The future of meditation – know your mind

Meditation is used by many today, and it has a rich history going back thousands of years. All the big religions/lifestyle movements have used meditation: Hindu, Christian, Buddha, Islam etc.. Many meditative forms are secular or neutral, and mainly related to body and mind functions. Modern psychology has also used meditation as part of the therapy.

The reasons for using meditation are diverse: a wish to concentrate your thoughts, come nearer to your god, reach deeper layers of consciousness, healing practice for body and mind, to improve your life, reduce stress, find reality and more. The idea is to focus your mind, rest your thinking, loosen your mind, let your thoughts flow freely.

There is often a technique involved: repeated words or sounds, murmur, chant, music, incense, counting beads and more. The position of the body also matters: sit comfortably, lie down, walk, cross your legs. Breath comes into it, and many techniques are advocated and all involve conscious use of breathing..

East meets West thinking is also present, with elements of mysticism, reaching deeper/higher levels of consciousness, achieving nirvana. Meditation also connects with the ancient techniques of incubation that were practised by the Greeks, Indians, Persians, even Romans. It appears Western thinking lacks some reasons for our existence that is adressed in Eastern thinking, and that meditation could help you in understanding why you are here on this Earth.

So meditation has been with us for a long time and is ever popular. It is used widely, but the scientific basis for it is not very sound, and must be found out. May there is more to it than we think – may be it could be a really useful technique to be used by all?

Several scientists have published research claiming benefits related to stress reduction, lowering of blood pressure, reduced heart rate and creation of low frequency oscillations in the brain. It also seems beneficial in order to ease your mind. This may be the tip of the iceberg, and research is continuing.

What the science behind it really is must be answered for meditation techniques to become more than mysticism and relaxing techniques. What happens during meditation – to your mind, your body, what effects can be seen short term, long term, can meditation be enhanced for stronger effects, is it dangerous, can it unbalance the mind?

The Norwegian ACEM meditation organisation have published research results, and so have hundreds of others. The methods are improving, the scientific rigor is increasing, speculation is gone, knowledge is improving. Many studies suggest effects: better thinking, more energy, better cognition, more grey matter.

We could be on the way to a scientifically based mental method for personal mind control, relaxation, mind improvement. Proper technique should also be considered.

Careful – one step at a time, please. And the old mysticism could be useful too.

To speculate a bit: Maybe we will see a connection between meditation, psychology, dreams, subtle energy, consciousness, reality? We must surely find out more about these matters – and good science is required.

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