Faced with the hectic pace of everyday life and a desire to find inner peace, more and more people are turning to meditation as a tool of welfare. There are customized meditation options for everyone.
Assailed by the responsibilities and small daily hassles, we all want to find peace within ourselves. Some rely on tranquilizers, others engage in sports or in various entertainments. But there is another way as well. That of the inner journey. Meditation is the clarification of the mind. Long associated with insiders such as yogis and Tibetan monks, meditation now has millions of followers worldwide. These people are looking for a better balance in their life, an antidote against stress and disease. Nicole, 47, an executive in a corporation, cannot work without meditation. “Every day, I include a 30-minute break for me to reconnect with myself. I take a step and create a vacuum around me. I come back calmer and refreshed with a feeling of serenity.”
There are many meditation techniques, but they basically all have the same goal: to allow the mind to calm down, by controlling the constant stream of our thoughts. Basically, we can identify three broad categories of meditation techniques: those favoring the vacuum, those designed to channel the thoughts and those that use body movement.
Meditation service in the medical
In its issue of August 2010, Time Magazine recounted how meditation is now used in various areas of life, especially to enhance concentration. Scientists have confirmed its benefits to combat stress and difficult times. The social penetration of meditation has not diminished since then and it is now a part of a regular practice in many lives.
The arrival of meditation as a method of treatment in the medical community is often less familiar to the general public, although it was presented several years ago. Two names stand out particularly in the integration of meditation in medical science: Stephen Levine and Jon Kabat-Zinn.
Poet, author and well-known American professor in his field, Stephen Levine has written numerous books on the meaning of pain and place of death in the healing process. Far from being morbid, his writings have shed new light on the extraordinary potential impact of meditation in healing the wounds of body and mind. Stephen Levine spends most of his time to help people suffering and dying, using meditation as a method of treatment. He has developed a program with the help of American psychologist Richard Alpert and psychiatrist Elisabeth Kubler-Ross. Levine was particularly known for living a year as if it was the last of his existence.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, the founder of a stress-reduction clinic, has meanwhile affiliated with the University of Massachusetts. Inspired by the Buddhist meditation techniques, he has scientifically shown that this approach was a factor for improvement, and could even cure physical and psychological ailments. A perfect example of the integration of methods within the spiritual are methods derived directly from traditional medicine. Kabat-Zinn is the precursor of cognitive therapy based on “mindfulness” that is to say an Oriental approach based on Buddhist meditation (mostly zazen and vipassana) integrated with a Western approach based on ‘rigorous scientific experimentation. An approach that now even has followers in Europe, especially David Servan-Schreiber.
Meditating on Meditation
Despite its growing popularity, meditation is an art which does not give results overnight. It is therefore important to choose the approach that keeps you comfortable. Because learning to concentrate, accustom our minds not to wander and not be disturbed only comes with time and determination. But the benefits are really worth the effort.