Welcome to the Meditation Tree. It is a valuable source and place conducive to learning Mindfulness, a technique and tool to help you manage the challenges (aka problems) and roadblocks you encounter on your journey through life. Your challenges are not unique. They are common to human beings the earth over and may cover a wide range of issues such as fear, stress, doubt, anxiety, worry, depression, restlessness, sleep problems, illness, disease, pain, grief and the list goes on.
Mindfulness Meditation is not hokus-pokus. It is not a wu-wu or cult experience as some may believe. It is secular in nature. It is a practice that blends with any current religious or non-religious beliefs or upbringing.
During the past 40 years, more and more research and scientific evidence has surfaced supporting the positive effects of a daily Mindfulness practice. And in the past 10 years, neuroscience has specifically targeted their research on the effects of Meditation and Mindfulness on the human brain. Thousands of studies (many posted on the internet) have supported evidence that the benefits of a daily practice have a profound effect on the positive enhancement of the brain by changing the clusters of neurons and their connections to your thoughts and behavior. Scientific research shows that a daily practice can reduce the gray matter, increases memory, can strengthen that part of the brain that deals with regulating emotions and behavior thus helping to reduce stress, anxiety, worry, and doubt; and in doing so, leads to healthier physical and mental health and perhaps slow the aging process.
Simply explained: a stressful or worrisome (most often negative) thought sends an impulse or message to your brain…and the brain then sends a message to your shoulder, stomach, your heart (blood pressure), your immune system, etc. to react in a manner that can affect your health and well-being. If neuroscience research is correct, each of us experience an average of 50,000 to 70,000 thoughts a day, and 80% of our negative thinking reoccurs every day, both consciously and unconsciously. These thoughts, a large percentage not really true or to be believed can eventually take its’ toll on us… by creating stress, suffering and dis-"ease" in our life.
Mindfulness Meditation is a practice whereby you (1) make a conscious effort to quiet the body and mind via developing your CONCENTRATION skills and (2) learn to become AWARE of inner and outer stimuli created by your beliefs and thought patterns. Through this mode of “AWARENESS” one can choose to take control and change the learned thoughts we formed in childhood and through other life experiences. We can change our emotional reactions created by our thoughts and sent to our brain’s neural pathways. Mindfulness is about learning to live “in the present moment” and learning to become presently aware of the physical, mental, and emotional stress patterns in your daily life. When meditation/mindfulness becomes a routine part of your daily life, the experience becomes transforming in so many (and perhaps) surprising ways.
Jon Kabat-Zinn, who founded the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program at the University of Massachuseets Medical school in 1979, has defined mindfulness as 'moment to moment non-judgmental awareness.
“Your worst enemy cannot harm you as much as your own thoughts, unguarded.” (Buddha)