One More Reason to Learn Meditation – It is more valuable to find out 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, as an example, that, wanting to lose weight, you begin and sustain a daily program of walking briskly for 30 or 45 minutes. Several months later when you visit 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 levels have also dropped–and you are delighted! You had not anticipated those bonuses.
You probably know that, if you learn meditation and exercise it daily, it is possible to reasonably expect to enjoy reduced stress and improved concentration.
You might not understand that, should you learn meditation, the standard of your emotional life may also improve. You may experience fewer troublesome emotions and, when you do experience them, they are of decreased intensity and duration.
Why? How could your emotional life improve merely by learning how to meditate? If you decide to learn meditation, why might which have a positive influence on you emotionally?
It is actually incontrovertible that, over time, your emotional life will improve should you learn meditation and exercise daily. The explanation for 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 learning how to meditate.
(1) The explanation is dependent upon the peculiar nature of emotions. Everyone agrees that your emotions are reactions to events that you regard as important to your welfare and emotions begin so quickly that they seem automatic.
This explains why emotions evolved. Much like us, our ancestors occasionally found themselves in situations that have been vital that you their welfare and that called for quick action in reaction. Thinking of how to proceed, cogitation, is simply too slow; should you have had to take into account how to proceed when a snake strikes, you will definitely get bitten. We evolved automatic appraisal mechanisms and reactions that enable us to react quickly, for instance, to leap back from a striking snake while not having to take into consideration how to proceed.
Emotions automatically produce changes in the brain and autonomic nervous systems. These changes produce many bodily effects that prepare us for various kinds of actions. Typically, emotions begin in milliseconds without our being conscious of their beginnings.
Since the legislation should certainly do, emotions reflect the wisdom in the ages. You and I benefit not merely from the personal learning we have now carried out in our lifetimes but also through the hundreds of thousands of years of experience accumulated by our ancestors. The ones from our ancestors who reacted too slowly were more unlikely to thrive and reproduce.
Because these automatic mechanisms will always be working, we are able to devote our conscious focus on other stuff that interest us. (It really is ironic that what we choose to take into account is less important to our survival than we do not have to consider!)
This does not always mean that there is absolutely no link between our thinking and our emotions–certainly not! Actually, sometimes merely thinking certain thoughts can stimulate an emotional reaction. We could become emotional merely by thinking of or remembering or perhaps just imagining something. We could become emotional sometimes just by referring to something as well as empathizing with another person that is referring to emotions.
It functions one other way, too. Emotions have an impact on our thinking. Once you have experienced an effective emotion before, you have undoubtedly noticed the way your selection of focus narrows. It might be difficult to take into account everything else. In reality, once you experience a strong emotion it filters out material which is not congruent by using it. This, too, is definitely an evolutionary advantage, since it forces you to confront the immediate problem.
Because sense, people who are emotional are unbalanced. They cannot even access information they could otherwise notice. This is simply not clear-headed thinking.
It is actually one good reason why emotional responses can be maladaptive. They frequently, perhaps usually, work, but sometimes they are doing not work effectively. As a result sense: considering that the world is always changing, how could any fixed response always be the best one?
Probably the most important skills in living well is learning how to manage our emotions well. All of us have emotions, and the only important question about the standard of our emotional lives is just how well we work with them.
Managing them well requires becoming aware of them as early in the automated emotional response process as possible. It is actually impossible to handle an emotion without noticing which you have it.
(2) To learn meditation is always to become familiar with a new skill. I myself practice zazen, so it will likely be my example. Zazen is just one kind of Buddhist meditation. It is extremely easy and simple to learn. (It is far from, however, easy to master!) I suggest which everybody learn meditation. There are may approaches to meditate, and one or more of these works well for you.
All kinds 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 based upon knowledge of breathing.
The way beginners are taught zazen is actually by counting the breaths. It is quite simple: just sit still in a few classic meditation posture or other and concentrate your attention on the breathing. Count each inhalation and exhalation. Get started with ‘one,’ end with ‘ten’, and repeat all through the practice session. If you get lost or distracted, just start again with ‘one.’ Another practice is actually to count just the exhalations.
Notice that, like our automatic emotional responses, breathing is automatic. There is no need to think about breathing. It simply happens. Automatic emotional responses, too, just happen. You do not have to take into account them.
You might be free to pay attention to your breathing or otherwise not. You are free to concentrate on your emotional responses or not (even though it is a lot more challenging to ignore them than to ignore your breathing).
Why are those that learn meditation better at managing their emotions?
It is because they become skilled at watching one automatic process (breathing) which skill is transferable for the automatic responses that are emotions. Just as it is possible to take control of your breathing, so it will be easy to manage your emotions!
This may not be an original idea. For example, inside the “Afterword” to his helpful book EMOTIONS REVEALED, Dr. Paul Ekman recommends that everyone learn meditation to evaluate its emotional benefits. The focusing skills that are wfcrvm when we meditate “transfer with other automatic processes–benefiting emotional behavior awareness and ultimately, in some people, impulse awareness.”
Individuals who have learned how to meditate and practice daily have understood for many, many centuries the emotional advantages of meditation. Classically, that benefit is not emphasized because it is considered merely a secondary benefit (towards the primary benefit of spiritual awakening or enlightenment).
However, if you wish to live better emotionally, that desire itself is a sufficient reason to begin with a meditation practice.