Meditation is so popular – maybe even gaining a new world science fiction appeal. [1] [2] That said, meditation remains a highly beneficial and scientifically validated modality. Meditation has been shown to increase brain mass –gray matter, along with other physiological benefits.[3]

Because meditation is so easily accessed with little costs, this blog will continue looking at the different types of meditation to attain a therapeutic benefit.

The emotional benefits of meditation may include:

·         Gaining a new perspective on stressful situations

·         Building skills to manage your stress

·         Increasing self-awareness

·         Focusing on the present

·         Reducing negative emotions[4]

 

Meditation may help people manage symptoms of conditions such as:

·         Anxiety disorders

·         Asthma

·         Cancer

·         Depression

·         Heart disease

·         High blood pressure

·         Pain

·         Sleep problems[5]

 

 

 

And there are many types of mediation:

 

·         Guided meditation. You may be led through this process by a guide or teacher.

·         Mantra meditation.  you silently repeat a calming word, thought or phrase to prevent distracting thoughts.

·         Mindfulness meditation.  You focus on what you experience during meditation, such as the flow of your breath. You can observe your thoughts and emotions, but let them pass without judgment.

·         Qi gong.  physical movement and breathing exercises to restore and maintain balance.

·         Tai chi.  self-paced series of postures or movements in a slow, graceful manner while practicing deep breathing.

·         Transcendental meditation.  you silently repeat a personally assigned mantra, such as a word, sound or phrase, in a specific way. This form of meditation allows your body to settle into a state of profound rest and relaxation and your mind to achieve a state of inner peace, without needing to use concentration or effort.

·         Yoga. You perform a series of postures and controlled breathing exercises to promote a more flexible body and a calm mind.[6]

·         Breathwork[7]

But despite meditation’s apparent new age - popular appeal, it is deeply rooted in Judaism. [8] Jewish intellectualism essentially replaced mysticism and meditation. [9] Yet  around the time of the giving of the Torah, meditation was widely practiced among the Jewish people.[10] Prophecy as described in the Torah may have been derived from a meditative state, in many instances referring to dreams and dream states. [11] Ezekiel’s prophecy of the Chariot has traditional roots in meditation which his methods had been passed down but now has mostly been lost.[12] Yet meditation remains common in the thrice said Amidah[13].[14] This prayer was specially designed to provide a higher spirituality and meditative effect.[15] And so the Amidah when used as meditation, with deep concentration, and all the surroundings of meditation of focus and onness, may attain a therapeutic value. The Shema – derived directly from the Torah – may also be meditative.[16] The Shema may speak to the oneness of the power and forces of the universe in which we live and to which we can “tap into” through meditation.


William Riback, Esquire
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[email protected]

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meditation_in_popular_culture

[2] http://tinybuddha.com/fun-and-inspiring/meditation-remixed-movies-pop-culture-and-inner-peace/

[3] http://www.forbes.com/sites/alicegwalton/2015/02/09/7-ways-meditation-can-actually-change-the-brain/#5dcbb57f7023

[4] http://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/meditation/in-depth/meditation/art-20045858

[5] Id.

[6] Id.

[7] http://www.ibfnetwork.com/

[8] Aryeh Kaplan, Jewish Meditation, Schocken Books 1985

[9] Id at 40.

[10] Id at 42-43.

[11] Id at 41.

[12] Id at 43-44

[13] http://www.myjewishlearning.com/article/the-amidah/

[14] Id at 45.

[15] Id at 99-121

[16] Id. at 122-31


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