Mosaic Magazine | by Sheree C. Thorne, Certified Meditation Instructor
Meditation is for the mind what physical exercise is for the body.
The inter-relationship of the mind and body and how the state of one impacts on the other is gaining greater acceptance. Thoughts and actions all originate in the mind and have tremendous impact on one’s health! Body and mind training are both essential for physical and mental well-being.
In North America great effort is made to educate and inform people about the importance of physical fitness and about proper nutrition. However, there is another essential component of education that is greatly overlooked – the need to educate people about nourishing and training the mind. The missing link is mediation.
Meditation is the discipline of controlling the mind and a state of consciousness characterized by stillness and inner calm. It is not a religion.
The main goal of meditation is to build mind power. Mind Power is vital to our everyday lives. Without mind power a person is not capable of achieving anything. Mind Power enhances productivity, efficiency and promotes mental and physical health. Meditation promotes happiness and peace of mind.1
Stats Canada (2001 Report) revealed that one in two Canadians experiences very high levels of personal and work stress, 45% of women state that they are trying to do too much and experience stress on a frequent basis and 61% of women are frequently stressed with family demands. Additionally, women who reported high personal stress were more likely to be diagnosed in four to five years with arthritis, ulcers, back problems or chronic bronchitis/emphysema.2
A wide range of disease symptoms are associated to stress. Dr. Herbert Benson, well-known cardiologist, first revealed his findings of the correlation of stress and heart disease in the early 1970’s. Since then he has reported the following as conditions that are caused or affected by stress: premature heart disease, hypertension, constipation, diabetes mellitus, mood disorders, migraines, chronic fatigue, depression, arthritis, digestive disorders and insomnia to name a few.3
It is obvious that one’s state of mind directly influences their mental and physical health and one of the most powerful techniques to nurture and strengthen the mind is meditation.
Classes on learning how to meditate properly are available across Canada including Edmonton and Calgary. Master Teacher of Meditation and Founder/President of the Willpower Institute, Phra Tep Jetiyajan – Luangphor Sirintharo (Luangphor for short) and his certified instructors, freely share his great knowledge and wisdom about meditation and its health benefits. Having trained, instructed and practiced meditation for over 65 years (including 20 years in the jungles of Thailand) Luangphor’s level of knowledge and expertise is remarkable.
With a glimmer in his eyes he has stated, “We should notice that some people become a little furious by a serious matter. On the other hand, some people become very furious by a simple matter. Such emotion is due to the level of the mind power. Meditation produces mind power so that the mind can control the emotions, rather, than the emotions controlling the mind.”
“Meditation is similar to a water filter that removes bad bacteria from the water, leaving the water suitable for drinking, which is essential for good health. Meditation acts as a filter removing the negative thoughts and emotions, reducing stress and anxiety, which is essential for good health”, he explained.
Luangphor emphasizes to his students that we all have natural mind power, hoever, it usually is not sufficient to ensure physical and mental well-being. Manifested mind power, which is accumulated through the practice of meditation, enhances our ability to control our emotions and contributes significantly to our overall health.
When questioned, the vast majority of his 400 students said that they have experienced reduced stress and tension and heightened feelings of happiness. Some revealed that even their high blood pressure had gone down. Others were amazed that after years of insomnia they have regained their sleep and still others expressed feeling more confident, experiencing better memory, clearer thinking, better work and academic performance. The list goes on and on.
It is advised that someone learning meditation do so under the guidance of a trained and knowledgeable instructor to ensure they conduct meditation the correct way. Improper conduction can result in misconceptions and misunderstandings that can be harmful or impede the accumulation of mind power. This is similar to someone going to a gym to work out and due to a lack of proper instruction they do not gain the desired benefits.
1 Pra Rajdhamma Jetiyajarn, (Phra Tep Jetiyajan, Luangphor Viriyang Sirintharo) Meditation Instructor Course – Volume 1, Willpower Institute, Bangkok, 1999
2 Statistics Canada, Annual Health Services Report, 2001
3 Herbert Benson, M.D. & Miriam Z. Klipper, The Relaxation Response, Avon Books, Inc., New York, 1975