Well, it’s a very good question! The answer is it is a lot of both! Meditation methods can be seen to be as mystical…but the results are truly magical! Meditation is being taught to deal with everything from physical pain and disease, mental anxiety, eating disorders, and on and on.
Seems like we are living in extremely stressful times and Meditation offers not just relief from stress, but builds qualities of the mind that will serve us as we live out the rest of our lives.
Yogis have known since ancient times the amazing benefits of training the mind, and now mainstream media is on board.
The Globe and Mail:
Meditation to the public at large may still be visualized as a group of longhaired, ill-washed, bearded types sitting in a circle, holding hands, and chanting incantations. Nothing could be further from the truth. At the studio we have students from literally every walk of life participating in classes. No special requirements are necessary…just bring yourself, and you are ready to go!
Mindfulness is a concept in Buddhism that refers to the quality of attention that we pay to events. It is a trained ability to concentrate, pay attention, observe and orient to an event….without reacting to the event. The ability is to step back and simply experience the flow of thoughts going through the mind, without reacting to them.
Mindfulness-based training builds qualities of mind like steadiness – the ability to stay focused on a single event or situation … to find one’s centre at all times.
Pliabilty – the quality of flowing with and around life events without being laid low.
Concentration – the quality of seeing things as the really are and not as we would like them to be.
Spaciousness - a quality of simply being freer from fear, anxiety and worry and feeling part and parcel of the world around us and beyond.
Practice of the postures of Yoga is one of the many ways in which we train our minds to focus, stay with what we are doing, learn to accept our limitations in the physical body and to work with them, and to loosen blocks of energy in the body and mind that may have obstructed a healthy flow of energy (prana.)
In the Buddhist Tradition, it is a given that we are all suffering…whether it be emotionally, physically or mentally. Mindfulness meditation is a very potent intervention which has lifetime effects on how we live our lives.
by Maureen Rae, RN, E-RYT