My Meditation: Short Biblical Contemplations for a Busy World

Embracing Contemplation
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Instead of Sanskrit terms, the meditator can choose what is personally meaningful, such as a phrase from a prayer. Mindfulness meditation comes out of traditional Buddhist meditation practices. Psychologist Jon Kabat-Zinn has been instrumental in bringing this form of meditation into medical settings. In formal mindfulness practice, the meditator sits with eyes closed, focusing the attention on the sensations and movement of the breath for approximately 45 — 60 minutes at a time, at least once a day. Informal mindfulness practice involves bringing awareness to every activity in daily life.

Wandering thoughts or distracting feelings are simply noticed without resisting or reacting to them. The essence of mindfulness meditation is not what one focuses on but rather the quality of awareness the meditator brings to each moment. According to Kabat-Zinn, "It is this investigative, discerning observation of whatever comes up in the present moment that is the hallmark of mindfulness and differentiates it most from other forms of meditation.

The goal of mindfulness is for you to be more aware, more in touch with life and whatever is happening in your own body and mind at the time it is happening — that is, the present moment. There are over MBSR programs offered in health care settings around the world. Meditation is not considered a medical procedure or intervention by most insurers. Many patients pay for meditation training themselves.

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Frequently, religious groups or meditation centers offer meditation instruction free of charge or for a nominal donation. Hospitals may offer MBSR classes at a reduced rate for their patients and a slightly higher rate for the general public. Meditation appears to be safe for most people. There are, however, case reports and studies noting some adverse effects. On the other hand, most of these same people also reported very positive effects from their meditation practice.

Kabat-Zinn notes that these studies fail to differentiate between serious psychiatric disturbances and normal emotional mood swings. These studies do suggest, however, that meditation may not be recommended for people with psychotic disorders, severe depression, and other severe personality disorders unless they are also receiving psychological or medical treatment. The scientific study of the physiological effects of meditation began in the early s. These studies prove that meditation affects metabolism, the endocrine system, the central nervous system , and the autonomic nervous system.

During a different meditative practice they were able to dramatically slow down the rate at which their bodies consumed oxygen. Preliminary research shows that mindfulness meditation is associated with increased levels of melatonin. These findings suggest a potential role for meditation in the treatment and prevention of breast and prostrate cancer. Despite the inherent difficulties in designing research studies, there is a large amount of evidence of the medical benefits of meditation. Meditation is particularly effective as a treatment for chronic pain. Studies have shown meditation reduces symptoms of pain and pain-related drug use.

In a four-year follow-up study, the majority of patients in a MBSR program reported "moderate to great improvement" in pain as a result of participation in the program.

A Minister’s Thoughts on Meditation

Meditation has long been recommended as a treatment for high blood pressure ; however, there is a debate over the amount of benefit that meditation offers. Although most studies show a reduction in blood pressure with meditation, medication is still more effective at lowering high blood pressure. Meditation may also be an effective treatment for coronary artery disease. A study of 21 patients practicing TM for eight months showed increases in their amount of exercise tolerance, amount of workload, and a delay in the onset of ST-segment depression.

Meditation is also an important part of Dean Ornish's program, which has been proven to reverse coronary artery disease. Research also suggests that meditation is effective in the treatment of chemical dependency. Gelderloos and others reviewed 24 studies and reported that all of them showed that TM is helpful in programs to stop smoking and also in programs for drug and alcohol abuse.

Amazing Meditation Quotes That Will Enlighten You

Studies also imply that meditation is helpful in reducing symptoms of anxiety and in treating anxiety-related disorders. Furthermore, a study in of 37 psoriasis patients showed that those practicing mindfulness meditation had more rapid clearing of their skin condition, with standard UV light treatment, than the control subjects.

Another study found that meditation decreased the symptoms of fibromyalgia; over half of the patients reported significant improvement. In addition, meditation was one of several stress management techniques used in a small study of HIV-positive men. The study showed improvements in the T-cell counts of the men, as well as in several psychological measures of well-being. There is no program of certification or licensure for instructors who wish to teach meditation as a medical therapy. Meditation teachers within a particular religious tradition usually have extensive experience and expertise with faith questions and religious practices but may not have been trained to work with medical patients.

