Science is now funding research on the health benefits of a practice that has been around for thousands of years. Meditation is the practice of calming the mind. The Buddhist goal of meditation is to develop mindfulness, tranquility and insight. I have found my own healing and freedom along my Path using meditation as a guide and a tool. It is very exciting to see holistic concepts being thoroughly examined by science. The very idea that meditation can be incorporated into medical treatment plans is ground breaking. Yet, I somehow find myself conflicted that meditation could be misunderstood and misinterpreted in these studies. For me there have been numerous benefits in my body, mind and thought process through meditation, however, to stop there would have ended an amazing unfolding of who I am. My hesitation in completely embracing these studies is simply that we may begin to seek one or more positive benefits of meditation and lose sight of its intended goal.
Below you will find my experience on mindful eating and how it affects our weight.
Several studies show that meditation can help a person with weight loss. This is a wonderful assessment and true for many people. A consistent meditation practice gives the person an ability to live mindfully. They become aware of themselves, their surroundings and their patterns. When some people experience a particular feeling, they choose to eat in an unmindful, and in some cases, an uncontrollable way. The body then rewards the person with a natural release of serotonin, dopamine and endorphins. This rewards system paves the way to establishing unconscious patterns. In a short period of time, the person can become completely unaware of their eating habits as they seek this natural chemical high released by our bodies.
A meditation practice gives us the ability to observe our eating, the pattern. Becoming more aware, we can observe the triggering emotion that leads us to the need/desire/want to eat uncontrollably. If we can become more aware of the triggering emotion, we can look for a different solution, a more healthy solution. We gain the ability to change our conditional responses to life. We are giving ourselves a choice.
Admittedly, I began meditating with my own set of goals. I found this practice not only gave me the peace and tranquility it promised, but it gave me a pause button I could access anytime I was ready to quickly and negatively respond to life. In addition, meditation opened another door. A door to a Path to continue my practice and look deeper into my Self. Along that Path, I have found Purpose, Love, Forgiveness and a continued unfolding of who I am.
Meditation is a practice. Meditation is a journey to your deepest Self. Continued practice leads further down a Path; Your Path to who you are. I hope that on a Path to weight loss, freedom from anxiety or freedom from pain you choose to continue stepping forward into the beautiful unfolding of You. I hope that along the way you find the Love inside of You.