Why Meditate? Meditation has been shown to relieve stress, lower blood pressure, decrease the risk of heart disease.
In the 1960s, Dr. Herbert Benson of Harvard studied the effects of mindfulness and meditation on college students and members of the Transcendental Meditation community (www.tm.org). His findings showed that people who meditate regularly are better able to concentrate, more apt to be creative thinkers, sleep better, and think more clearly. Dr. Benson was the father of mainstream meditation and his form was called “The Relaxation Response.” (www.relaxationresponse.org) His method is still the most widely used form of meditation, and has been studied at universities and medical centers and has been proved to reduce the risks of some really bad diseases like cardiovascular heart disease and cancer. By meditating and visualizing whole health, patients of these two deadly killers have been able to lower their stress so radically that the diseases have not been terminal, as they had been led to believe before meditation.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, PhD and professor at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and founder of the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society has been at the forefront of the medical meditation community. His research and work have proven scientifically that meditating can reduce the effects of breast cancer in women and prostate cancer in men. Kabat-Zinn believes that “by cultivating attention, people can restore their sense of resilience and their capacity to deal with stressful and painful experiences in life – including emotional upheavals. Mindfulness meditation is a first person direct experience that is transformative and healing.”