Meditation can be accomplished in many ways, but the most practised in the world and the technique that provides the studied benefits is Mindfulness meditation. For those who haven’t practised meditation they might like to watch this video documentary on a complete newby to meditation going on a journey and experiencing mindfulness in a Tibetan retreat, where it can become pretty concentrated and as the lady in the documentary found, very life changing.
It has often been said that if you learn habits especially good habits at a young age or before puberty then those habits stay with you for life. In Buddhist country’s mindfulness meditation is taught to children of primary school age and there is growing evidence that it enhances children’s learning in other subjects.
Below are two articles from the BBC on mindfulness meditation which I hope you find interesting.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35688048 – can mindfulness improve children’s concentration?
and another BBC article, about how meditation can, or may be able to slow down the effects of ageing.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-35688048 – slowing down ageing with mindfulness meditation
As we strengthen our brain and our mind’s ability’s with regular meditation we find that our ability to do all sort’s mind exercise improve dramatically. A recent study using the fairly new technology of the Fmri scanners (functional magnetic resonance imaging) shows how the brain/mind will actually use different pasts of the brain when we start conjuring up thoughts, in fact we would use these different parts of our brain regardless if the story is real or made up.
If we make up a story in our mind’s and place it in the past, certain parts of the brain become engaged, if we take the same storyline and place it in the future we will use different parts of our mind and brain for this, and the same applies if we place that imaginary story in the present. This is called ‘Chronesthesia’ or commonly mental time travel, to read more on this interesting discovery, follow this link:
There is a great by-product of mindfulness meditation which is that we all become more contented because we remove a lot of emotional stress from our lives through the simple action of meditation.
Here is a link a to a great scientific study and article which claims to be able to recognise ‘happy body cell’s’
Over the last 15 years there has been a lot of studies and scientific investigation on the effect that meditation has the brain because this also strongly influences the way our mind works and how we perform. The studies have been carried out on both Mindfulness meditation as well as visualisation meditation (think Buddhist and Yoga meditations) although both meditations are ‘focused’ meditations in that the person actively guides or trains themselves in a technique of thinking by focusing on a task or multiple tasks. This is different than listening to relaxing music although some guided meditation CD’s can provide the instruction to do a focused meditation.
Below are some links which provide the results of those scientific studies and how meditation can change the physical structure of our brains.
Brain changes with mindfulness mediation click here
Seven changes to the brain with meditations click here
Specific studies done on Yoga mediators (visualisation meditation) provide similar changes in the brain structure which you can read here in Scientific America
There is a slight different in focus on the type of meditations in Yoga and Mindfulness meditations but both are involved an active participation and both require 30 minutes or more per day to trigger the brain to begin growing and making the physical changes which result in the increases performances measured.
In my Meditation workshops we learn and practise the aspects of both Mindfulness and visualisation meditations for enhanced improvements to our well-being.
Fresh dates for mindfulness meditation class in Guildford can be found below as all the dates for the March class’s are now full. To book, please ring – 0300 200 1044
The mindfulness meditation course will be run at the Guildford adult education centre.
Saturday 23/4/2016 – One off taster/Intro session, 10.30am-12.30pm
Saturdays 30/4/2016 to 21/5/2016 – 4 week course, 10.30am-12.30pm
The taster/intro session is a stand alone meditation course where I teach the technique of breathing to calm the body and then the technique of clearing the ‘monkey mind’ which so many people get stuck on, we shall also start to discuss the principles of ‘awareness’ of which there are many and how to start implementing them in your life. This is a must if you intend to also do the weekly course as it would be unfair to make those who have completed to wait for you to catch up.
In the follow up weeks of the meditation class proper, we shall practise all these techniques, we will also consider the mind images that some people can get and their meanings. I will outline the differences between various Meditation techniques and we shall also practise walking or open eye meditation alongside our sitting meditations. Each class shall finish with a guided healing meditation. I will provide handout sheets for the guided meditations so that you can also begin to practise these at home yourself. All lessons will have time for a question and answer between our meditations as well so that we can all learn together.
Part of our meditation course will consist of guided visualisation meditation which has also been shown (when practised regular) to increase parts of the brain, such as the hippocampus, a region critical to dampening stress was also found enlarged after prolonged visualisation meditation by practitioners, as were the precuneus and the posterior cingulate cortex, areas key to our concept of self. You can read the full article in the Scientific America where studies of Yoga mediation practitioners HERE
There has been study and paper published in 2014 which shows that Telomeres in the DNA of a cell do not reduce in size (over a 3 month period of the study) when the person follows a mindfulness meditation or Yoga practise.
Here is the paper abstract of the study
I have been confirmed to provide a week long mindfulness meditation course at the One World Festival in Cannington, Somerset again for the first week in August this will also include some guided meditations as well. This will be the 11th year in the last 15 years I have been going to the One World Festival and I can’t sing it’s praise’s enough, if you can, get there 🙂
I will also try and arrange to provide some dowsing course’s while there so watch the One World Festival website for any changes.
This will be the third and final year at Cannington nr Bridgewater in Somerset the wellbeing festival for adults and children is held in the grounds of a private school and contains all the normal resources for sporty people as well as hundreds of unique workshops over the full week, you can follow the link below to see the flavour of course’s run on one day in 2015, the evening entertainment is also fab.
I am pleased to announce that Wayfinders wizards have been invited back to the Kidwelly Castle Medieval Festival in Wales and after such a fabulous show last year I can’t wait to go back to this beautiful setting and the lovely Welsh friends we met and went with.
Kidwelly Castle link
Last year myself and master wizard Stanley provided Wizard Dragon card readings to what felt like half the people in Wales so popular were the Wizards at Kidwelly but what a fantastic setting. Wizards in a glorious medieval castle setting providing wisdom and guidance in a way that only wizards can do.
I have been confirmed for the Sun and Moon festival again and will be leading the Dowsing workshops. Last year we discovered an ancient stone circle which we re-energised with a midnight meditation under a full moon using three lovely ladies, Rhona, Natasha and her beautiful daughter which represented the ‘crone, the woman and the girl’ the stone circle is an ancient one that was originally dedicated to the moon and once again it is a living part of the landscape. The festival will be held under the auspices and energies of a rising and full moon. The festival runs from the 14th to the 21st of August with hundreds of workshops, it will be great if we see you there.
The spring term starts at the Surrey’s Adult learning centres and my first meditation course of the years starts on the 27th Feb, the first date is a meditation taster where I will be introducing you to the techniques for calming the body and quietening the mind, if you plan on coming along for the following three weeks, this may also be a good grounding for you, but otherwise the three week course begins on Saturday the 5th of March. You of course can sign up for all these dates, I will also be repeating this later in April and will post dates for this course soon.
Saturday 27/2/2016 – One off taster/Intro session, 10.30am-12.30pm
Saturdays 5/3/2016 to 19/3/2016 – 3 week course, 10.30am-12.30pm
To book your place on the mindfulness meditation courses, please visit the Surrey local government page below.
Contact page to book your course here
You can find a lot of scientific studies that have been done on people who do mindfulness meditation and they all present profound findings on how mindfulness meditation changes your perception on life and how this impacts on the level of your personal happiness. Below is another short video extolling the virtues of mindfulness meditation from the perspective of a Psychologist.