The Need to be Mindful of the Mind!

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People of Christen belief are less likely to die 20 days before Christmas than after Christmas. People who believe in something higher themselves are more likely to live longer, generally healthier and more resilient than people who are non-believers. People who meditate are more to feel a sense of wellbeing and are generally happier.

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These statements are rooted in science and from them one may conclude that these people are somehow living and seeing the world in a different way that confers them some benefits.

What’s special about these situations and these people that causes them to experience these benefits?

Research seems to confirm the age-old suspicion that these individuals’ brains are firing differently! That is to say their mind is processing the world differently.  In a sense they are creating their own reality and their own happiness.

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The Buddha realized the world is suffused with suffering and always advocated cultivating the mind to free one of suffering. Science is now discovering that cultivating the mind is indeed very important determinant of our health and wellbeing.

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It is easy to say cultivate your mind but how does one do that? There are many ways, but none surpass the practice of training your attention, which really means meditating. The practice of meditation is a technique used for thousands of years to improve concentration and focus, which improves the control of  our awareness.

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When we are more aware, it allows us to “see and map out” our own mind.  This then allows us to see different aspects of our self. These different aspects of ourselves have different drives, they are all driven to fulfill our different needs and if these needs are in conflict with each other, then this will result in uncomfortable feeling of either chaos or rigidity within us, resulting in ill-health, relationship conflicts and feeling of depression.

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Sciences is now finding out that Practices like prayer, meditation, tai chi, qigong, yoga all help to cultivate our minds in a beneficial way. Even simple exercise is shown to help depression and improve neuroplasticity in the brain.

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So if you are doing any of these practices please don’t let them lapse and if you were thinking about starting, I wholeheartedly support your effort because the benefits are obvious.

Resources

The Mindful Brian by Daniel Siegel

http://flickrhivemind.net/

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1 Comment

  1. Jiwaji Esmail

     /  October 19, 2013

    Hari, I enjoyed reading your post.
    As a Muslim it is mandatory for me to offer prayers five times a day; morning (sunrise), noon, mid-afternoon, evening (sunset) and night. Not wanting to hide behind the usual excuses I must confess that I perform only the sunset prayers. In the morning I have difficulty concentrating and the afternoons are always busy. A ritual ablution is to be performed in that the face, hands, neck and the feet have to be cleansed. It is also mandatory that ones clothes are clean or freshly laundered. A prayer mat with Islamic mosaic or design is spread on which one stands and offers prayers. The prayers are a series of supplications during which brief specific recitations from the scriptures are offered. After the formal prayers one is said to be cleansed and primed for thanking Allah for blessings from His bounty and requesting continued guidance and protection for onself and ones family, friends, relatives and so on. I use this time to do just that and meditate. But my problem is lack of concentration and focus, intrusion of persistant negative thoughts, wavering of the mind, and such. Some evenings are better than others but on the whole I am constantly battling; wrestling to refocus and reconnect. I must say I am not succeeding. I have read books, online hints and advice with little luck. I can only say that my thought patterns have crystallised (I am 74!) but that is no excuse.

    Reply

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