IS FAITH HELPFUL IN MEDITATION?

I have never been a faith based person. However there was something about meditation that created a faith that what I was doing was beneficial. This was a practice that has been around for thousands of years. I could not imagine that if it wasn’t helpful that it would continue to be so popular. The other key component of faith was observing personal change in myself from mediation that says this works!

– Phil Blustein

WHY IS THE BREATH SUCH A GOOD OBJECT TO USE AS AN ANCHOR FOR MEDITATION?

The breath is a great object to start to practice meditation. It is an external object that we don’t intentionally create when we are open to its natural movement. It is always present and available. No one breath is the same as another breath. Every inhalation and exhalation comes to an end. We don’t tend to personalize a breath and call it our own. In examining the breath we are able to see the true nature of reality. It is always changing and impermanent. Can we also develop the same self-less awareness of the breath for every other object that comes in to our awareness?

– Phil Blustein

HOW IS MINDFULNESS DIFFERENT THAN RELAXATION, CONCENTRATION OR THINKING ABOUT MY PROBLEMS?

HOW IS MINDFULNESS DIFFERENT THAN RELAXATION, CONCENTRATION OR THINKING ABOUT MY PROBLEMS?

Mindfulness is an active process that directs one to be present in the moment and see the true nature of what one is experiencing with non-reactivity. It is allowing what is present to be held with the acceptance of mindfulness. There is no attempt to ignore, deny or think one’s way to an answer.
– Phil Blustein

WHY DOES MEDITATION WORK

WHY DOES MEDITATION WORK

Functional MRI brain scans have demonstrated increased activity in the prefrontal cortex, insula and anterior cingulate cortex. These areas are important for the executive function of our brain including awareness, concentration, decision making, memory, emotional regulation, coping and self-referencing. The brain’s “fight or flight” centre, the amygdala that is associated with fear and emotion decreases in activity in response to mindfulness. There is a decreased connection between the amygdala and other parts of the brain and increased connection with higher brain areas. There are also structural changes in our brain with thickening of our cortex. Therefore as we meditate we change how our brains work that results in greater calm, loving kindness, compassion, equanimity and self-regulation. As we practice mindfulness ultimately the practice does us!
– Phil Blustein