By Michelle Bryan
Meditation became something of a fad in the last decades, but a lot of people in western society still regard it as something unconventional and seem to have the idea that because it is something of a spiritual practice it has little or no scientific basis. The contrary is true. Much scientific research has been carried out mapping brain states with electroencephalograms and magnetic resonance imaging, and data shows that meditation creates significant biological changes in our bodies due to the seven primary hormones produced and the effect on neurotransmitters. Leaving aside our bodies’ electromagnetic influence on the environment around us, the personal benefits alone include being more at peace with ourselves and the world, becoming more productive, more creative and better at problem solving, overcoming traumas or addictions, enhancing longevity, greater compassion, better emotional self-regulation, increased energy levels, increased clarity of mind, reduced stress, natural happiness, and indeed countless documented cases of healings from serious medical conditions. I can attest personally to all of these!
I wanted to be a meditator for a long time because I am a prolific reader, and I was convinced of its necessity years before I managed to master a regular practice. Discipline is essential. Our lives are busy, and it is easy to plan to put aside time and fail to do it. It is common for novice meditators to think that they are wasting time and that what they are doing is having no effect, but neither can you see radio waves, gravity, magnetic forces or sound waves. The abundance of astounding scientific research shows the impact meditation has on the lives of those who practise it. Personally, from within a few weeks of beginning to meditate just for very short periods, synchronicities and breakthroughs in all areas of my life began occurring routinely and unbidden, compelling me to persist in the habit and gradually increase the time I spent on it, which then increased the knock-on effect of more synchronicities, balance and healing in my life and that of those around me.
The brain operates on different wavelengths and a good time to maintain a meditative state is when you first awake in the morning and the brain has not yet moved into that busy beta state. For some years now I have set my alarm earlier than I need to and begun my day in meditation, before getting up and moving around and all those thoughts of the day flood my brain. I hold them off and stay in that state of half waking and half sleeping, focusing on a single space within me and the onset of mental chatter bounces off me like rubber balls off a shield. Sometimes using a short repetitive mantra can help to focus and close the mind from other intrusions. To begin with meditation is a discipline like brushing your teeth, you do it because it’s right for you, it’s a necessary and beneficial act of maintenance for your body and mind. Over time, once you have formed a habit and you begin to improve at quieting your inner chatter and slipping into nothingness, you begin to cherish that time of vital rest and restoration.
Is it any wonder there are so many problems and so much disquiet in a world that makes no time to stop for restoration, balance and healing? You are effectively connecting with your infinite source, just like plugging your phone in to recharge it. Encouraging research shows huge and lasting changes in brain states of even novice meditators, but regular meditators are proven to be constantly tipping the ratio of change in their ever-growing and adapting neural pathways, even existing permanently in a state of increased alpha brain waves. Our brains operate as electromagnetic radio transmitters and when we emit a frequency of peace and serenity we are positively impacting not only ourselves, but all of our environment.