Roy Masters of Fhu.com talks to Leigh and Wendy about meditation and how it can vastly improve your life. This exercise is so simple, takes so little time and has such profound implications for reducing stress and emotionally detoxing that you cannot afford not to do it. I beg you to at least try incorporating Roy Master’s meditation into your lifestyle to solve your problems, reduce stress, increase awareness and essentially, emotionally detox. Learn how to meditate with Roy Masters, the meditation master.
Our guest Roy Masters has promoted a simple form of meditation for decades, which we’re going to discuss in detail today. In 1960, Roy began America’s very first call-in show for personal and spiritual guidance called “Advice Line”. Still on the air today, it is broadcast nationwide on 190 radio stations and on the internet. He has written 16 acclaimed books and produced numerous meditation CDs. He is the founder of the Brighton Academy, considered by many to be one of the most innovative private schools in the country. He is the founder of the Foundation for Human Understanding, which for 50 years has aimed to provide support to anyone searching for personal and spiritual guidance. You can find his site at FHU.com.
Benefits of Meditation
Because meditation is a practice in focusing our attention and being aware of when it drifts, this actually improves our focus when we’re not meditating, as well. It’s a lasting effect that comes from regular bouts of meditation.
This point is pretty technical, but it’s really interesting. The more we meditate, the less anxiety we have, and it turns out this is because we’re actually loosening the connections of particular neural pathways.
What happens without meditation is that there’s a section of our brains that’s sometimes called the Me Center (it’s technically the medial prefrontal cortex). This is the part that processes information relating to ourselves and our experiences. Normally the neural pathways from the bodily sensation and fear centers of the brain to the Me Center are really strong. When you experience a scary or upsetting sensation, it triggers a strong reaction in your Me Center, making you feel scared and under attack.
When we meditate, we weaken this neural connection. This means that we don’t react as strongly to sensations that might have once lit up our Me Centers. As we weaken this connection, we simultaneously strengthen the connection between what’s known as our Assessment Center (the part of our brains known for reasoning) and our bodily sensation and fear centers. So when we experience scary or upsetting sensations, we can more easily look at them rationally. For example, when you experience pain, rather than becoming anxious and assuming it means something is wrong with you, you can watch the pain rise and fall without becoming ensnared in a story about what it might mean.
One of the things meditation has been linked to is improving rapid memory recall. Catherine Kerr, a researcher at the Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging and the Osher Research Center found that people who practiced mindful meditation were able to adjust the brain wave that screens out distractions and increase their productivitymore quickly that those that did not meditate. She said that this ability to ignore distractions could explain “their superior ability to rapidly remember and incorporate new facts.” This seems to be very similar to the power of being exposed to new situations that will also dramatically improve our memory of things.
Mindful meditation has been shown to help people perform under pressure while feeling less stressed. A 2012 study split a group of human resources managers into three, which one third participating in mindful meditation training, another third taking body relaxation training and the last third given no training at all. A stressful multitasking test was given to all the managers before and after the eight-week experiment. In the final test, the group that had participated in the meditation training reported less stress during the test than both of the other groups.
Meditation has been linked to larger amounts of gray matter in the hippocampus and frontal areas of the brain. More gray matter can lead to more positive emotions, longer-lasting emotional stability, and heightened focus during daily life. Meditation has also been shown to diminish age-related effects on gray matter and reduce the decline of our cognitive functioning.
Convinced yet? I know I am! Try incorporating this very important and easy meditation into your lifestyle!