Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Meditation For Health

If you've had children you will know that they have no cares in the world. All they want to do is to play, eat and sleep. These are children with parents who give them love and security. The children have absolute faith in their parents and know that they are available anytime they need them. Without that trust and faith, the children become stressed and go through the same changes adults go through when they are stressed. As adults, we have lost the innocent-child attitude to the world. We react to problems with stress instead of accepting them as part of life.

As Christ said, "Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven."--Matt. 18:3. The prodigal son did not know what he had until he left home and squandered all his fortune. Fortunately for him he had the right attitude, became a child again and returned home when he became destitute and poor. His father welcomed him and was happy to have him back.

We are all like the prodigal son. Fortunately, if we have the presence of mind and return home, our Father will gladly receive us and reinstate us. To me this is the essence of meditation. We are able to fight stress when we have God in our sight. Once we loose sight of Him we are in an unknown territory which is scary and make us sick. Meditaion is like going back home to enjoy the childlike simplicity and innocence we had under our parents' roof. When we meditate, all our anxieties are banished and are replaced with tranquility, contentment and a feeling of wellbeing as we escape from the scary world.

Herbert Benson MD's book, relaxation response showed how meditation affected the practitioner's physiology by decreasing the use of oxygen, decreasing the amount of lactate (which induces anxiety attacks), heart rate, respiration, blood pressure and muscle tension. He called these relaxation effects "the relaxation response" . His second book, Beyond the relaxation response, stressed that the "faith factor" is very effective in eliciting the relaxation response that occurs during meditation. In the next blog, I will continue the discussion on meditation.

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