He’s considered to be the happiest man in the world. While he shies away from the title, Matthieu Ricard prophetically attributes his happiness to intensive daily meditation practice.
He’s also a molecular biologist. He is the link between the east and west in terms of scientific study of meditation.
He’s the right hand man of the Dalai Lama and prolific meditation practitioner and teacher having spent the last three decades meditating intensively.
It’s not an airy fairy woohoo practice from the east that westerners are jumping on board with. Through scientific study after study we can now begin to better understand meditation and the enormous physiological benefits of it. Not only are the benefits for our physical well being, but our mental well being also.
New research has shown that meditation reduces stress, controls anxiety, enhances self awareness and increases attention span just to name a few.
Studies out of Harvard reveal brain scans that appear to change indicating after eight weeks of training in mindful attention meditation (the amygdala is less activated after meditation.
PRACTICAL GUIDANCE FOR BEGINNING MEDITATORS
Let’s continue with the demystification, by clarifying one of the most prevalent myths of all. “I can’t meditate cause I can’t turn my mind off.” Well guess what? You’re in luck because you’re not supposed to turn your mind off. You simply settle in to a space of stillness and the mind automatically slows.
Will it ever turn off? No. The nature of the mind is to think and overthink and ruminate and speculate and assimilate all that is before it. Not to mention analyze and prophecise about randomness that is far beyond our control.
No. Meditation is not about about turning your mind off. It’s about allowing the thoughts to come and letting them go. The thoughts come and you let them go. You learn to detach yourself from the thoughts. You do not attempt to force a lack of thinking and you do not encourage the thoughts that do come in. They will come in. That is inevitable as it is the nature of the mind to always be active. However as we continue and enhance our meditation practice we will find our mind and racing thoughts calm and subside exponentially.
I’ve never meditated before. How do I start?
And your very own copy of my Bliss Guided Meditation if you’re ready.