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The Health Benefits of Transcendental Meditation

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Because of its association with yoga and other Eastern philosophic belief systems and, later, with the New Age movements of alternative religious practices, meditation has often been dismissed in the West as something less than real. “Until recently the very word meditation tended to evoke raised eyebrows and thoughts about mysticism and hocus-pocus in many people. In part, that was because people did not understand that meditation is really about paying attention” (Kabat-Zin, 1990: 21). In particular, it is about paying attention to the moment as it is passing. This moves beyond the concept of living in the moment to being intimately aware of the moment even as it passes and becomes nothing more than a memory. This transcendental explanation is easier defined than accomplished. The tendency of the mind is to take the opportunity of the ‘autopilot’ initiative to reflect upon the pastor to make plans for the future. For those caught in desperate situations, this can lead to a destructive cycle of thinking that leaves little room for improvement while allowing them to miss out on the joys or triumphs of the present. One way in which people can help themselves break this cycle is through the process of meditation, which, it turns out, brings about some significant benefits including the benefit of clearer thinking, more enjoyed moments and a sense of inner peace. It also offers numerous measurable physical benefits including reduced blood pressure, reduced stress, more restful sleep, and lowered cholesterol. While there are many different forms of meditation, several of which require lengthy study, practice, and training to accomplish, transcendental meditation was designed to be accessible to the layperson with a minimum of training for nearly instant benefit.&nbsp.

Transcendental meditation can have numerous physical benefits as the result of the deep breathing and relaxation exercises that paradoxically bring about a more focused, connected state within the conscious.