The New Art of Living Meditation can endow you with the ability to still your mind at will. In this three minute article, we will see how and why it is the most important Art-Skill to be mastered ' The Art of a Still Mind"
A Still Mind is a Healing mind.
A still mind has immense potential to transform the whole of your being
Chronological Age is not your Choice. Biological Age, i.e., age of your body, organs, and your physiological functions can be your choice.
Newer Neural Connections
Joy Happiness Success
Why is this important?
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It was previously thought that. neural connections do not happen after the age of 12. More neural connections in the brain, more intelligence, more memory, more creativity. more verbal ability, in a word more of all that, makes you more successful and happy.
Neuroplastic studies have proven that regular meditation and Yoga related practices increase neuroplasticity of the brain at any age. So one can become more intelligent, creative and increase memory at any age.
Hence neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's, Dementia which was previously unpreventable and incurable can now be prevented and healed.
Meditation is a conscious activity that stills the mind.
It is also said that when the mind stills, meditation happens.
To be meditating means to be holding the mind still. Without movement. I am meditating means I am still – body and mind, observing my energies.
Meditation is thus an active process, rather than a passive activity. Meditation is the only active process that keeps the mind at rest.
To be still in the mind, means, I am not allowing myself to get entangled with the movements that are generated in my mind in form of thoughts, emotions, etc.
That I am not entangled means I am aware of the thoughts and counter thoughts that arise in my mind. I am just a witness. I am not a party to the thoughts or the effects of the thoughts produced in my mind.
Meditation is a practice that leads to a calm serene still mind. A still mind is a meditative mind. Engaging with life with a meditative mind is an art.
As of now thoughts and emotions keep arising in the mind. When they arise, I get entangled and start working with my thoughts as though they are true. As this happens continuously mind being in an oscillating – diverted state continuously. Since I am continuously moving with the tendencies of the mind, I get tired, less happy. Life becomes more and more unfulfilling internally. I could be successful socially and financially n my career, business, etc., but internally I could be feeling unsuccessful. Tired with Life.
I lose efficiency, focus, clarity. Since I oscillating as per the tendencies of the mind, the mind develops deeper and subtle impressions. These impressions create corresponding impressions and structural changes in the mind.
These intensify compulsive thinking patterns, neural structures, behaviors, habits, and finally a so-called lifestyle with a certain amount of happiness, joy, discomfort, and pain. Since the behaviors and thinking is compulsive, happiness decreases, while discomfort and pain increase. This leads to disease in various forms. With increasing life span, diseases become more degenerative in various forms.
Degenerative diseases of the brain and nervous system cause Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia etc.
Degenerative diseases of the immune system affect bones and metabolism, causing diabetes, endocrine disorders, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Spondylosis, etc.
Since these diseases are degenerative, they are mostly uncurable by medicines.
When Entertainment is no longer Entertainment, The Art of Living takes a new dimension. One skill you need to master to survive in this world - The art of Stilling your mind at Will
Too much TV viewing increases your risk of developing Dementia / Alzheimers and brain damage. (Crisis Prevention Institute,
Increasing age is the highest known risk factor for Alzheimer's. (Mayo Clinic)
Alzheimer's is the major cause of Dementia.
TV Viewing ( social media activity) is linked to anti-social behavior, mental health issues, lowering of verbal ability in Children. (Scientific American). TV Rots the brain.
The highest risk factor for Alzheimer's is growing older. Lifestyle is another major cause. Alzheimer's intensifies to become dementia.
Changing the environment, like changing jobs, shifting to a rural lifestyle, low income but a satisfying job, and choosing to home school, etc are not practical as they need sweeping mindset changes.
Investing in appropriate regular practice for short period is easier than starting in a big grand manner that cannot be sustained.
Hence, given the current context, it is easier to have a regular simple short easily accessible practice and allow the practice to create its effect on the system.
This is one reason Online Meditation classes, or an Online Meditation Course will make a difference.
Online Meditation courses can be even easier as you can practice anywhere – anytime.
Degeneration of nerves in most neurodegenerative diseases starts twenty years before their symptoms are experienced.
When do life style and degenerative diseases begin.
Many imaging studies have shown that diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Dementia originate at least twenty years before they show up as a symptom. This means that if the symptom is seen at age of 60, the degeneration could have begun at the age of around 40.
Excessive involvement in digital media, poor lifestyle, poor posture; stress at work and home; makes one choose compulsive habits seeking relaxation that keep the brain continuously overactive and restless. This affects sleep which leads to insomnia. Deep sleep state is affected. When this lifestyle is continuous this makes the neurology more vulnerable to be affected.
A poor and stressful lifestyle affects metabolic processes. Early-onset of diabetes and Uterine related problems in young girls have their origins in stress.
All these have an impact on the quality of life which keeps deteriorating unconsciously.
Lifestyle disease is thus a wake-up call.
The brain is made of neurons. As per old medical and neurological science, brain growth i.e neuronal growth stops when you attain the age of 12 or 13. This meant that the brain can neither grow nor can the neurons make newer connections after the age of 12 or 13.
