Meditation and Personal Growth

• October 7, 2013 • Comments (0)

meditation

From a spiritual perspective, meditation practice helps you differentiate over time between what is essential and authentic about who you are versus how you have been conditioned by life experience to behave in certain ways. From a personal growth perspective, that same clarity of mind that you are cultivating in regular daily practice affects your choices.

It all has to do with your level of awareness. Take alcohol, for example. With each drink one’s awareness becomes dull and less alert to what is happening in the present moment. In addition, the physical body becomes less responsive and numb to certain physical stimulus. That is why it is often used as an anesthetic – to reduce the feeling of pain. What we fail to notice or feel about ourselves, and our environment naturally minimizes our ability to respond mindfully to what is happening. At other times we recognize certain behaviours in ourselves, whether habits or addictions or unhealthy relationship dynamics, and choose not to make better choices. Such a habit or behaviour may be in our field of awareness and yet we don’t want to deal with, or may not feel ready to deal with it.

Consistent mindfulness meditation practice serves to bring greater attention to those behaviours and the effect they are having on our lives. With enhanced awareness then, what we may have tried to deny can become painfully obvious to the point that the only rational and positive thing to do is to correct the behavior in order to create a more favourable experience. For example, quitting smoking. Research has confirmed it is not good for the body, though the addictive nature of nicotine and the allusion of relief that it provides can often outweigh our desire to be more mindful of its negative effects on the body.

Mindfulness meditation, because it allows for all aspects of one’s present moment experience to be held loosely in one’s consciousness, creates an opening in the unconscious mind – allowing for insights to come to mind that were previously blocked or unavailable to be witnessed. This is how new choices are created.

In my new book Meditation: The Incredible Gateway to An Abundant Life I have outlined in chapter 3, called Personal Growth and Spiritual Transformation, the amazing growth changes that took place with a small research group that completed an 8-week study combining daily mindfulness meditation with weekly guided imagery visualisations.

How To Practice Mindfulness Meditation

1. Find a comfortable place to sit down free from distraction, sitting with your spine straight yet relaxed.
2. Close your eyes and begin to notice the inflow and outflow of your breathing.
3. When a thought comes to mind of the future or past, simply acknowledge it, and return your awareness to your breathing. Similarly, if you are distracted by a sensation in your body or a distraction in your environment, acknowledge it and return your awareness to your breathing.
4. For the first few minutes it helps to elongate your breathing. Just be sure to make the inflow and outflow relatively balanced and equal. As you begin to feel your mind relax and become less busy, let your breathing find its own natural rhythm.

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For More Info:
www.drjainwells.com
The Incredible Gateway to An Abundant Life is available on Amazon.

 

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Category: Articles, Consciousness

Jain Wells

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Jain Wells, PhD is a transpersonal psychologist who teaches self-development workshops and meditation classes. She is the author of Meditation: The Incredible Gateway to An Abundant Life, and Luminosity One meditation brainwave-synchronization 2CD set. Available at Amazon and iTunes.

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