forms of meditation.

The TM technique is easy to learn and effortless to practice but because each practitioner  is different and thus will have different experiences, it is important to practice under the guidance of a certified TM teacher.

Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, the founder of the TM technique, explains TM as:-

“The practice of Transcendental Meditation must always be given by the expert teachers of Transcendental Meditation who have been properly trained to give it and who have been trained to check the experiences. The checking of experiences is a vital point in the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Again, it cannot be done through books.”

® Transcendental Meditation, TM and Maharishi are registered or common law trademarks licensed to Maharishi Vedic Education Development Corporation and are used under sublicense.

Visit uk.tm.org for more information.

 

 

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Meditation is an ancient form that has been practiced for many centuries with its roots in religion. The origins of meditation come from Eastern cultures; India being the main example. The basic purpose of meditation is as a form of healing which does not require any medications, relying only on the individuals mind and belief and how it may be finely tuned to achieve the desired effects on the mind and body. The very purpose of meditation is to go beyond “normal” thinking and psychological state  and elevate to a higher level of awareness and consciousness ultimately achieving a relaxed state of mind and the ability to focus clearly.

Meditation involves a wide range of spiritual and psycho physical practices.

As mentioned, meditation does have religious roots including customs developed from the practice of the Baha’i faith, Christianity, Buddhism,  Islam, Judaism, Hinduism and Jainism.

The practice of meditation can take on several forms including focusing  on a single object or a process such as a mantra. Meditation can also be performed while walking or engaged in a repetitive task. The object of meditation is to concentrate while minimising disruptions in order to achieve the desired goal of inner peace, self awareness and spiritual growth, transcending the mundane and disruptive cares and thoughts that we all experience.

Meditation practiced in India, has its roots in the Hinduism and Buddhism faith. The original Buddha, Siddhartha Guatama, is believed to have achieved enlightenment while meditating under a Bodhi tree.

Buddhist meditation has 2 forms: the Samatha and the Vipassana, both of which are necessary to achieve enlightenment.

The practice of the 2 forms have been known to merge into one another, with a meditation session starting out with Samatha characteristics while ending up with a Vipassana practice. The Samatha form is based on focusing the attention single-pointedly, the Vipassana form is aimed at seeing things as they really are, in the true nature of reality.

In Vipassana meditation, the focus of awareness is centered on the rise and fall of the breath and when the mind and heart are still, the focus is then placed onto and object such as a symbol or a candle flame.

Meditation has been practiced in Eastern cultures for centuries and there are meditation practitioners and teachers in India who have further developed the practice and principles of meditation into a fine skill which will help other practitioners develop a sense of peace, awareness and greater well-being.

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A Complementary Treatment for Relieving Secondary Symptoms in Cancer Patients

Human touch and therapeutic massage have long been noted for producing significant improvements in physical and emotional well-being. Indeed, massage has a long history of use and effectiveness that dates back to the first time that an early human received an injury and instinctively rubbed the affected area to unconsciously stimulate circulation and release pain-fighting chemicals in the brain. Massage therapists combine this instinctual premise with specific professional training to provide relief of symptoms for their clients.

Benefits of Massage

Massage increases the flow of both blood and lymph within the circulatory system, driving out toxins and oxygenating the body. It may contribute to improved flexibility and suppleness within the muscle fibers and joints. Massage also stimulates the release of potent hormones within the brain that signal a reduction in stress, increased pain tolerance, and an overall sense of well-being. It is believed that the majority of these results are produced by the autonomic nervous system in conjunction with the hypothalamus and pituitary glands. These systems allow a cascade of chemical messengers, or hormones, to promote stress reduction and positive feelings. In particular, massage decreases the “stress hormone” cortisol and increases the “bonding hormone” oxytocin while releasing pain-relieving endorphins.

Professional Research Supports Cancer-Specific Massage

Patients who are undergoing cancer treatment are particularly prone to physical and emotional manifestations of stress. MD Anderson, a leading facility in the fight against cancer, asserts that oncology massage, under the hands of a trained therapist, can reduce the pain, fatigue, anxiety, depression, and nausea that may accompany traditional cancer treatment. The American Cancer Society agrees that, while massage does not treat the cancer itself, massage may assist patients in tolerating the stress and discomfort that many experience during cancer treatment.

Indeed, doctors and scientists concur that, when applied by a professional massage therapist with specific training in oncology massage, this complementary treatment may result in a decrease in negative secondary symptoms by up to 50%. While this improvement is noted to be short-term, many cancer centers recommend a massage therapy regiment to produce these benefits repeatedly over time. Indeed, researchers have found that these results are so impressive that they have deemed them clinically significant and called for further study into the specific mechanisms of action.

Special Considerations for Cancer Patients

Individuals who are using massage to cope with the physical and emotional stresses of mesothelioma and other cancers should pay particular attention to the qualifications of the massage therapist. It is wise to seek a therapist who is licensed in massage and trained in specific oncology massage protocols. This training can ensure that the massage provides the best outcomes possible in terms of pain management and symptom relief.

Massage is a beneficial and scientifically proven complementary treatment option for anyone suffering with chronic or specific pain that is physical or emotional in origin. In particular, massage therapy may be particularly effective for assisting individuals undergoing cancer treatment manage discomfort, reduce symptoms of stress, and maintain a high quality of life while coping with a cancer diagnosis.

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Mudras

When practising meditation, yoga and other Eastern traditions, Mudras (Sanskrit word for ‘seal’) are used to generate energy and develop the consciousness of the practitioner. Mudras are simply hand postures and creating different postures using your your fingers, thumb and palm of hand can have significant benefits.

Mudras can be used to improve health and vitality, improve intelligence, improve the immune system, aid healing and rebalnce the body and mind.

Abhayaprada Mudra Akash Mudra Apana Mudra
Bhudy Mudra Gyan Mudra Prana Mudra
Mantangi Mudra Mahasirs Mudra Mushti Mudra

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