- The Secret of the Ancients
Ancient Indians have found out that we have
four major states of consciousness: the waking state, the dream
state, the deep sleep state and the Turiyam state. Actually the
Turiyam is not a state, it is the pure consciousness which
manifests in all other states. Our ancestors have devised method
called meditation to attain this state. This state is also the
deepest possible relaxation state or state of rest.
There are many variations of meditations
being practiced today. Transcendental meditation (TM ), Vipasana
Meditation etc. are some of them. Holistic Integration Technique (HIT) is one of the simplest yet powerful system of
Be forewarned that meditation is actually a
means to the end Turiyam. Meditation per se will not do -- you
should reach the Turiyam state, which is the deepest possible
total relaxation state. Once you are able to reach such a state,
you can reap the benefits of the same.
The effects of meditation on both the
physiology and psychology of the meditator have been studied with
the aid of sophisticated technology. Results are in line with the
claims made by the practitioners. The tests were carried out on
meditators who have been practicing meditation for more than two
The Benefits of Meditation
Some of the important benefits of
meditation are given below. For getting significant benefit from
meditation, one should meditate habitually for 15-20 minutes
daily at the same time. Meditating two times a day -- morning and
evening -- is more better. Any type of meditation is OK.
1. Reduced Heart Rate; Normalization Of
Heart rates have been found to fall during
meditation. This is beneficial because the heart has reduced work
load only. The effect tend to persist even when not meditating
(in those who have been practicing meditation for longer years).
Significant reduction in high BP occur with
one month of meditation practice. Normalization of BP occurs
after the patient meditates for more than a year.
2. Increased Autonomic Balance
Both the sympathetic and para-sympathetic
aspects of the Autonomic Nervous System are found to have
increased balance. The results of this are more blood flow to the
peripheries eg. forearm, feet etc.
3. Perfect Rest; Physical Rest
Maintained In Activity
The state of consciousness attained during
meditation, called the Turiyam or the pure consciousness is
considered to the deepest possible rest or relaxation in both
body and mind.
Experiments have shown that overall average
breathing reduction which shows a deeper state of rest has been
recorded in meditators during meditation. High coherence of brain
waves(EEG) in alpha and theta frequency bands showing restfulness
have been established. The meditator is further found to be able
to maintain rest even in activities. Greater resistance to
disruption of the relaxed state performing the given task has
also been noted. In short, it is well established that the
meditator has increased physiological stability and adaptability
of the nervous system which helps the relaxation to persist even
when engaged in activity.
4. Reduced Stress - Lower Levels Of
Stress as we all know is a psychologically
agitated state which is the opposite of rest or relaxation.
Physiologists have found that increased level of a chemical
called corisol is the sign of lessened physiological integrity
and lower levels of cortisol means lesser anxiety. Cortisol
levels are high when a person is highly anxious or under stress
or when he has decreased resistance to certain diseases. It has
been found that meditators show lower levels of cortisol during
meditation and that this tends to persist in them even when not
5 .Coherence Of Brain Waves
EEG recordings of meditators during
meditation have shown that coherent and orderly functioning of
the brain occur. Ideational fertility, anticipation of
consequences, judgement, attention, timing, memory,
conceptualization, abstraction etc. have been found to improve
6. Increased Creativity
Experiments conducted on meditators who
have 18 months or more experience in meditation established that
creativity increased significantly. The test used was Torrance
Test of Creative Thinking which tests the three major aspects of
creative thinking -- fluency, flexibility and originality.
Meditators scored high in all these aspects.
7. Increased Intelligence Growth Rate
Psychologists have found that the rate of
growth of intelligence becomes almost negligible once we pass the
age of sixteen. But individuals habitually practicing meditation
continue to maintain significant intelligence growth after this
8. Increased Academic Performance
Studies on high school students have shown
that habitual meditators attained increased academic performance.
Decreased stress or anxiety, improved self-esteem, increased
clarity of mind, increased energy level and increased creativity
may be the reasons for this.
9. Reduced Alcohol And Cigarettes
People use alcohol or cigarettes more when
they experience stress. Since meditation provides high level of
rest or relaxation, stress do not attack them easily. This tends
to reduce the dependence to alcohol and cigarettes.
10. Relief From Insomnia
Deep-rooted stress/anxiety is the reason
for chronic insomnia. As habitual meditation dissolves deep
seated stresses, the sleeping cycle naturally improves. Even two
to three months of habitual meditation can have significant
effects on insomnia.
11. Normalization Of Weight
Most eating disorders are of psychological
origin. People who have a lot of stress either tend to eat more
or tend to avoid food altogether. Meditation helps to dissolve or
release stress and cope up with stress effectively. People feel
more empowered due to this and their hating habits tend to
normalize gradually. It has been found that meditators who had
over weight lose significant amounts of weight where as those who
were under weight gained weight.
12. Improved Athletic Performance
A one-and-a-half to two months habitual
meditation has found to increase the performance of athletes.
This is because meditation promotes holistic body-mind
coordination resulting in faster reactions, improved metabolic
functioning and integration.
13. Increased Perceptual Ability
Meditation produces a deep relaxation or
rest which improves the information processing capabilities of
the perceptual system.
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