The Power of Meditation and how it affects our brain
What is meant by the words – ‘power of’? When we say what is the power of x or is the power of x more than the power of y? If the powers of x and y are measurable; such as the concentration of salt in one solution versus another or the mileage that we get from a particular fuel – we can easily conclude that this is the power of x or that the power of x is greater than the power of y.
But how do we go about determining the power of something that cannot be measured? For e.g. everyone knows that a mother’s love is very powerful for a child. But how can we know what the power of that love is? And how can we know what the power of meditation is or if meditation is a powerful activity at all?
The only way to know the power of an intangible thing is to see its effects on your life. Studies show that children that receive unconditional love from their mother are more productive and much happier than those who have been raised without the mother’s love, all other things being equal. Similarly if we were to understand the power of meditation, we would have to see the effects of meditation on your life and on your brain.
There are numerous studies and articles on the Internet that list the effects of meditation on your life and brain. Here we will talk about the effects that we observe in our meditation center in Baner, Pune. At our meditation center we offer hour long sessions, twice a week and also encourage 10 minute daily practice at home. Members report changes within a month of regular practice. Initially members report increase in calmness, better sleep quality, reduced anxiety and reduced stress. After six months of regular practice, we hear reports of increased satisfaction, increased positivity, focus and concentration in their work. When continued as a part of daily routine one feels a deep sense connection with oneself and all life around them. In our opinion, the biggest impact of having a regular meditation practise is that all struggles in your life vanishes. The circumstances of your life, your job, the people around you – everything remains the same but you have very few or zero complaints. You do not struggle with anything anymore. You start accepting life and things for the way they are. And THAT is the power of meditation. At our meditation center in Pune we encourage our members to reflect on the changes that meditation has brought about in their lives.
Meditation changes the structure of your brain. Studies have observed observing thickening of the cerebral cortex in areas associated with attention and emotional integration in people that have been meditating for a while. This leads to better focus, attention and better handling of emotions with meditation. Research also found increased gray-matter density in the hippocampus, known to be important for learning and memory, and in structures associated with self-awareness, compassion, and introspection. Participant-reported reductions in stress also were correlated with decreased gray-matter density in the amygdala, which is known to play an important role in anxiety and stress.
Here is a list of non-religious mantras
And the most important finding of this research is that these changes are observed with 8 weeks of daily practice. It takes 8 weeks or less of regular meditation practice for changes to start occurring in your brain and your life. We have actually observed these kinds of results in our meditation center in Baner, Pune as well.