Benefits of Meditation

Topics: Meditation, Brain, Nervous system Pages: 9 (2821 words) Published: October 6, 2008
Benefits of Meditation

Introduction
Nowadays, mediation has been prescribed as a therapy to improve vascular diseases, relieve the problem of insomnia, assist asthma patients to inhale and exhale easier and ameliorate exercise performance in angina patients 1. In general, meditation can effectively reduce the daily stresses and tensions of life. It is believed to be a safe and easy tool for balancing the physiological, psychological and mental states 1,2.

Starting from ancient times, Buddhists widely has been promoting and teaching the knowledge and skills of meditation among central and eastern Asian countries, including China and India 1. They faithfully believe the implementation of meditation is a prerequisite for cultivating compassion and wisdom and deem it as a necessity for comprehending the reality. They hold a viewpoint that the scope of human’s general consciousness is not infinite, but with limits. Should we the human want to extend our lives to fully colorful spectrum of own unconsciousness and consciousness, meditation indeed offers help and guidelines to us 1.

From the perspective of Taoists, meditation resembles short-term starvation in mental manner 1. Like physical fasting which cuts off all the dietary uptake of nutrients for purification of the body essences, the mental starvation during meditation acts to filtrate and purify our mind. It helps withdraw all disturbing thoughts and distractive emotions from our mind, with a view to restoring our primary spiritual powers. This mind-cleansing process during the mental starvation is natural and autonomic in nature. The prerequisite for activating this progression of self-rejuvenation is mind and body without any input for a certain fixed period of time 1. Taoists consider “sitting silently without doing anything” an effective way of gathering adequate mental lucidity to thoroughly concentrate on taming and training the two sides of temporal mind which directs our living. Those two aspects of temporal mind are referring to the mind of emotion and the mind of willpower respectively 1. Interestingly, from the viewpoint of Taoists, the minds of emotion and willpower are managed by and correlated to two abstract forms of energy inside our body: the Fire energy of Heart and the Water energy of Kidneys respectively 1. The mind of emotion is supposed to be under the control and governance of the Fire energy of Heart. At the time our emotion is not well manipulated, the Fire energy of Heart then blazes up, which leads to wasteful burning up of energy and awful bewildering of our mind 1. On the other side, Taoists reckon that the mind of willpower is dominated by the Water energy of Kidneys. Without careful attention, the Water energy will drain from kidneys to and out through sexual organ, which results in depletion of energy and essence as well as degeneration of spirit 1. They claim that when people are “sitting silently without doing anything”, as if proceeding meditation, the flows of Fire energy ad Water energy will be in reversed directions. The Fire energy of Heart will be pumped downward to the Lower Elixir Field located at the abdomen. The energy will be recycled and converted into a particular form which can go into general circulation via various energy pathways. In a similar way, the Water energy of Kidneys will be flown upward to head for refinement through the Central and Governing channels 1. Based on Taoists’ understanding and comprehension on mentality and spirituality, such transformation of energies from heart and kidneys allows the mind of willpower to impose a soothing and calming effect on the mind of emotion 1.

Benefits and effects
According to some scientific research, meditation is capable of contributing to physiological and psychological health of a person 1,2,3,4,5. It can be attained through channeling the pattern of brainwaves into an alpha state, which is a desirable consciousness level to catalyze the healing...
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