One More Reason to understand Meditation – It is more valuable to learn meditation than you may realize. Finding out how to meditate has unexpected bonuses. It is always delightful to get more from an activity than you anticipate. Suppose, for example, that, wanting to shed pounds, you begin and sustain a day-to-day program of walking briskly for 30 or 45 minutes. A couple of months later when you go to your physician for a check-up, you learn that you have indeed lost a lot of weight. Then your physician mentions that your blood pressure level and serum cholesterol have also dropped–and you are delighted! You had not anticipated those bonuses.
You almost certainly know already that, in the event you learn meditation and practice it daily, you are able to reasonably be prepared to enjoy reduced stress and improved concentration.
You might not recognize that, if you learn meditation, the quality of your emotional life may also improve. You may experience fewer troublesome emotions and, whenever you do experience them, they are of decreased intensity and duration.
Why? How could your emotional life improve merely by finding out how to meditate? If you decide to learn meditation, why might who have a positive impact on you emotionally?
It is incontrovertible that, with time, your emotional life will improve should you learn meditation and exercise daily. The explanation for why that occurs is questionable, however i think I can present you with the primary idea. I first discuss emotions briefly and then connect these to finding out how to meditate.
(1) The explanation is dependent upon the peculiar nature of emotions. Everyone agrees that your particular emotions are reactions to events that you regard as essential to your welfare and emotions begin so quickly that they seem automatic.
This explains why emotions evolved. Just like us, our ancestors occasionally found themselves in situations that were important to their welfare which called for quick action responding. Thinking about what to do, cogitation, is just too slow; should you have had to consider how to proceed each time a snake strikes, you will definitely get bitten. We evolved automatic appraisal mechanisms and reactions which allow us to react quickly, for example, to jump back coming from a striking snake without needing to take into consideration how to proceed.
Emotions automatically produce changes in our minds and autonomic nervous systems. These changes produce many bodily effects that prepare us for different kinds of actions. Typically, emotions begin in milliseconds without our being conscious of their beginnings.
Since the legislation should really do, emotions reflect the wisdom of the ages. You and also I benefit not just from the personal learning we have now carried out in our lifetimes but also from your thousands and thousands of many years of experience accumulated by our ancestors. Those of our ancestors who reacted too slowly were less likely to survive and reproduce.
As these automatic mechanisms will always be working, we can devote our conscious focus on other things that interest us. (It is ironic that what we choose to take into account is less essential to our survival than we do not possess to take into account!)
This does not mean that there is no connection between our thinking and our emotions–not at all! In reality, sometimes merely thinking certain thoughts can stimulate an emotional reaction. We could become emotional merely by thinking about or remembering or even just imagining something. We can become emotional sometimes by simply speaking about something or perhaps empathizing with another person who is referring to emotions.
It works another way, too. Emotions have an affect on our thinking. When you have experienced an effective emotion in the past, you may have undoubtedly noticed how your range of focus narrows. It becomes difficult to think about anything else. Actually, when you experience an effective emotion it filters out material that is not congruent by using it. This, too, is surely an evolutionary advantage, as it forces one to confront the immediate problem.
In this sense, individuals who are emotional are unbalanced. They cannot even access information they would otherwise notice. This is simply not clear-headed thinking.
It is actually one reasons why emotional responses could be maladaptive. They often times, perhaps usually, work, but sometimes they do not work nicely. This makes sense: since the world is definitely changing, how could any fixed response often be the best one?
One of the most important skills in living well is figuring out how to manage our emotions well. Everyone has emotions, and the only important question about the standard of our emotional lives is just how well we work together with them.
Managing them well requires becoming mindful of them as at the beginning of the automated emotional response process as is possible. It is impossible to manage an emotion without noticing that you have it.
(2) To find out meditation is to study a new skill. I myself practice zazen, so it will be my example. Zazen is one type of Buddhist meditation. It is quite easy and simple to find out. (It is far from, however, very easy to master!) I would recommend which everybody learn meditation. There are may ways to meditate, and a minumum of one of these will work well for you.
All kinds of meditation practice are breathing practices. ‘Spiritus’ is definitely the Latin word from which the English word ‘spiritual’ comes. ‘Spiritus’ means ‘breath’ or ‘wind.’ A spiritual practice, a meditation practice, is really a practice based on knowledge of breathing.
The way in which beginners are taught zazen is actually by counting the breaths. It is extremely simple: just sit still in certain classic meditation posture or other and concentrate your attention on your own breathing. Count each inhalation and exhalation. Start with ‘one,’ end with ‘ten’, and repeat throughout the practice session. Should you get lost or distracted, just start again with ‘one.’ The next practice is actually to count merely the exhalations.
Realize that, like our automatic emotional responses, breathing is automatic. There is no need to consider breathing. It merely happens. Automatic emotional responses, too, just happen. You do not have to think about them.
You happen to be free to concentrate on your breathing or otherwise not. You might be free to concentrate on your emotional responses or not (even though it is a lot more difficult to ignore them rather than to ignore your breathing).
Exactly why are those who learn meditation better at managing their emotions?
It is because they become skilled at taking note of one automatic process (breathing) which skill is transferable for the automatic responses which are emotions. Just as it is easy to manage your breathing, therefore it is possible to manage your emotions!
This is not an original idea. As an example, inside the “Afterword” to his helpful book EMOTIONS REVEALED, Dr. Paul Ekman recommends which everybody learn meditation to check its emotional benefits. The focusing skills which are wfcrvm when we meditate “transfer to other automatic processes–benefiting emotional behavior awareness and eventually, in a few people, impulse awareness.”
Anyone who has learned how to meditate and rehearse daily have understood for many, many centuries the emotional advantages of meditation. Classically, that benefit has not been emphasized because it is considered only a secondary benefit (to the primary advantage of spiritual awakening or enlightenment).
However, in order to live better emotionally, that desire is a sufficient reason to start a meditation practice.