Meditation Made Easy – Meditation Annapolis, MD

Research on Meditation
There is a growing body of research that shows that meditation and mindfulness alter how the brain works. Dr. Sarah Lazar, a research scientist at Harvard Medical School’s Massachusetts General Hospital, presented a study at Neuroscience 2005, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience. Her research found that meditation had a measurable effect on the brain that lasted beyond the act of meditating. This indicates that meditation and mindfulness may have a positive impact on day to day life. – Christy Matta, Stressless & Mindfulness

Meditation Made Easy

By Terri R. Marshall, CHSMS, CWC

A daily meditation practice is one of the very best habits you can establish for yourself. Studies have shown that meditation reduces stress, lowers blood pressure and boosts immunity. It can also help you to let go of negative feelings and give you a more positive outlook without the use of medication. Unfortunately, many people are intimidated by the thought of meditation because they believe it’s either difficult to do, overly time consuming or attached to a specific religious belief; all of which are false. Meditation is actually a very healthy practice that will result in less stress, a healthier body and more mental clarity. To reap the benefits to mind, body and spirit, you need only to practice a very basic form of meditation. Try these simple steps for just 10 minutes each morning:

1. Dress comfortably and find a quiet location where you will not be interrupted. (This is sometimes the most difficult part!)

2. Sit or lie down (some people say that meditation should never be practiced lying down, but it can as long as you are not prone to falling asleep. . . sleep and meditation are two very different things and do not have the same effects.)

3. Relax your body by taking a few slow, deep breaths. (Make sure that your belly rises before your chest as you breathe in. This is known as deep breathing, diaphragmatic breathing or “belly” breathing and helps the body to relax. Deep breathing is a great relaxation technique on its own.)

4. Now, simply close your eyes and try to clear your mind of all thoughts while focusing on your breathing . . . as thoughts do come into your mind (and they will), gently acknowledge them and then let them go, refocusing each time on your breathing. Your goal is to stop thought as much as possible and you will find that as you practice meditation daily, it will become much easier and more beneficial. Some people find that listening to a constant sound such as the air conditioning or a hum will help them focus. In this type of basic meditation, there is no need to use a mantra (a word or phrase used to focus the mind in some types of meditation).

Be sure to keep your practice simple and it will be much easier to maintain. It’s as easy as that!