“Meditate. Let the light of the heart engulf you.”
Meditation - finding your style
There are a multitude of ways to practice meditation, and any number of guided recordings for those who are interested in exploring beyond traditional approaches.
My favorite approach is a category that I call healing meditation. I'll talk more about that below, but let me first say that in my experience, meditation is something very personal, that can and should be tailored to what works for you.
There's no sense in trying to force yourself to meditate in a style that doesn't feel right to you, and if you do, the likelihood that you'll stick with it is slim.
I have studied many methods of meditation since 1995, and I know what works best for me and what I benefit from the most. For me, this is a form of energetic meditation, what I put into the category of healing meditation.
Healing Meditation - raise your vibration
Meditation can serve many purposes. Those you hear about most often are quieting the mind, lowering overall stress levels, and improving physical and mental health. There is no shortage of well-researched information online and in print on the benefits of a regular meditation practice.
But what is the "energetic translation" of these findings?
Through the lens of Energy Healing, the reason meditation has such a beneficial effect on your health is because it calms the stress response in your energy system, ie, the fight or flight response governed by the Triple Warmer Meridian (see more on the Eden Energy Medicine page).
Because the Triple Warmer Meridian pulls energy from the rest of the meridian energy system when it is in a state of alarm, it causes significant imbalances that will become chronic if the state of alarm becomes habitual. Your Triple Warmer will also trigger patterns of stress that have resulted from past traumas, such as a PTSD response.
I say all of this to make the point that maintaining the health of the underlying energy systems is the key to balancing physical, emotional and spiritual health, and, that the reason meditation is so beneficial to your health is because it is ultimately retraining the energetic stress response not to react in the same way, so that mind, body and spirit maintain a state of balance.
Seen from this perspective, meditation can be considered a practice of healing the underlying energetic imbalances that have resulted from high stress levels, hence the term healing meditation.
To take this a step further, consider energetic meditations that focus your intention directly on balancing the energies of the body, bypassing frustrating attempts at quieting the mind. I put these and any variation on this theme into the category of healing meditations.
For some people, this approach is easier and more effective that the usual attempts to clear the mind of all thoughts and judgements, which can be quite challenging. In fact, the single most common reason I have found that keeps people from sticking with meditation long enough to create a practice, is because they find it painfully difficult, agonizing even, to quiet the mind.
If you shift your focus to clearing and balancing an energy system, such as the chakras, you can arrive at the same end goal of balancing your body’s energy and lowering stress levels, which will often have the inverse effect of quieting the mind, but without the frustration. Sound appealing?
Now, for the best healing vibes - gratitude, compassion, kindness and love...
Many studies have been done on the beneficial effects of working with the heart and the heart center (heart chakra), which can be activated either by focusing directly on the energy of the heart center, or by meditating on certain high vibrational emotions such as love, compassion, kindness, and gratitude.
The HeartMath Institute has done extensive research on the effects these emotions have on the heart’s electromagnetic field, which broadcasts messages that carry these high vibrations out to every cell in the body and beyond, filling the heart's electromagnetic field, and influencing other fields it comes into contact with, such as those of other people.
This means that in addition to lowering stress levels and quieting the mind, meditating on emotions like love, compassion, kindness and gratitude can also raise your vibration, and the vibration of those you come in contact with!
“Most of us have been taught in school that the heart is constantly responding to "orders" sent by the brain in the form of neural signals. However, it is not as commonly known that the heart actually sends more signals to the brain than the brain sends to the heart!
Moreover, these heart signals have a significant effect on brain function—influencing emotional processing as well as higher cognitive faculties such as attention, perception, memory, and problem-solving.”
--The HeartMath Institute
How mindfulness helps
The practice of mindfulness releases us from habitual perceptions and thought patterns, and the reactions those thoughts create in our bodies and in our lives. On a practical level, this means that our stress level decreases, we experience the world differently, and we react differently to the people and circumstances in our lives. The shift in our reactions is reflected in our bodies and our overall levels of health, wellness and happiness. It sounds simple because it is!
