Modern living can mean you can spend the entire day on the computer not being present or have a meaningful conversation or interaction face to face with another being. This situation can lead to neurons, brain cells literally dying, loss of memory, alzheimers, feeling mentally and emotionally exhausted.
Mindfulness another word for meditation is the antidote says a growing number of scientific studies as well as health practitioner.
The tendency to over-think is “an occupational hazard of being human,” says Kabat-Zinn. “We’ll be projecting in the future or reminiscing about the past, or what went wrong, and who did what to whom, or who’s to blame….We’re creating narratives constantly.” It’s the constant narrative in our heads (i.e., the “monkey mind”) that leads to the sensation that we’re not really present in a moment-to-moment way. “The mind has a life of its own,” says Kabat-Zinn. “It goes here and there.”
So, in mindfulness, the real practice is bringing the mind back to a particular point of focus. The mind may take a lot of redirection, since the mind’s nature is to wander. The mind can be likened to the ocean – most of the time, you’re getting bounced around by the waves at the surface. But meditation, when practiced enough, lets you dip below the waves and not be at the mercy of the choppy surface agitations. When you’re below the surface, in meditation, you’re still moved by the currents, but you’re not being slapped around by the waves.” In other words, meditation lets us get some reprieve from the constant rovings of our minds.
There are dozens of studies showing the functional and structural changes meditation can bring about in the brain. That’s why global brands such as Google, Instagram and Facebook have all jumped on board. They practice mindfulness prior to meetings and have free classes in mindfulness for their lucky employees.
Googles guru Chade-Meng Tan, is charged with hefty responsibilities, as his official job description is to “Enlighten minds, open hearts and create world peace.” Not only does adding meditation to the work day make people happier and more present, but it also makes people more productive. The trick, says Tan, is to “get into that frame of mind on demand,” and meditation teaches people to do exactly this.
Meditation is really a form of cognitive training. This is just the next generation of exercise. We’ve got the physical exercise components down, now it is about working out how we can actually train our minds.
Attend one of my meditation classes every Tuesday at The Om Space, Colombo 5; 6-7pm. Investment 800-900Rs.
Love and light Fiona