Yogic science has long known that health of the body physiology (body functions), brain, neurons, heart, Kidney, lungs can be restored at age. Yogic methods have proven methods and practices that can restore health and enhance health.
How can Meditation impact Neuroplasticity, Dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's - Data from research Studies published in Pubmed, Harvard, NCBI.
Alzheimer’s – Dementia - Diabetes - Rheumatoid Arthritis
Neuroplasticity is the ability of the brain to form newer connections and formations.
Today modern studies show beyond doubt the neuroplasticity of the brain can be restored at any age. Regular meditation facilitates newer neural connections in the brain.
This is good news for everyone who wishes to live longer.
This means that one should not grow old which is not possible.
If one can spend even just 15 minutes every day, regularly one can restore neuroplasticity. This means newer connections can be made at any age.
Regular meditation can thus prevent neurodegenerative diseases and can also heal.
In a randomized controlled trial, published in PubMed, the conclusion is – The current interventions for major Depressive disorders are suboptimal.
Yoga, meditation (YMLI), as per the results suggest that a decrease in depression severity after YMLI) in MDD (Major Depressive Disorders) is associated with improved systemic biomarkers of neuroplasticity. Thus Yoga and Meditation based Lifestyle Improvement can be considered as a therapeutic intervention in Major Depressive disorders management
In another study where the impact of Meditation and Yoga on cellular aging was studied, it was again found that there was a significant improvement in cardinal biomarkers and metabotropic biomarkers that influence cellular aging.
This in simple terms could mean that regular yoga and meditation practice can reduce cellular aging and other aging-related diseases.
So if you want to live longer, look younger – Choose Yoga – Mediation-based lifestyle now.
Meditation increases cortical Thickness of certain brain areas which improves learning and memory. - Forbes- Harward
Meditation works by reducing blood pressure, cortisol concentration, Heart rate, and Breathing patterns.
Meditation increases regional cerebral blood flow, in the brain. This naturally increases oxygen levels in the brain. This calms down the brain. This in turn can calm the mind.
Meditation decreases aging-related complications. As you grow older the grey matter of the brain decreases. This leads to dementia and other degenerative diseases. Regular meditation practice leads to the thickening of the gray matter.
Meditation normalizes the nervous to stressful factors in the environment. This reduces cholesterol and addictive habits like smoking as the overstimulation of the nervous system is neutralized.
I another randomized study it was shown that with Mediation there is a 48% risk reduction of death due to heart attack and stroke.
Guided Yoga practiced right, can improve RA condition. It can decrease pain, ease, and increase sleep quality too.
Rheumatoid Arthritis is a crippling degenerative disease of the joints. It affects joints causing swelling and severe pain. It happens because the body’s immune system starts attacking the joints.
Only symptomatic treatment is possible. As the disease grows the dose increases and reaches a point wherein the dose can no longer be increased. This means that pain would be a part of life. This impacts life in a big way. Anxiety, fear, and depression add up to the challenge.
In a study that worked with an 8 -week yoga and meditation-based lifestyle intervention that assessed the impact of yoga on the Psycho- Neuro-Immune Axis and the perceived quality of life of RA patients; it was found that
1. There was a significant decrease in disease activity after Yoga Practice
2. There was a decrease in inflammatory cytokines
3. Elevation of Mind-body communicative markers.
The researchers also clearly stated that Yoga can be made as adjunctive therapy for RA
Chronological age is not under your control Chronological age cannot be reversed.
The biological age of your body, mind, and organs can be reversed.
Simple ways to know the overall health and age of your body the yogic way is to know
1. How much energy you have when you get up, during the day and when you go to bed.
2. How happy you are on a scale of 0 - 10, '0' being the lowest and '10' the highest.
3. How expansive you feel on a scale of 0 - 10, '0' being the lowest and '10' the highest.
4. Do you have any lifestyle diseases? Did your parents have any of them?
Some more specific ways to understand biological age:
a. The age of your brain could be the number of neural connections that happen in the brain; are the number of neuronal connections growing or decreasing.
b. The age and health of your heart could be gauged by the ease with which it pumps blood, the ease with which blood circulates within the heart tissue.
c. The age and health of your lungs can be gauged by the number of breaths you take per minute, the length of your breath-hold, etc.
How healthy will my brain, nerves, heart, kidney, bones, and other vital organs be ten years or twenty years from is a very important question?
How much rest do I give to my mind?
How much does my mind rest, when I am sleeping?
What is the impact of the overactive mind on my brain, neurology, and body?
When the body is tired I lie down for rest, yet is the mind resting at all?
What is the impact of making the mind work without rest now?
Do I know what activities agitate my mind and what can give rest to my mind?
Do you know that overuse could be Abuse of the body and the vital organs in the system?
The heart has been made to beat a fixed number of times in a lifetime. So is every organ - kidney, stomach, etc. Each has a specific quantum of a lifetime of work in a lifetime.
So are the brain and neurons. They could have a specific amount of activity in a lifetime.
A wise man once said, If you wish to eat more, then you eat less every day. Then you can live longer to eat more.
High heart rate, more number of breaths per minute pressure overruns the heart. The life of the heart could come down.
The continuous restless activity could be an overrun on the brain, neurons, and the endocrine system.