This week we’re talking about Meditation — its near-countless benefits for body and mind, and also the real and perceived barriers that keep many from embracing it.
From the challenges of making space for a regular practice, to the frustration that can set in when we attempt to calm our chaotic minds, we talk about the block-and-tackle of meditation and the many forms it can take.
We also share our own experiences with meditative practices and the benefits we’ve found in exploring and expanding them over time.
Finally, we offer you a snack-size taste of a guided meditation and some experiments to help you discover the profound gifts you stand to gain from building more meditative practices into your own life.
“Meditation” Episode Highlights
- Pilar’s recent commitment to a daily hour-long guided meditation, and Dallas’s conversion from skeptic to occasional meditator
- Why only 8% of Americans meditate regularly despite the long list of upsides (and no downsides)
- What motivates people to meditate — and how the impetus to continue might differ from that original motivation
- The research into the minimum-effective dose for meditation (time needed to see benefits) — just 12 minutes a day, according to Dr. Amishi Jha
- The stress relief available from even a few seconds of any practice that stills your mind
- How meditation fits perfectly into Pilar’s first Non-Conformist Competency of Healthy Deviance: Amplified Awareness
- Why a busy, constantly wandering mind is completely normal and NOT a good reason to think you “can’t meditate”
- The wide range of mindfulness practices — pretty much anything that keeps you aware, in the present moment, and disinclined toward automatic or volatile reaction
- Where meditation and contemplative practice fits into the healthy body-mind triad of nutrition, fitness and stress management strategies
- How digestive disorders like Irritable Bowel Syndrome and skin problems can be mitigated or healed by meditation via the vagus nerve connection between the brain and gut
- Tools for starting (or invigorating) a meditation practice
- A VERY short introduction to guided meditation
- Forms of meditation and their effects on different areas of the brain
- Finding a mindfulness practice that works for you
Try Tara Brach’s 16-minute “Quieting the Mind” guided meditation. Notice: What resistance comes up? Does anything or anyone get in your way?
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- From Experience Life magazine: “Brain-Body Benefits of Meditation”, “How to Begin a Daily Meditation Practice”, and “Wherever You Go, There You Are”
- Dr. Joe Dispenza’s You Are the Placebo: Making Your Mind Matter
- “Meditation for fidgety skeptics” from Dan Harris’s 10% Happier website and books
- Dr. Amishi Jha’s research in attention and working memory, and how they can be modified by mindfulness practices
- Statistics from the National Institutes of Health on the use of complimentary health approaches in the U.S.
- From Collective Evolution: Scientific research into meditation’s effects on gut health and different parts of the brain
- Some of our favorite guided meditation resources: The Headspace and Calm apps, Insight Timer, Pilar’s “Your Ideal Day” visualization, and Tara Brach’s website
- Meditative music selections: Evening meditation music track via Stevin McNamara (Pilar’s fave yoga music composer!) on an album compiled by Caroline Myss, more from Stevin McNamara, and the meditation collection from Sounds True
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