The Magic of Meditation

Guided meditations:

These are links to guided meditation you can explore on your own.  Pick a time and place when you won't be disturbed.  Allow anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes or more to fully benefit. 

James Gordon's Center for Mind-Body Medicine offers guided meditation suggestions on this page.  If you ever get a chance, I highly recommend taking this workshop for your own benefit.

Below are a couple more websites that offer guided imagery for meditation:

UCLA Mindfulness Research Center

Guided Meditations The Chopra Center

What exactly is meditation?

Meditation can take many forms, some 200 forms altogether.  There are several broad categories of meditation, the exact number varies depending on who you ask.  The main types of meditation include: concentrative, contemplative, imagery, and physical. 

Concentrative meditation focuses on a single element, such as your breath, or a mantra (specific word or sound).  The process involves releasing other thoughts and continually bringing your attention to a focal point. 

Contemplative meditations focus on exploration of a particular concern or symptom.  Similar to imagery, the object of focus is viewed as a conscious entity with whom you have a conversation.  The intended outcome is to be able to accept a certain condition and improve your ability to cope with it.

Guided Imagery involves developing a sensory fantasy of a particular place or sensation.  It can be a mental recreation of a special place, real or imagined, a journey inside your body, or imagining yourself surrounded by an aura, color or cloud.  The objective is relaxation and positive mood. 

Physical meditation usually means yoga, but can include many other physical endeavours.  One specific meditation, called "shaking and dancing," incorporates music of varying tempo.  Participants match body movements to the tempo and engage in a meditative dance.  This type o meditation is good for releasing tension and feeling comfortable in your body.


Meditation is something that can be done by anyone, pretty much anywhere.  There is no cost and meditation can be done in a minimum amount of time.


Besides the benefits mentioned above, meditation has been shown to be effective in treating some very serious illnesses.  On the right are discussions of articles about how meditation has helped with some persistent problems in society.  Many cancer treatment centers have adopted Mindfulness and Meditation programs to help with treatment, as meditation has been shown to help shrink tumor size and slow growth.  Meditation has also been shown to help with chronic pain.  It can improve mood, reduce impulsivity, anger, depression. 

Meditation as a means of reducing behavior and academic problems in schools:

A meditation program introduced in a tough school in San Fransisco made for significant changes in students' mood, behavior and school performance.  The program, which is costly and requires special training for teachers and specially trained staff, has proven itself hugely effective.  Students in the program improved mood, became happier.  Within 3 years, suspensions were reduced by 45%.  Attendance increased to 98%.  Students were regularly being admitted to a more prestigious high school. 

There are no simple solutions to fighting poverty and violence, but this article demonstrates the amazing powers of such a simple technique as meditation. 

Meditation as treatment for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder

A study at University of Michigan used a Mindfulness Based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) group to examine the effect of meditation on post-combat veterans with PTSD.  Most veterans in the group had had symptoms of PTSD for 30 years or more.  Half the veterans were assigned to a "treatment as usual" (TAU) group while the experimental group received the MBCT therapy.  The veterans were all tested using a questionaire that focused on categories of symptoms of PTSD.  The MBCT group reduced symptoms by 73% while the TAU group only reduced symptoms by 33%.  Many of the veterans in either group had tried medication and other forms of psychotherapy with little if any lasting benefit.  The MBCT also instills skills that reduce further vulnerability to symptoms of PTSD. 

Meditation has proven time after time to be an effective means of reducing anxiety and depression, and better yet with no side effects!

If you're interested,  here is a link to more articles on meditation.

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