The benefits of meditation are beginning to be recognized by science. For example, Alzheimer's Research and Prevention Foundation had some good news recently about the effects of meditation on a small study of patients. But even without studies, it makes sense that sitting still and calming the mind is good for you. Once you've decided to sit still, there are many different approaches to what to do next. ARPF gives you an excellent guide to the 12-minute Kundalini yoga meditation they used in their study.
At Connect Yoga, we believe it's important to practice some kind of exercise for your mind as well as your body. We are setting aside some time once a week (Sunday 12:00-12:45pm) where we can practice group meditation. If you're a beginner, we'll provide an easy starting point from Zen techniques. If you want to learn to swim, you'd look to Olympic athletes for tips, so why not learn from the Olympians of meditation? We're not hoping to make the Olympic team, but we can learn a few good beginning strokes.
If you haven't done any formal meditation before, it might help to know one practical way it can help in our everyday lives; control of emotions:
The ideas in this illustration are based on themes that reoccur in a wide variety of sources of wisdom including Buddhism, Ancient Stoic Philosophy, and modern Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. There is a moment in time before we react to our thoughts and emotions that is crucial to our well being and can help make the world a better place. A lot is at stake. We need to open up space there in order to calmly and patiently figure out what to do next. Some thoughts we should allow to pass and flourish, others we should let go of. Meditation can be looked at as your brain muscle's practice at being mindful, concentrating and letting go. Zazen is a beautifully simple technique that you can learn in no time and practice anytime you want. But, the most important thing to remember is that it's practice. You can't learn to swim by standing there looking at the pool, you have to jump in and start doing laps.
Regardless of your level of experience, we hope you'll join us as part of your regular meditation practice. There aren't many opportunities in our busy world to sit in silence together and focus on making the world a better place.