Meditation is Not Just Some New Age Thing

May 8th, 2014 by Michael Tabor

Mindfulness, TM (Transcendental Meditation), Movement meditation like Tai – Chi (I have been practicing Tai – Chi for 3 decades), breath – counting … just to mention a few types (hey it’s essentially the same stuff, I’ll elaborate in just a sec…)of meditation practices that are proven methods for peace of mind and good health.

Most people, especially westerners are prodigiously skeptical of , to which the title alludes, this new age thing called – meditation. But, listen up, the facts are the facts: doctors from this country (U.S.) and rigorous clinical studies have clearly shown that meditation of any kind:

· Normalizes blood pressure (not just lowers, in other words)
· Reduces risk of heart attack and stroke
· Minimizes stress
· Cures insomnia (actually, I don’t mean cure here, but it definitely helps. I’ve suffered from insomnia my whole life and I can honestly attest that I’d be a sleepless zombie if it not were for my meditation practices)
· Reduces anxiety and depression
· And leaves you with a sort of sense of calm throughout the day (calm for me anyway, lol). I am and always have been a “Nervous Nellie”meditation2 . I wish this were not the case, but hyperactivity and nervousness is just part of my temperament and genetic make – up. Before I discovered Tai – Chi and meditation in 1983 I thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown – I kid you not.

In a nutshell, meditation (any form) is simply the arduous painstakingly practice of paying attention to the most boring and uninteresting thing a human being can possibly imagine e.g. following and counting your breath – inhale … exhale … inhale … exhale. What this practice does, is simple 1. Train you to be in the moment 2. Improve your concentration and put a halt to extraneous distractions other than the task at hand (counting your breaths for example. Oh, incidentally it’s impossible for your mind not to wander about to other matters, but that is all part of the meditation practice… intrusive thoughts pop into your mind, & now your job is to gently bring your attention back to breath – counting) and 3. Permit you to become the “viewer”, “watcher”, “third person” who uncritically and without judgment allows one’s body to do what it wants to. THAT’S IT !!! There is nothing mystical about it. You don’t have to convert to Buddhism and you certainly don’t need a mantra (as TM suggests).

So WhaDaYaThink ? What do you think ? I know David Lynch (the surrealist Film director) has been proselytizing about TM over the past couple of years. I’m telling you, once you fully grasp and understand it, it truly becomes a part of your everyday life and you quickly realize that it’s something without which you simply cannot live. YEP, it changes your life forever !!! Check out this YouTube clip of Howard Stern (everyone knows I personally hate Stern, but here he is amazingly articulate, passionate…) and Jerry Seinfeld drinking coffee and having a discussion about a simple but profound practice that has been around formeditation1 at least 6000 years.


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5 Responses to “Meditation is Not Just Some New Age Thing”

  1. Michael Tabor Says:

    I can use a meditation session right now, I’m so annoyed … wordpress won’t allow me to to insert the Stern – Seinfeld YouTube link in the body of the blog (once again !!!) here you go:

  2. Chipster Says:

    I firmly believe that meditation works and is an invaluable aid in eliminating or controlling medical issues. Unfortunately, for me it’s a catch 22 situation. It is meant to relax you, unfortunately since I am a fidgety type “A” personality (actually, more of a Type AAAAAA……), I try but don’t have the patience to set the time aside and as Nike says “just do it”. I’ve tried several times and I do it one time and it’s week before I try it again.
    They’ve done several studies and it’s proven to help in controlling anxiety in people with anxiety disorders, helps people to focus, to stop smoking, lower Blood Pressure, and to improve the immune system. It’s at a point that some in the medical community (of which I acknowledge I have absolutely no confidence), has finally added holistic/alternative methods (ex, meditation) to their arsenal of treatments. Some have actually recognized that not all treatments require $$$$$$$$$$$$$$ in their pockets.

  3. magdalena Says:

    Personally, Chip, I have also had trouble with focusing on meditation. The whole breath thing makes me suddenly think I can’t breathe unless I think about it and as a result it produces the exact opposite effect. My own method of meditation is to be in the moment and try to empty the mind. When this fails, as thoughts often intrude, then thinking pleasant thoughts or of places I love to be and let the mind carry me there calms me. Simplistic, sure, but it works for me.

  4. Michael Tabor Says:

    Great input !!!

    Chip – it’s high time western physicians begin recommending meditation and other holistic procedures in lieu of simply writing out prescriptions. Certainly I’m not suggesting that medical doctors abandon their script pads (drugs work and are sometimes absolutely necessary and essential) but why not give meditation a shot ??? It can’t hurt.
    On a cynical note, as you indicated it’s hard to imagine that MDs are going to prescribe a treatment that doesn’t involve $$ and the ultimate lining of his or her pockets.

  5. Michael Tabor Says:

    Hi Magdalena,

    I know you actually see me doing Tai – Chi (lol) but I have the same problem you and Chip have in terms of carving out that 20 minutes twice a day to just SIT and meditate. When I get that feeling of being overwhelmed with stress, I try to incorporate the philosophy of detachment and the “witness” of experience. It’s easier said than done but that’s my goal.

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