What is meditation & How it affects the brain?

Meditation is about being an observant to the entire process, paying attention to our experiences in the present moment with openness, spaciousness, non-judgmental attitude, and receptivity. Thus, a person gains an immediate contact to one's experiences effortlessly that leads to a state of calmness. Meditation has a direct and indirect effects on the autonomic nervous system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and autoimmune system, promoting a sense of stillness, enhancing muscle relaxation, and causing alteration in brain activity that influences change on hormone levels, ultimately inducing a happy state of mind.

How to Meditate

Meditation begins by focusing one’s attention on an object or one’s breath. Why do we utilize our breath? Because, our breath is a reflection of our life. A short and shallow breath indicates excitement or disturbed state of mind while a deep, settle, and long breath signifies a relaxed and natural state of mind. As we bring our attention to the rhythm of our breath and focus on the rising and falling of the breath in the body, we will be able to allow waves of breath to come and go effortlessly. As soon as our focus shifts to a strong wave of emotion or experience, we can observe or witness our habitual way of response to internal and external stimulus and the results in a change in our behavior. As each experience arises, the mind tends to engage in remembering, planning, analyzing, judging, and clinging to pleasant sensations or events while rejecting the unpleasant or painful ones. This sources of constant pleasure-seeking or desiring or wanting behavior is believed to be the sources of our pain and suffering.

In meditation, we will learn how to fully experience each moment impartially, become acquainted with ourselves and our experiences, and the story we tell ourselves. We can cultivate calmness and stillness state of mind beyond what lies beneath the storms of thoughts, emotions, and sense perceptions. The mind is like a blue sky that is usually covered by clouds of storms or smog hanging over our cities, which gradually clears away after the rain or less emission of Carbon dioxide is present in the atmosphere. When thoughts, emotions, and sense of perceptions are recognized as simply expression of the mind, we will think and behave with great clarity than governed by our habitual and combative thought patterns and impulses. We can truly engage each moment with less subjectivity, we will develop a sense of fluidity that is simply experiencing and becoming.