Meditation

Valerie Mann has studied meditation for years and is willing to share what she has learned with anyone who has an open mind and is interested. She is offering beginner and intermediate level classes on meditation and is willing to travel to your location to give classes. Contact her at vjmann@comcast.net or at 410-546-3801.

Recently Ms. Mann had an article published in Be Well World at http://bewellworld.com/article.cgi?id=Meditation_2318 on the subject of meditation and how it changes your brain.

“People that regularly practice meditation generally agree that it produces noticeable, positive changes in life. Slowing down the internal dialogue of self-talk through meditation can offer improved feelings of well-being, happiness, relaxation, and a more positive outlook on life. However, thanks to an increasing body of evidence that meditation actually produces changes in our brain, the reality may be more profound than we have thought.

For so long, we have been told by science that our brain development stops when we reach our early twenties. Now, we are finding that mental functioning can be improved as we age.

A study done at Massachusetts General Hospital in 2010 involved participants new to meditation who engaged in mindfulness exercises for an average of 27 minutes per day over eight weeks.1 The analysis of MRI images of participants from before and after the study found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, a region of the brain important for learning and memory, and decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, an area related to stress and anxiety. These changes were not seen in the control group – those who did not practice meditation – suggesting that they were not simply from the passage of time. The study concluded that a meditation practice is associated with changes in the brain related to learning, regulation of emotions, self-processing and perspective-taking.

The implications are significant. It suggests that we can affect brain development through mental exercises and actually regenerate the brain. While beyond the scope of the study, this certainly has people excited that meditation may offer potential for impacting our mental acuity, both now and in age-related afflictions like dementia and Alzheimer’s.

This can only add to meditation’s growing popularity. Many report the benefits of meditation to include lower levels of stress and anxiety, the ability to sleep better, greater confidence, and mental clarity. Still, others speak of being able to connect with a spiritual energy, perhaps more commonly thought of as a state achieved through prayer.

However you prefer to regard your experience in meditation, peacefulness in your inner world will often be reflected back to you as greater stability, success, happiness, and accomplishment in your outer world. If you’re interested in beginning a meditation practice, a class or teacher is a great place to start. Many yoga or breathwork classes also include meditation in the practice. Whether you’re searching for a way to boost your brain power, something deeper, or simply wanting to add a little more calm into your life, you may want to try meditation. More than your brain may change.”

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