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The 12 Steps of Meditation

Shoreline

Mindful meditation can have a positive impact on how we live our daily lives and can create a closer relationship with nature, a deeper connection with others, and a more relaxed sense of well-being. For a complete guide to achieving a proper mediation session, here are 12-steps to follow and practice.

Step 1

Become aware of the suffering and pain that comes from unmindful behavior. Think through the Four Noble Truths and Five Hindrances, which can help you understand suffering and how to overcome the obstacles to meditation.

Step 2

Use concentration and mindfulness to strengthen your powers of observation, which can help you understand life and reality. Take time to learn how to become more observant of yourself and your surroundings.

Step 3

Calm your mind. Accept your brain’s activities, thoughts, and patterns for what they are and calm yourself by focusing on single thoughts at a time.

Step 4

Find an environment that works for you. Whether it’s in your home, office, backyard, or local park, the right kind of setting can help you meditate better and focus on your mindfulness.

Be it a busy city park or inside your home, find the best environment for you.

Be it a busy city park or inside your home, find the best environment for you.

Step 5

Practice meditation regularly. Figure out which times of the day work well for you and schedule sessions every week. The more you practice, the more you’ll be able to gravitate towards mindfulness out of habit.

Step 6

Tracking your meditation habits with a journal so that you can stick to your practice goals. You’ll also be able to look back on your progress and see how far you’ve come.

Step 7

Work with others to further your development. Other people can be a helpful resource for spiritual development and can speed up your meditation progress.

Step 8

Practice forgiveness, listening, and mindful speech so that you can grow harmony and peace in your life. This process can help you understand that behavior impacts both spiritual progress and your relationships with others.

Try practicing meditation with others to help your technique and progress.

Try practicing meditation with others to help your technique and progress.

Step 9

Work and live in a spiritual community so that you can progress and help others along the way. By participating in meditation with others, you can find solidarity, connection, and appreciation for different mindfulness techniques.

Step 10

Practice mindful consumption by eating a healthy diet with proper nutrition. Since eating habits can affect your meditation practice either positively or negatively, It’s important to value your physical self as well as your mental self.

Step 11

Obtain strength, courage, and mindfulness through meditation to help you overcome your past. Reflect on forgiving those who’ve wronged you and find your ability to press on.

Step 12

Finally, mentor others in their meditation practice. By assisting those around you, you can experience one of the most rewarding parts of mindfulness meditation: improving your spiritual journey as you work on the journeys of others.

Science Benefits of Meditation

Meditation

Depending on who you ask, the word “meditation” can mean many different things. An intellectual might say that meditation is a way to focus the mind for more productive thinking, while a monk might say that meditation is a method that taps into compassion and universal connection. But to a scientist, meditation remains somewhat of a research mystery, other than the evidence that it can benefit both the mind and body. For those of you who are interested in the scientific benefits of meditation, here are a few proven facts.

Pain Tolerance/Reduction

‘Mindfulness’ meditation is a method that involves maintaining a focused mental state and has shown positive results for pain reduction in patients. According to the National Institutes of Health, the key link between mindfulness meditation and lowering a patient’s pain level is by altering their subjective experience through practice. In other words, meditation can help you lift temporary or chronic pain if you can learn to shift your focus from it.

Meditation can help you tolerate or reduce pain levels.

Meditation can help you tolerate or reduce pain levels.

Anxiety and Depression

Approximately 18 percent of adults today suffer from anxiety, which can also lead to depression, and many would like an alternative solution to medication (as medication can cause harmful side effects). As reported by the General Hospital Psychiatry, anxious and depressed patients described an improvement in their mental state after undergoing 8-weeks of meditation. Those who suffered from panic attacks also noted progress in the severity and frequency of their attacks after sessions of focus and mindful practice. And for patients who continued their meditation strategies, positive recovery in both mood and mental state was reported to have improved.

Meditation Can Make You Smarter

Regular meditation sessions can significantly improve the amount of gray matter (the areas where nerve cells and connections are particularly dense) in your brain through neuroplasticity, which is the ability of the brain to change itself in response to its environment. By practicing your focus along with mindful techniques, you can balance out the hemispheric activity in your brain (called “whole brain synchronization”), encourage your brain to produce more positive and focused brainwave activity, improve short and long-term memory, and aid creative thought. In a nutshell, meditation can strengthen your brain in the same way that exercise can strengthen your muscles.

While all of these discoveries are exciting, scientists are continuing to study the act of meditation to develop more effective treatments that can provide a greater quality of life for patients. And when used daily, meditation is also a continuing interest in improving the overall health, mood, and connection in individuals.