Different programs have varied requirements for someone to teach meditation. In order to be recognized as an instructor of TM, one must receive extensive training. The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center offers training and workshops for health professionals and others interested in teaching mindfulness-based stress reduction.

https://upabperningdi.ml The Center does not, however, certify that someone is qualified to teach meditation. The University of Pennsylvania program for Stress Management suggests that a person have at least 10 years of personal experience with the practice of mindfulness meditation before receiving additional instruction to teach meditation. Teachers are also expected to spend at least two weeks each year in intensive meditation retreats. Astin, John A. Louis: Mosby, Baime, Michael J. Jonas and Jeffrey S. New York : Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins, Benson, Herbert, M.

The Relaxation Response. New York : William Morrow, Kabat-Zinn, John. New York : Dell, Roth, Robert. Donald I. Fine, King, M. Carr, and C. Rhee, D. Spaeth, J. Myers, et al. Schoenberger, N. Matheis, S. Shiflett, and A. Insight Meditation Society.

Barre, MA FAX: Mind-Body Medical Institute. Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

Guided Christian Meditation: Book of Psalms, Sleep in peace

Stress Reduction Clinic. University of Massachusetts Memorial Health Care. Fax Chrisman, Linda; Frey, Rebecca " Meditation. Chrisman, Linda; Frey, Rebecca "Meditation. Meditation is a practice of concentrated focus upon a sound, object, visualization, the breath, movement, or attention itself in order to increase awareness of the present moment, reduce stress, promote relaxation, and enhance personal and spiritual growth. People who meditate regularly have been shown to feel less anxiety and depression. Based upon clinical evidence as well as theoretical understanding, meditation is considered to be one of the better therapies for panic disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, substance dependence and abuse, ulcers, colitis, chronic pain, psoriasis, and dysthymic disorder.

It is considered to be a valuable adjunctive therapy for moderate hypertension high blood pressure , prevention of cardiac arrest heart attack , prevention of atherosclerosis hardening of arteries , arthritis including fibromyalgia , cancer, insomnia, migraine, and prevention of stroke. These include people with Parkinson's disease, people who experience fatigue with multiple sclerosis , and people with epilepsy who are resistant to standard treatment.

What Is Meditation?

Overall, a report to the National Institutes of Health on alternative medicine concluded that, "More than 30 years of research, as well as the experience of a large and growing number of individuals and health care providers, suggests that meditation and similar forms of relaxation can lead to better health, higher quality of life, and lowered health care costs … ".

The meditator is instructed to be aware of all thoughts, feelings, perceptions or sensations as they arise in each moment. Herbert Benson; and 3.

According to Charles Alexander, an important TM researcher, "During TM, ordinary waking mental activity is said to settle down, until even the subtlest thought is transcended and a completely unified wholeness of awareness … is experienced. In this silent, self-referential state of pure wakefulness, consciousness is fully awake to itself alone …. Instead of Sanskrit terms, the meditator can choose what is personally meaningful, such as a phrase from a Christian or Jewish prayer.

In formal mindfulness practice, the meditator sits with eyes closed, focusing the attention on the sensations and movement of the breath for approximately minutes at a time, at least once a day. Dervish — A member of the Sufi order.

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Their practice of meditation involves whirling ecstatic dance. Mantra — A sacred word or formula repeated over and over to concentrate the mind.

Notes on Contemplation — by Mary Sargent – Saint Victor Church

Transcendental meditation TM — A meditation technique based on Hindu practices that involves the repetition of a mantra. Meditation was one of several stress management techniques used in a small study of HIV-positive men. Louis, MO: Mosby, New York : Lippencott, Williams and Wilkins, Chrisman, Linda " Meditation. Chrisman, Linda "Meditation. Meditation or contemplation involves focusing the mind upon a sound, phrase, prayer, object, visualized image, the breath, ritualized movements, or consciousness in order to increase awareness of the present moment, promote relaxation, reduce stress , and enhance personal or spiritual growth.

Meditation can benefit people who are ill or overwhelmed by stress. It also promotes well-being in healthy people. In general, people who meditate regularly experience less anxiety and depression. They also report more enjoyment and appreciation of life, as well as better social relationships.

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