Last May I listened to a lecture on meditation by Nina Fry-Kizler. It was one of the free Friday lectures given by the Institute of Noetic Science (IONS). Fry-Kizler talked about how not all types of meditation suit all people. She walked us through three types of meditation – mindfulness, focused, and movement.
Not all meditation involves sitting quietly with your eyes closed. I found the Movement Meditation interesting and invigorating.
Nina’s talk got me thinking about meditation in general.
In recent years, meditation has been the subject of more and more scientific scrutiny. Studies have shown that regular meditation boosts your immune function, decreases pain and inflammation, and increases grey matter in our brains — all at the cellular level.
Psychology Today has very good articles on all the aspects of meditation. Many have links to the scientific studies on the benefits of meditating regularly. These studies conclude that meditating decreases depression, anxiety, and stress among many other things.
In a 2014 article written by Rick Hanson Ph.D., Meditate, the list of scientifically proven benefits seems endless. Hanson states that “Meditation is to the mind what aerobic exercise is to the body.” I believe that and plan to borrow the comparison while working with my clients.
Dawson Church describes more research on the benefits of meditating in his book, Mind to Matter: The Astonishing Science of How Your Brain Creates Material Reality, (which I will review at a later date).
Church includes a section written by Graham Phillips PhD, an Australian astrophysicist and TV journalist. Phillips felt skeptical about the feel-good benefits of meditating. He agreed to be put through a battery of tests before and after 8-weeks of meditating daily. With Phillips, the researchers found a 22.8% increase in the volume of the part of the brain responsible for emotional regulation, enhanced brain response time, better memory, increased cognitive powers, and improved behavioural abilities. In other words, Graham Phillips discovered that he was less stressed and had a more efficient brain.
I meditate regularly and encourage all my clients to do the same. It really makes a difference to how you feel and how you function.
There are so many different kinds of meditation, you can find one that suits you just by browsing the internet.
Find your type
If you think you might like moving while you meditate, check out Anna Helén Andersson Sears’ guided Movement Meditation video to get you started. Other moving methods include dancing, walking, running, cleaning, and shaking as described in Fit Bottomed Girls’ 5 Movement Meditation Practices That’ll Work Your Body and Clear Your Mind.
In 9 Ways to Make Meditation Easier the descriptions might be helpful if you are just starting out.
If you think you would like an app to help in your meditating practice, checkout this article What’s Your Meditation Type? (+ 5 Best Meditation Apps).