Balance: A Forgotten Art
Balance. A tricky and difficult concept to pin down and the constant use of social media and other modern social conventions make it all the more hectic. As much as there are benefits to marijuana use, not everything about it is healthy.
It can still cause lung damage and it is still a drug that if used wrong can become a dependency. Only if there was a completely harm-free way of altering your mind that helps you relax. Well, it’s not a secret it’s just that people seem to forget about it. And the best part, it’s free.
Meditation is an old practice dating back to possibly 5,000 BCE. One of the oldest ways of finding balance in life. In fact, some people who practice a style of mediation called transcendental meditation consider the feelings similar to being high. In a 1975 Time magazine paper, it was described as “a drugless high that even the narc squad might enjoy”. A high without the negative side effects? Sign me up!
Now don’t expect to get stoned or experience a mushroom trip. The high of a meditation session is much different and it takes some time to master. You can’t just start becoming a mediation wizard tomorrow, but if you can take time out of your day to find inner peace with yourself, you might discover the balance and inner peace that lies within you and work that peace into your daily life.
A problem some people might have with meditation is its connection with religion, and while yes, mediation is an important part of Buddhism and eastern religions, there is more than meets the eye. In fact, keeping in balance with the people of the Earth, meditation also connects with Christianity as well. According to JustDisciple, Christian meditation focuses on one’s personal connection with God rather than one’s connection to the universe as a whole.
At the end of the day, it doesn’t have to be religious at all. It’s sitting and focusing on your breathing. It does not require a deity or a dogma. There is no punishment for meditating wrong, there is simply finding peace within oneself.
The Science of Balance
Where is the science of what actually happens to your mind when you meditate? Meet Mingyur Rinpoche, a world-class master of mediation. If there was someone to look up to in the meditation world, Mingyur Rinpoche would be an Olympian.
In a lab at the University of Wisconsin, Rinpoche was hooked up to an EEG and asked to meditate for short periods of time while the machine was on. What the researchers found knocked them off of their balance. These researchers bore witness to huge surges of electrical activity.
This means that your brain under mediation is anything but doing nothing. This is similar to dreams where our minds are most active when we are less active. This might be because we are taking the energy of our bodily functions and moving them to our mind where the brain has free will to be used as much as it can be. This EEG activity is not only similar to dreams but also to taking hallucinogens such as Mushrooms and LSD, only further connecting the “drugless high” as described previously.
Balance: Where to Start
After hearing these benefits one may want to start on the road towards balance, but it can seem daunting. Some of these people are meditating for hours, if not whole days, which can seem almost impossible to most people. While these feats are incredible, there are a few things to keep in mind.
One is that these masters have been doing it for years. Mingyur has been practicing since he was a kid and I’m sure he didn’t start with a whole day of meditation on his first day. Start slow, if you want to get to the top you have to climb there. See how long you can let your body be still and focus on your breath. As you keep going keep increasing how long you are meditating for.
While these people are certainly masters of their craft not everyone has to be a seasoned master to get the benefits of mediation. Not everyone has hours to devote to sitting still but I’d argue that everyone has at least five minutes a day. Use those five minutes to meditate you might be surprised what you can get accomplished and how centered you can feel after just five minutes. Whether you do it right before work to keep calm while getting through the day’s duties or right before bed to send you into a peaceful sleep; meditation might be the key to open doors you never knew were locked.