Your mind is the single best tool for change, whether its in the area of wellness, performance, peace of mind, or simply enjoyment of life, meditation is where to start. Insomnia? meditation. Illness? Meditation. Weight? Prosperity? Yes , meditation. There is no single thing in life that is not effected by your mind and meditation is the single most effective tool to adopt.
Are all meditations the same?
Throwing all types of meditation together and saying meditation is good is like saying all food is good. Using the research on specific types of meditation then saying other types of meditation will bring the same benefits is, well misleading. Our media journalists as well as meditation ‘teachers’ use this ploy to lure you in.
The significant body of published peer reviewed research on meditation, some 400 studies in the last 10 years has been conducted on Transcendental Meditation(see #1 below) Transcendental Meditation is unique, it doesn’t use concentration, contemplation or focus to try and settle the mind, all these methods create effort, a process, you have to DO, and this doing keeps you on the surface thinking layer of the mind-exactly where you do NOT want to be!
If you fire it you wire it
As the mind settles down during TM the brain becomes more orderly, coherent and more of the brain is involved in the experience. If you use more of your brain you wire a more integrated style of brain functioning. After 20 minutes of Transcendental Meditation you see the world in ‘high definition’, you comprehend deeply, enjoy experiences more and think in a more orderly way, your might even improve your memory, spontaneously.
Concentration or focused attention techniques include the buddhist meditation styles, vipassana(meditation which involves concentration on the body or sight), mindfulness(see notation #3 below) ( and techniques where you focus on your breathing, body or try to still the mind or push away thoughts…..nearly covers everything taught out there whether a free app or a group meditation or yoga class where the teacher guides you thru pretty much what a free app offers online.
These techniques are difficult-the mindfulness website states on the Homepage “its not going to be easy and will require patience and practise”. TRYING to focus your awareness on the present moment and be ‘Mindful’ is TRYING to be Mindful This splits the minds attention onto yet another thing to DO, trying to focus on being mindful while 3 kids fight in the backseat isn’t helpful to them or your driving:-)
Concentration techniques are the least effective and hardest to do. So stop thinking you are not good at meditating, trying to calm the mind by concentrating is counterproductive.
Its not you it’s the technique you are using.
Like Chinese whispers this focuses attention, concentration style of meditation comes from being passed from ‘teacher’ to ‘teacher’-re interpreted and watered down, commercialised and changed until you are left lighting a candle and sitting like a pretzel focusing on your breath or listening to someone talk in a projected smoothing voice suggesting ‘lets get started, now clear your mind…” and you are thinking , thats exactly what YOU are supposed to be teaching me to do!
During Transcendental Meditation the mind settles down effortlessly to experience finer states of thought. TM uses the automatic effortless flow of the mind, the natural flow of the mind, to find something more delightful, more enjoyable, its desire to be free of the boundaries of thought and expand and experience the minds essential nature Bliss.
How does TM do this?
Come along to a free Transcendental Meditation Intro talk where I will answer this and all your meditation questions. Explain more about how concentration and contemplation techniques work( follow my Blog to read the next piece Im writing about contemplation techniques- guided meditations and visualisations) At a TM Intro you will learn about the mechanics of TM. We will understand what happens in your mind and body during TM, how Stress is dissolved and how to learn the easiest and most widely practised meditation technique. Which just happens to be the most researched and effective type of meditation world-wide. Its unique, easy and you will get the benefits right from your first TM session. I know Ive been teaching TM for 20 plus years:-)
Select a location near you, and a session that suits here www.transcendentalmeditation.com.au
Suzanne has been teaching meditation full-time in Melbourne for 24 years, a certified teacher of Transcendental Meditation she devotes herself to teaching meditation in Ringwood and Mornington and has just opened a location in Mentone Parade Mentone where she holds meditation intros, classes and group meditation weekly.
#1 Published Research on TM
#2breath meditation and various recollections (anussati) — that are used across Buddhist schools, there is also significant diversity. In the Theravāda tradition alone, there are over fifty methods for developing mindfulness and forty for developing concentration, while in the Tibetan tradition there are thousands of visualization meditations.
#3 Mindfulness is the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something: A mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.