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Why Meditate? Skills Note 4. Meditation can become of a way of life if that is what is chosen and worked at. Meditation is a way of working with the body, the heart and the mind, to bring about change and an end to suffering. Meditation is not about becoming a different person, a new person, or even a better person. It is about training in awareness and getting a healthy sense of perspective on the experiences that are sensed in the present moment. It is not about trying to turn off thoughts, emotions or feelings. Mindful awareness is about learning to observe them without judgment, and, in time, start to better understand yourself, and your sense of experience, better. Buddhists trace these teachings back to the Buddha from about 2500 years ago. Broadly there are two forms of meditation covered here – Calming Meditation, known as Mindfulness, and Insight Meditation. There is also a third form which is very important for a balanced diet of meditation and that is “The Development of Loving Kindness”. More about that later. A large number of claims are made about the effectiveness of meditation. Calming Meditation has now accumulated a large amount of modern-day scientific evidence concerning how life experience can be changed by being Mindful. Insight Meditation is also known to be effective and is associated with the end of suffering, the journey to Enlightenment. Loving Kindness Meditation also has a number of positive outcomes that have been observed by scientists. The effectiveness of meditation is based on a regular application of the skills suggested here. The effects are accumulative. If there is a specific reason someone wishes to meditate, such as stress, or anxiety, the help of a counsellor can be most effective. The development of Meditation skills is not based upon intellectual accomplishment but on the regular application of this way of working. What is Calming Meditation? There are many things in life that are beyond our control. However, it is possible to take responsibility for our own states of mind – and to change them for the better. According to Buddhists, and many others, meditation is the most important thing we can do to bring about desired changes. Buddhism teaches that meditation is the only real antidote to our own personal sorrows, and also for the anxieties, fears, hatreds, and general confusions that is the experience of the human condition. Meditation is a means of transforming the mind and that is what is being offered here. These meditation practices are techniques that encourage and develop concentration, clarity, emotional positivity, and a calm seeing of the true nature of things. By engaging with a particular meditation practice you can learn the patterns and habits of your mind. Meditation practice offers a means to cultivate new, more positive ways of being. With regular work and patience these nourishing, focused, experiences of the mind can deepen into profoundly peaceful and energised states. Such experiences can have a transformative effect and can lead to a new understanding of life. Insight Meditation (‘Seeing deeply or clearly‘) is the practice of developing a calm and mindful investigation into the nature of experience, leading to wisdom, compassion and the end of suffering. It develops out of the mature, regular practice of Calming Meditation especially when distractions have been overcome through skill development. Why Mindfulness and Awareness? Scientific research has shown that Mindfulness meditation practices (Calming Meditation) can help with a variety of issues that lead to human suffering. What exactly is Mindfulness? It is the act of consciously focusing the mind, in the present moment, without judgment and without attachment to the moment. It can help us become more aware of what is going on for us internally and externally. We become more present to the “right now”. Why be Mindful? Mindfulness practices can help us to increase our ability to regulate emotions, decrease stress, anxiety and depression. It can also help us to focus our attention, as well as to observe our thoughts and feelings without judgement. As we become more present in our lives, and in relation to others, it can help us to make better decisions, to manage our emotions and to be more fully engaged in life. Mindfulness is the active start to awareness, developed through present moment awareness of the breath. Calming Awareness Outcomes. Mindfulness is the development of a way of sensing what is happening in the present moment and so being Aware. This leads to the experience of being at peace, calm and content, in many situations. After time, and practice, it is possible to be aware, without conscious mindfulness meditation, to know what is being sensed, in the present moment, by Just Sitting, in total stillness, observing, and knowing. This is another form of meditation that is Calming and can lead to Insight but needs skills and working towards, with, regularity.
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BUPA is a world-wide medical support private company offering their customers medical treatment in return for payment. They are here interested in portraying the mental advantages of this way of working. Mindfulness has quite a wide range of mental benefits. Mindfulness can really help with day-to-day tasks. So it can help with improving concentration and improving working memory. Working memory is when you hold a few pieces of information in your head at any one time. So, for example, if you’re doing mental maths. And the evidence shows mindfulness can really boost this and your ability to work things out quickly. Mindfulness can also help in thought processes. So, for example, if you’re worried about something and you think about it over and over again, you might find yourself getting and feeling a bit low and that is called "rumination". Mindfulness has been shown to reduce rumination.
Be Mindfully Aware
A programme of guided audio meditation, supporting notes and guides to learn and encourage a daily programme of meditation.
One of the major challenges, for many people, is their spending time rushing around without stopping to notice anything. Paying more attention to the present moment – to your own thoughts and feelings, and to the world around you – can improve your mental wellbeing. Many people plan their day or it is planned for them. Meditation and the development of mindfulness, and awareness can become part of that plan.