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The Many Faces of Meditation

This past weekend I visited the Chihuly Exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens. Dale Chihuly is credited with revolutionizing the studio glass movement and moving the medium of glass from craft to fine art. He has exhibited all over the world and especially enjoys placing his work in gardens. This week’s photo is taken at a waterfall wall in the Denver Botanic Garden’s exhibition.Chih_flower_waterfall

The exhibit is wonderful and a must see if you are near the Denver area. There is a 20 minute introductory video that is also well worth watching. In the video Chihuly explains that he is without thought when he is creating. All of his art comes from a place of “no thinking” and he is absorbed as he works.

That is meditation. The mind becomes still and stops whirling from thought to thought. We become absorbed and time becomes irrelevant.

Last week I mentioned that sometimes people are confused by the idea of meditation and what they are supposed to be “doing”. There is this idea that in order to meditate one must sit cross-legged on a pillow or the floor. And, that is certainly one possibility. But, there are many, many other options.

Chihuly finds meditation in his work. I know people for whom washing dishes is a meditation. Gardens are wonderful places to meditate and find tranquility.

The goal of meditation (yoga), as explained by the ancient yogis, is to reduce the distractions, confusion and misunderstandings of the mind so it can see clearly. For example, when a mirror is dirty and covered with a film, our reflection is distorted and we can’t see ourselves clearly. After we clean it, our reflection becomes clearer and we see ourselves better.

Like the mirror our mind can become covered with the film of misunderstanding and/or confusion. Have you ever felt absolutely, positively certain about something only to discover later that you misunderstood and had not seen things clearly? Of course you have, we all have.

We are able to “clean” the mind through meditation in order to reduce and eliminate the film of misunderstanding and to “see” with greater clarity and less emotion.

To put this more scientifically, current research shows that meditation may actually increase brain volume. It appears that the brain regions responsible for appraisal, memory and emotional regulation create new brain cells in those who meditate consistently.

When meditation is used in prisons, it measurably reduces the anger and violent behavior of inmates. There are worldwide movements underway where groups unite to meditate at the same time during the day for world peace. In one Iraqi village, fighting and violence stopped when the villagers meditated in unison.

Meditation has the power to change and to heal.

How do you bring it into your life? How could it change your life? Read last week’s blog for a “how to” meditate suggestion.

Enjoy and Breathe Easy!

Joanne Thompson

Joanne Thompson

Founder/Owner at Yoga for Self

Health is a precious gift and my goal is to help you live a healthier, happier life through yoga. Every private session is uniquely designed just for you. For a free telephone consultation call me at 303.818.4181. Discover whether personalized, private yoga instruction is right for you.
Joanne Thompson

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