Mindfulness Meditation Class
⦁ Step aside from your habitual thoughts;
⦁ Connect your mind and body;
⦁ Ease your stress response;
⦁ Change your brain
What is meditation?
Meditation is a practice that involves body relaxation, focused attention, and heightened awareness. It is to the mind what physical exercise is to the body.
Even when done in groups meditation remains an individual experience. There are different types of meditation, Mindfulness is one of them.
What is mindfulness?
The simple answer: Mindfulness is a passive observation without judgment.
Mindfulness increases one's awareness of Self by simply noticing without attachment to thoughts, feelings, and actions as they may arise. We learn to be with our experience moment to moment and observe it with curiosity while suspending judgment altogether.
Why do we want to meditate?
People turn to meditation in search of peace, to release stress, to quiet down the constant chatter of the mind, and to reach higher states of consciousness as a result.
Here are some of the benefits of meditation:
Scientific research says: Meditation affects physical changes in the brain:
Studies have found that consistent practice of meditation shrinks the amygdala - the area of the brain associated with fear and our response to stress.
This would be the “Fight or Flight” response, which rendered a very helpful defense mechanism for humans when they were chased by cyber-tooth tigers. But we are rarely exposed to such dangers nowadays. However, the activity of our mind is communicated to every cell of our body, which means that modern humans can trigger the Fight or Flight response just by thought. This produces the following effects:
↑ increased sweat
↑ increased heart rate
↑ increased blood pressure
↑ increased shallow and rapid breath
↑ increased production of stress hormones
↑ increased clotting of blood platelets
↓ a decrease in anti-aging hormones
↓ decreased/weakened immunity
Meditation also affects the most highly evolved part of the brain, responsible for reasoning, planning, emotions, and self-conscious awareness – the frontal lobe. It's been proven that during meditation the activity in the frontal cortex slows down, as well as the activity of the parietal lobe, which processes sensory information about the surrounding world.
Meditation reduces the flow of incoming information from the senses through the thalamus and dials back the arousal signal from the reticular formation – the brain's sentry, which receives incoming stimuli and puts the brain on alert.
A recent study in the journal Science showed that repeating a mantra during meditation supports the ability to be present in the moment, which in itself increases one's perceived happiness.
For example, chanting OM has been shown to calm the activity of the limbic system (responsible for emotional processing), which is on high alert when a person is in fight or flight mode. It is often overactive in traumatized people as an overcompensation from the memory of the experience even though no danger is present. The pilot study indicated that chanting OM calmed the main part of this network – the amygdala, anterior cingulate gyrus, hippocampus, insula, orbitofrontal cortex, parahippocampal gyrus, thalamus.
Interestingly, these are the same pars of the brain that become deactivated through electrical vagus nerve stimulation for the treatment of depression and epilepsy.
(The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve and an integral part of the autonomous NS supporting restorative processes – rest and digest – of the body that are essential for well-being and health in general.)
Here is an interesting philosophy called “The Layers of Life”:
The ancient sages teach that we are multidimensional beings, consisting of 3 layers: physical, subtle, and causal. The physical layer consists of our physical body; the subtle layer – of our mind, intellect and ego; and the causal layer – of the soul.
The mind of the subtle layer is considered responsible for the making of our reality through the properties of taste, smell, touch, and sound.
The intellect helps us choose what to do – do we buy this brand of soap or the other... or which city we want to live in.
And the ego provides our self-image: the one identified with position and possessions in life. It is all about me, me, and mine.
Through meditation we integrate and balance all 3 layers of life and as a result we lead a more harmonious and happy existence.
All these benefits and more are attainable when one is consistent with their practice.
So, let's meditate!
About your facilitator:
Desi Edwards has been a meditator for the past 20 years. She has led individual meditation sessions and group meditations for nearly as long. Desi loves sharing her knowledge and experience with people interested in exploring deeper states of consciousness. Helping you go into light and deep trances, Desi's guidance takes you on a gentle journey to self-discovery and prepares you for practicing on your own.
Call to RSVP now 212-227-3710
Wednesdays 6 pm – 7 pm
New York City Chiropractic
425 Madison Ave, 11th Floor