Meditate for Life
Here’s an interesting News Release that came out just a couple of months ago….
“Some of us need regular amounts of coffee or other chemical enhancers to make us cognitively sharper. A newly published study suggests perhaps a brief bit of meditation would prepare us just as well.
While past research using neuroimaging technology has shown that meditation techniques can promote significant changes in brain areas associated with concentration, it has always been assumed that extensive training was required to achieve this effect. Though many people would like to boost their cognitive abilities, the monk-like discipline required seems like a daunting time commitment and financial cost for this benefit.
Surprisingly, the benefits may be achievable even without all the work. Though it sounds almost like an advertisement for a “miracle” weight-loss product, new research now suggests that the mind may be easier to cognitively train than we previously believed.
Psychologists studying the effects of a meditation technique known as “mindfulness ” found that meditation-trained participants showed a significant improvement in their critical cognitive skills (and performed significantly higher in cognitive tests than a control group) after only four days of training for only 20 minutes each day.
“In the behavioral test results, what we are seeing is something that is somewhat comparable to results that have been documented after far more extensive training,” said Fadel Zeidan, a post-doctoral researcher at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, and a former doctoral student at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where the research was conducted.
“Simply stated, the profound improvements that we found after just 4 days of meditation training are really surprising,” Zeidan noted. “It goes to show that the mind is, in fact, easily changeable and highly influenced, especially by meditation.”
The experiment involved 63 student volunteers, 49 of whom completed the experiment. Participants were randomly assigned in approximately equivalent numbers to one of two groups, one of which received the meditation training while the other group listened for equivalent periods of time to a book (J.R.R. Tolkein’s The Hobbit) being read aloud.
Prior to and following the meditation and reading sessions, the participants were subjected to a broad battery of behavioral tests assessing mood, memory, visual attention, attention processing, and vigilance.
Both groups performed equally on all measures at the beginning of the experiment. Both groups also improved following the meditation and reading experiences in measures of mood, but only the group that received the meditation training improved significantly in the cognitive measures. The meditation group scored consistently higher averages than the reading/listening group on all the cognitive tests and as much as ten times better on one challenging test that involved sustaining the ability to focus, while holding other information in mind.
“Findings like these suggest that meditation’s benefits may not require extensive training to be realized, and that meditation’s first benefits may be associated with increasing the ability to sustain attention,” Zeidan said. “
Alexia and I are running an 8 week Meditation Course starting next Monday 28th June in Crows Nest (Sydney). Over the following 8 weeks we’ll be teaching a number of different Meditation techniques to suit a range of needs and we’ll be looking in much more depth at how meditation works, and how you can use it to improve your sleep, manage stress, become less anxious, manage pain more effectively, have more energy and rest down into a quiet peaceful space each day that nurtures you right at your very core.
We’d love to have you come and join us.
To find out more and to register click here.
All the best
St John was the Managing Director of a personal development and lifeskills training company in Victoria for 6 years offering a variety of courses to both the general public and corporate clients. In 1999 he co-founded EcoSTEPS P/L, a Triple Bottom Line Sustainability Consultancy.
More recently, his focus has been on the design and delivery of programs to both the corporate sector and the general public with particular focus on deeper, developmental work, supporting the ongoing building of emotional intelligence, coaching, leadership and personal development.
StJohn is an expert guide in the gentle practice of Meditation and its use by those wishing to explore their own inner landscape.
With over 25 years of training experience, StJohn has a wealth of experience to call on both in the design and delivery of transformational programs. He is known for his easy style and ability to make the complex simple and easy to grasp.
StJohn is now one of the founding directors of Circumference a company focused on the delivery of Leadership and Personal Development Programs. He will be facilitating a meditation course for the Quest for Life Foundation in Sydney called Meditation for Life and is developing a new program called Take a Stand for Life ~ which is specifically for past participants of QFLF programs.
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