Everyone has used the word “stress” before, what is it, and why is it a commonality upon the population in the western world. The word stress is defined “Physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension”. 1 Has Selye, a pioneering endocrinologist, coined the original definition of the word stress, in the mid-twentieth century. 2 But why do we get stressed? It seems that the modern worlds business culture is the main feed for stress. The long hours working in a office, not knowing if your going to be fired or not, or even having a very disruptive supervisor can bring common stress to everybody; the main source of stress can revolve around the ever so threatening “deadlines” that can make or break people. We all know what it feels like to be stressed, and all the immediate effects of being stressed, but why do we keep on doing this to ourselves. 3
The stock market is a perfect example on how today’s business culture inflicts stress to the business men and women out there on the floor. The stock exchange where people can loose all their money in a blink of an eye or become a millionaire in the same amount of time. There are countless accounts of people getting trampled on because of 2000 other people wanted to get their money. Even though this is a risky market for money people still flood the floors every day of the week. We have to stand back and remember October 29, 1929 Black Tuesday, the beginning on the great depression. It is estimated that stockholders lost more than $40 billion dollars. 4
With all the stress in the environment that today we live in, how do we overcome the stress of life? Some of the generic stress relievers include, music, sex, exercise, visualizations (guided imagery), massage, crying, laugh, ect. The more interesting ones revolve around the Buddhist culture, such as, breathing exercises, yoga, walking (mindful walking), and mainly, meditation. 5 Meditation is a top hit for stress release, but why? What does meditation do to help stress? And how would we integrate meditation into our already busy western way of living? “whereas the Buddha taught that happiness lies in limiting desires, American culture teaches that happiness can be found in fulfilling desires” 6
What is meditation? Meditation is a family of practices in which the practitioners train their minds. This practice is generally inward oriented which can invoke or create a feeling or internal state, such as compassion or resolve phobias, sometimes we can use meditation as away to hide away from ourselves and life. Various methods of meditation have incased shown changes to the practitioner’s metabolism, blood pressure, brain activity and other bodily processes. The most commonly known type of meditation is sitting meditation, where as it is the most stable posture for the practitioner. There are two seated positions that one can take, either the half lotus or the full lotus position; make sure you allow your back to be strait, close your eyes and rest your hands comfortably on your lap. To meditate you have to concentrate on your breathing, to practice breathing is very important in mediation, where while meditating the practitioner should be concentrating on their breathing in the sense to be able to clear their mind. 7 Breathing is the unity of the body and mind, sometimes our mind is thinking one thing and our body is doing another, when in meditation the practice of breathing brings unification for the body and mind to become a whole again. “Let go of all involvements and let myriad things rest. Do not think good or bad. Do not judge right or wrong.” 8 When the mind and body are in unification there is no stress, there is nothing to worry about, meditation is living in the moment, thus there is nothing to be bothered by. When exiting meditation, the mind becomes non-unison to the body anymore, thus the problems of the world come back, and only with extensive practice with meditation one can...