I always take a few moments to meditate before I meet with clients. It helps me get centered and call upon my highest self, so that I can be of greatest service to others. My meditation helps me and you.
There are many ways to go about it. I used to practice a very intense form of yoga (Ashtanga), which introduced me to the power of conscious breathing and active meditation. Meditation can be solitary and still; it can be verbally guided; it can include a mantra or a prayer; or it can be as simple as just taking a few moments to consciously focus on the rise and fall of your breath. Before my son took over the task, I used to find mowing the lawn to be meditative.
Regardless of the method, mediation helps you transcend the petty noise and concerns of your ego, and tap into a universal source of peace and wellbeing. If that sounds kind of “out there” to you, you should note that there is solid empirical data to validate this ancient spiritual practice. In a 2011 Harvard study, researchers found that in addition to generating feelings of peacefulness and relaxation, meditation improved morning practitioners’ thoughts and mood throughout their day.
At a lecture last night at Vanderbilt University, Dr. Deepak Chopra educated the audience on the science behind the healing power of mindfulness mediation. Chopra, a physician and endrocinologist, has written 85+ books and given countless talks/seminars on the topic of holistic healing, mindfulness and meditation.
Over the last 15 years I have enjoyed many of Chopra’s books and lectures, so it was a treat to hear him speak in person. He clearly explained the scientific evidence that links meditation to positive changes in brain activity and structure. As a bonus, Chopra led the entire audience in a guided meditation to tap into the profound sense of wellbeing he asserts is available to us all.
For more detailed information on meditation and the research cited above see:
“The Neuroscience of Mindfulness Mediation” by Sarah McKay at www.chopra.com
“Eight Weeks to a Better Brain: Meditation Study Shows Changes Associated With Awareness, Stress” by Sue McGreavy, Harvard Gazette; www.news.harvard.edu