The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society reports that two decades of research has shown that the majority of people who complete a course in Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction experience lasting decreases in physical and psychological symptoms, pain reduction, increased ability to relax, greater energy and enthusiasm for life, improved self-esteem, and an ability to cope more effectively with stressful situations.
Hundreds, if not thousands, of studies have been completed on the topic of mindfulness and its effect on health and well-being. You can find many of these and updates on the latest studies being conducted at the Mindfulness Research Guide.
I learned to meditate in a Tai Chi class I took in college, in 1995, with a visiting professor from China. The practice I learned is not what I practice today, but it got me started in the world of meditation. There are a number of approaches to meditation, some religious, some not. In my opinion, they are all doors to the same state of consciousness in which one develops self-awareness and awareness of others and the world around us. I believe that the practice itself, and the intention behind it, are what's important, not the discipline or ritual.
I have used meditation as an opportunity to gain insights into my life, to calm my body and mind, and to access my inner guidance. This developed organically into a regular practice that has not only brought me a deep sense of inner peace and increased resiliency in life, but has also helped me to heal trauma and deepen my spiritual connection.
Not having studied under any prescribed discipline left me free of the fear of doing it 'wrong' that I have often encountered among new and experienced meditators. I can say that my practice is truly my own, and it serves me well. I have been told by more than one experienced meditator that they wished they had learned with a 'method' like mine!
Photos from a 'Meditation for the Imagination' class for children
These photographs are from a "Peace Out in the Garden" class I taught in the afterschool program at Seth Boyden Elementary School in Maplewood, NJ. We did short meditations, art projects, and planted in the garden. Here, the kids are preparing their contributions to the Garden of Wishes, where they each planted a flower with their wish for the world.
Scientific research on the topic of mindfulness has exploded in the past few years. Exciting new studies are being conducted around the world, with fantastic results!
An excellent resource for these studies is the Mindfulness Research Monthly, which can be found at the Mindfulness Research Guide, produced by David Black, Ph.D., M.P.H., at UCLA.
The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care and Society at UMASS Medical Center is another excellent resource for training and information. This is where Jon Kabat-Zinn, pioneer in the field of mindfulness in healthcare, and creator of the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction Program, began his work.
What is mindfulness?
Mindfulness is a lived practice, a way of being and seeing the world.
Living mindfully means living in the moment, from a consciousness that seamlessly integrates heart and mind, and opens up space for non-judmental awareness of the self and others.
The individual becomes the observer of 'events' that arise in that awareness, from moment to moment, such as emotions, thoughts, sensations, etc, without assigning them any particular values, labels, or qualities ie, good/bad, right/wrong, pretty/ugly, etc.
In this space, life just 'is.'
The Greater Good Science Center offers unending insights and feel-good information on all aspects of living a happy, healthy life, with a strong focus on family dynamics and child-rearing, including numerous studies and articles on how to incorporate mindfulness practice into your family routine. This one is a favorite!
Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
Please go to The Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society for full information on the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program, including research findings on the health benefits of maintaining a mindfulness practice.
Healing Light Meditations
Another form of energetic healing meditation is healing light meditation. In these meditations you connect to healing light, whether through envisioning healing light and therefore drawing it to you and into different places in your body, such as the heart center, or, by connecting to higher vibrational conscious energies that exist as pure light, and working with these energies.
Healing light meditations can shift the frequencies in your body and raise your vibration when done consistently over time.
Frequency is a key part of healing, because energy blockages are generally of lower frequencies, such as anger, sadness, and fear.
Training your system to consistently hold higher frequencies will inevitably shift the lower frequencies that are present, resolving the physical and/or emotional issues they created.
This website, www.soulslightenergyhealing.com, (www.paigecontinentino.com, www.tallahasseeholistichealth.com) does not purport to diagnosis, treat, operate on, or prescribe for any human disease, pain, injury, deformity, or other physical or mental condition. Paige Apgar is not a licensed mental health professional and does not practice, or purport to practice, medicine.
© 2013, Paige Apgar, CPC, EEM-AP
Soul's Light, LLC
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