One Other Reason to Learn Meditation – It is more valuable to understand meditation than you may realize. Figuring out how to meditate has unexpected bonuses. It is always delightful to get more from an activity than you anticipate. Suppose, for instance, that, wanting to lose weight, you begin and sustain a day-to-day program of walking briskly for 30 or 45 minutes. A couple of months later when you go to your physician for a check-up, you learn you have indeed lost a significant amount of weight. Then your physician mentions that your blood pressure levels and serum cholesterol have also dropped–and you are delighted! You had not anticipated those bonuses.
You almost certainly already know that, in the event you learn meditation and exercise it daily, you can reasonably be prepared to enjoy reduced stress and improved concentration.
You might not understand that, in the event you learn meditation, the caliber of your emotional life will even improve. You are going to experience fewer troublesome emotions and, once you do experience them, they will be of decreased intensity and duration.
Why? How could your emotional life improve merely by finding out how to meditate? Should you learn meditation, why might which have an optimistic effect on you emotionally?
It is actually incontrovertible that, as time passes, your emotional life will improve in the event you learn meditation and practice daily. The explanation why that happens is questionable, however i think I can provide you with the key idea. I first discuss emotions briefly then connect these to finding out how to meditate.
(1) The explanation is dependent upon the peculiar nature of emotions. Everyone agrees that your particular emotions are reactions to events that you simply regard as vital in your welfare and emotions begin so quickly which they seem automatic.
This explains why emotions evolved. The same as us, our ancestors occasionally found themselves in situations that were important to their welfare which called for quick action in response. Thinking of what to do, cogitation, is just too slow; if you had to think about what to do whenever a snake strikes, you will definitely get bitten. We evolved automatic appraisal mechanisms and reactions which allow us to react quickly, for instance, to jump back from a striking snake without needing to consider what you can do.
Emotions automatically produce changes in our minds and autonomic nervous systems. These changes produce many bodily effects that prepare us for different kinds of actions. Typically, emotions begin in milliseconds without our being conscious of their beginnings.
Since the legislation is supposed to do, emotions reflect the wisdom in the ages. You together with I benefit not merely from your personal learning we have now done in our lifetimes but in addition from the hundreds of thousands of many years of experience accumulated by our ancestors. Those of our ancestors who reacted too slowly were more unlikely to live and reproduce.
Because these automatic mechanisms are usually working, we are able to devote our conscious focus on other stuff that interest us. (It really is ironic that what we should choose to take into account is less important to our survival than what we do not possess to think about!)
This does not necessarily mean that there is absolutely no connection between our thinking and our emotions–not at all! In fact, sometimes merely thinking certain thoughts can stimulate an emotional reaction. We are able to become emotional merely by thinking about or remembering or even just imagining something. We are able to become emotional sometimes just by speaking about something as well as empathizing with another person who is speaking about emotions.
It works another way, too. Emotions have an affect on our thinking. Once you have experienced a powerful emotion previously, you may have undoubtedly noticed the way your range of focus narrows. It will become difficult to think about anything else. Actually, when you experience a powerful emotion it filters out material that is certainly not congruent along with it. This, too, is definitely an evolutionary advantage, because it forces you to confront the immediate problem.
In this sense, those who are emotional are unbalanced. They cannot even access information they might otherwise notice. This may not be clear-headed thinking.
It is one reason why emotional responses could be maladaptive. They frequently, perhaps usually, work, but sometimes they do not work nicely. This will make sense: since the world is definitely changing, how could any fixed response always be the most appropriate one?
Just about the most important skills in living well is finding out how to manage our emotions well. We all have emotions, and the only important question about the standard of our emotional lives is just how well we work together with them.
Managing them well requires becoming aware of them as early in the automated emotional response process as possible. It is impossible to handle an emotion without noticing you have it.
(2) To learn meditation would be to become familiar with a new skill. I myself practice zazen, so it will be my example. Zazen is just one kind of Buddhist meditation. It is very simple and easy to find out. (It is far from, however, easy to master!) I suggest that everyone learn meditation. You will find may approaches to meditate, and at least one of those will continue to work well to suit your needs.
All types of meditation practice are breathing practices. ‘Spiritus’ will be the Latin word that the English word ‘spiritual’ comes. ‘Spiritus’ means ‘breath’ or ‘wind.’ A spiritual practice, a meditation practice, is really a practice according to knowledge of breathing.
The way in which beginners are taught zazen is simply by counting the breaths. It is very simple: just sit still in certain classic meditation posture or some other while focusing your attention on the breathing. Count each inhalation and exhalation. Start with ‘one,’ end with ‘ten’, and repeat for the duration of the practice session. If you get lost or distracted, just start again with ‘one.’ The next practice is just to count only the exhalations.
Notice that, like our automatic emotional responses, breathing is automatic. You do not have to think about breathing. It simply happens. Automatic emotional responses, too, just happen. There is no need to consider them.
You are free to concentrate on your breathing or otherwise not. You happen to be free to pay attention to your emotional responses or otherwise (even though it is much more difficult to ignore them rather than to ignore your breathing).
How come those who learn meditation better at managing their emotions?
This is due to they become skilled at paying attention to one automatic process (breathing) and that skill is transferable to the automatic responses which can be emotions. Just since it is possible to take control of your breathing, so it is possible to take control of your emotions!
This is simply not a genuine idea. For instance, inside the “Afterword” to his helpful book EMOTIONS REVEALED, Dr. Paul Ekman recommends that everybody learn meditation to test its emotional benefits. The focusing skills which are wfcrvm when we meditate “transfer to other automatic processes–benefiting emotional behavior awareness and eventually, in a few people, impulse awareness.”
Those who have learned how you can meditate and practice daily have understood for a lot of, many centuries the emotional benefits associated with meditation. Classically, that benefit is not emphasized since it is considered just a secondary benefit (towards the primary benefit of spiritual awakening or enlightenment).
However, if you wish to live better emotionally, that desire is a sufficient reason to start a meditation practice.