Another Reason to Learn Meditation – It is more valuable to learn meditation than you may realize. Finding out how to meditate has unexpected bonuses. It is always delightful to get more from an activity than you anticipate. Suppose, for example, that, wanting to shed weight, you begin and sustain a daily program of walking briskly for 30 or 45 minutes. Several months later when you see your physician for a check-up, you learn which you have indeed lost a significant amount of weight. Then your physician mentions that your blood pressure levels and serum cholesterol have also dropped–and you are delighted! You had not anticipated those bonuses.
You most likely know already that, in the event you learn meditation and practice it daily, it is possible to reasonably be prepared to enjoy reduced stress and improved concentration.
You possibly will not recognize that, should you learn meditation, the standard of your emotional life will even improve. You are going to experience fewer troublesome emotions and, when you do experience them, they will be of decreased intensity and duration.
Why? How could your emotional life improve merely by figuring out how to meditate? If you were to learn meditation, why might who have a good effect on you emotionally?
It is actually incontrovertible that, over time, your emotional life will improve should you learn meditation and practice daily. The explanation why that happens is questionable, but I think I can present you with the key idea. I first discuss emotions briefly and then connect these to figuring out how to meditate.
(1) The explanation is determined by the peculiar nature of emotions. Everyone agrees that your emotions are reactions to events that you regard as vital in your welfare and emotions begin so quickly that they seem automatic.
This explains why emotions evolved. Much like us, our ancestors occasionally found themselves in situations which were important to their welfare which called for quick action in reaction. Considering what you can do, cogitation, is just too slow; if you have to think about what to do when a snake strikes, you will definately get bitten. We evolved automatic appraisal mechanisms and reactions that enable us to react quickly, for instance, to jump back from the striking snake without needing to consider how to proceed.
Emotions automatically produce changes in our minds and autonomic nervous systems. These changes produce many bodily effects that prepare us for different kinds of actions. Typically, emotions begin in milliseconds without our being familiar with their beginnings.
As the legal system should certainly do, emotions reflect the wisdom from the ages. You together with I benefit not merely through the personal learning we have completed in our lifetimes but also through the tens of thousands of many years of experience accumulated by our ancestors. The ones from our ancestors who reacted too slowly were not as likely to survive and reproduce.
As these automatic mechanisms are usually working, we are able to devote our conscious attention to other things that interest us. (It is actually ironic that what we should choose to consider is less important to our survival than what we do not have to consider!)
This does not necessarily mean that there is not any connection between our thinking and our emotions–certainly not! In reality, sometimes merely thinking certain thoughts can stimulate an emotional reaction. We can become emotional merely by considering or remembering as well as just imagining something. We could become emotional sometimes by simply speaking about something as well as empathizing with somebody else that is talking about emotions.
It works the other way, too. Emotions have an affect on our thinking. When you have experienced a strong emotion previously, you might have undoubtedly noticed the way your variety of focus narrows. It becomes difficult to consider anything else. Actually, whenever you experience a powerful emotion it filters out material that is certainly not congruent with it. This, too, is surely an evolutionary advantage, because it forces you to confront the immediate problem.
Because sense, people who are emotional are unbalanced. They cannot even access information they could otherwise notice. This is not clear-headed thinking.
It is actually one reason why emotional responses may be maladaptive. They frequently, perhaps usually, work, but sometimes they actually do not work effectively. This will make sense: because the world is usually changing, how could any fixed response continually be the most suitable one?
Probably the most important skills in living well is learning how to manage our emotions well. We all have emotions, as well as the only important question about the standard of our emotional lives is just how well we assist them.
Managing them well requires becoming mindful of them as at the beginning of the automated emotional response process as possible. It is actually impossible to control an emotion without noticing that you have it.
(2) To find out meditation is always to study a new skill. I myself practice zazen, so it will be my example. Zazen is certainly one kind of Buddhist meditation. It is quite quick and easy to find out. (It is not, however, easy to master!) I suggest which everybody learn meditation. You can find may ways to meditate, and at least one of these will continue to work well for you.
All types of meditation practice are breathing practices. ‘Spiritus’ is the Latin word from which the English word ‘spiritual’ comes. ‘Spiritus’ means ‘breath’ or ‘wind.’ A spiritual practice, a meditation practice, is a practice based on knowledge of breathing.
The way that beginners are taught zazen is actually by counting the breaths. It is very simple: just sit still in some classic meditation posture or any other and focus your attention on your breathing. Count each inhalation and exhalation. Begin with ‘one,’ end with ‘ten’, and repeat for the duration of the practice session. If you get lost or distracted, just start again with ‘one.’ The next practice is simply to count only the exhalations.
Realize that, like our automatic emotional responses, breathing is automatic. You do not have to consider breathing. It just happens. Automatic emotional responses, too, just happen. There is no need to think about them.
You are free to concentrate on your breathing or otherwise. You happen to be free to concentrate on your emotional responses or otherwise not (even though it is more challenging to ignore them rather than to ignore your breathing).
Why are those that learn meditation better at managing their emotions?
It is because they become skilled at watching one automatic process (breathing) and this skill is transferable to the automatic responses which are emotions. Just as it is possible to take control of your breathing, so it is possible to take control of your emotions!
This is simply not an original idea. For example, within the “Afterword” to his helpful book EMOTIONS REVEALED, Dr. Paul Ekman recommends that everybody learn meditation to check its emotional benefits. The focusing skills that are wfcrvm once we meditate “transfer with other automatic processes–benefiting emotional behavior awareness and eventually, in certain people, impulse awareness.”
Individuals who have learned how you can meditate and exercise daily have understood for most, many centuries the emotional advantages of meditation. Classically, that benefit has not been emphasized as it is considered just a secondary benefit (to the primary benefit from spiritual awakening or enlightenment).
However, if you want to live better emotionally, that desire itself is a sufficient reason to begin a meditation practice.