Mind Wandering, Yale Research and Meditation

For thousands of years now meditators have discovered through their own experience the incredible benefits that arise from a regular, focused practice.

Popular techniques that have arisen out of ancient eastern religions practices such as mindfulness training, breathing meditation and loving kindness practice have integrated well into modern society.

Those who approach their engagement with the world from a scientific perspective  feel reassured and more inclined to practice when research takes place that proves the benefits of meditation.

Yale Universities Neuroscience Clinic have recently engaged in research which has indicated that meditators can deactivate a part of the brain that is involved with mind wandering.

Distraction and in particularly ADHT are linked with depression – when the mind wanders its distracted thus more likely to slip into a negative spiral.

TM organization have engaged in extensive research revealing that meditation can help those who suffer from ADHT .  Underlying ADHT is anxiety –  meditation helps to pacify the mind and reduce anxiety.

When I lived in a Buddhist Retreat centre one of the most important aspects of the training was focused, concentrated work.  To keep the body and mind active, focused, to contribute to the community and to reduce distraction.

Often when new people came with mental issues they would find quite quickly that there negativity would burn up – not because of sitting navel gazing and performing mental gymnastics but improving the mindful muscle they have through quality meditation & focus and concentration in their daily activities.

Mind Space’s recent Meditation in Schools in programme sessions held in Portishead revealed one of the main benefits that the students experienced was an increased focused and concentration.  Some of the students were surprised, as they entered into the sessions believing that meditation spaces you out…far from it.

One of the benefits which Yale University have noted is that because of the ability to focus and maintain awareness then meditators have a greater skill in bringing back their wandering mind onto the task at hand. Helping them to  be more focused and concentrated on whatever activity they are engaged in.

Naturally through greater focus on our activities – whatever it may be: sport, writing, accounts, music, listening, thinking there is a greater depth & quality leading to a richer experience of life.

Seasoned meditators and even those who have just started meditating  will be able to tell you this – now the greatest Universities of the world are reassuring those skeptics and helping to redefine the meaning of ‘meditation’ in the minds of many who have previously brushed it aside as meaningless.

It’s refreshing that we are starting to see evidence that not only does meditation help you when you are engaged in the disciplined ‘act’, but also has a radical effect on the rest of your life.  It is this bridge that is most important and reveals how the practice of meditation can radically improve the quality of ones life.

Written by Adam Dacey
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