One More Reason to Learn Meditation – It is more valuable to find out meditation than you may realize. Figuring 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 pounds, you begin and sustain a day-to-day program of walking briskly for 30 or 45 minutes. A few months later when you see your physician for a check-up, you learn you have indeed lost a lot of weight. Then your physician mentions that your blood pressure level and serum cholesterol levels have also dropped–and you are delighted! You had not anticipated those bonuses.
You almost certainly know already that, if you learn meditation and exercise it daily, it is possible to reasonably anticipate to enjoy reduced stress and improved concentration.
You may not understand that, should you learn meditation, the quality of your emotional life may also improve. You are going to experience fewer troublesome emotions and, once you do experience them, they are of decreased intensity and duration.
Why? How could your emotional life improve merely by figuring out how to meditate? Should you learn meditation, why might that have an optimistic effect on you emotionally?
It really is incontrovertible that, over time, your emotional life will improve if you learn meditation and exercise daily. The explanation for why that takes place is questionable, but I think I can present you with the key idea. I first discuss emotions briefly then connect them to figuring out how to meditate.
(1) The explanation is dependent upon the peculiar nature of emotions. Everyone agrees that the emotions are reactions to events that you regard as important for your welfare and emotions begin so quickly they seem automatic.
This explains why emotions evolved. Just like us, our ancestors occasionally found themselves in situations that were essential to their welfare which called for quick action responding. Thinking of how to proceed, cogitation, is just too slow; if you have to consider what you can do when a snake strikes, you will definitely get bitten. We evolved automatic appraisal mechanisms and reactions that enable us to react quickly, for instance, to jump back coming from a striking snake without needing to think about what you can do.
Emotions automatically produce changes in the brain 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 conscious of their beginnings.
Since the legislation is supposed to do, emotions reflect the wisdom in the ages. You together with I benefit not merely from your personal learning we have carried out in our lifetimes but in addition from your tens of thousands of numerous years of experience accumulated by our ancestors. Those of our ancestors who reacted too slowly were less likely to live and reproduce.
Because these automatic mechanisms are usually working, we can devote our conscious focus on other things that interest us. (It is ironic that what we should choose to take into account is less essential to our survival than we do not possess to take into account!)
This does not necessarily mean that there is not any connection between our thinking and our emotions–not at all! Actually, sometimes merely thinking certain thoughts can stimulate an emotional reaction. We can become emotional merely by thinking about or remembering as well as just imagining something. We could become emotional sometimes by simply referring to something or perhaps empathizing with someone else who is referring to emotions.
It works the other way, too. Emotions have an affect on our thinking. Once you have experienced a strong emotion before, you might have undoubtedly noticed how your variety of focus narrows. It will become difficult to take into account other things. In reality, whenever you experience a strong emotion it filters out material which is not congruent with it. This, too, is definitely an evolutionary advantage, as it forces you to confront the immediate problem.
In that sense, people who are emotional are unbalanced. They cannot even access information they might otherwise notice. This is simply not clear-headed thinking.
It is one good reason why emotional responses can be maladaptive. They often times, perhaps usually, work, but sometimes they do not work well. This will make sense: since the world is definitely 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 work together with them.
Managing them well requires becoming mindful of them as at the start of the automatic emotional response process as is possible. It is impossible to manage an emotion without noticing that you have it.
(2) To learn meditation would be to learn a new skill. I myself practice zazen, so it will be my example. Zazen is just one type of Buddhist meditation. It is very easy and simple to find out. (It is not, however, simple to master!) I recommend which everybody learn meditation. You can find may approaches to meditate, and at least one of those will work well for you.
All types of meditation practice are breathing practices. ‘Spiritus’ will be the Latin word from which the English word ‘spiritual’ comes. ‘Spiritus’ means ‘breath’ or ‘wind.’ A spiritual practice, a meditation practice, is really a practice based on awareness of breathing.
The way that beginners are taught zazen is just by counting the breaths. It is extremely simple: just sit still in certain classic meditation posture or any other and concentrate your attention on your own breathing. Count each inhalation and exhalation. Get started with ‘one,’ end with ‘ten’, and repeat all through the practice session. Should you get lost or distracted, just start again with ‘one.’ The following practice is simply to count only the exhalations.
Notice that, like our automatic emotional responses, breathing is automatic. There is no need to consider breathing. It merely happens. Automatic emotional responses, too, just happen. There is no need to think about them.
You might be free to concentrate on your breathing or otherwise. You might be free to concentrate on your emotional responses or otherwise not (although it is a lot more challenging to ignore them rather than to ignore your breathing).
How come those that learn meditation better at managing their emotions?
It is because they become skilled at paying attention to one automatic process (breathing) which skill is transferable towards the automatic responses which are emotions. Just as it is possible to manage your breathing, so it will be easy to take control of your emotions!
This may not be an authentic idea. For instance, inside the “Afterword” to his helpful book EMOTIONS REVEALED, Dr. Paul Ekman recommends that everyone learn meditation to test its emotional benefits. The focusing skills which can be wfcrvm whenever we meditate “transfer to many other automatic processes–benefiting emotional behavior awareness and ultimately, in a few people, impulse awareness.”
Those who have learned how you can meditate and exercise daily have understood for a lot of, many centuries the emotional benefits associated with meditation. Classically, that benefit is not emphasized because it is considered merely a secondary benefit (towards the primary advantage of spiritual awakening or enlightenment).
However, in order to live better emotionally, that desire is a sufficient reason to begin with a meditation practice.