Being Mindful of Meditation

By Ellen Woods
Globalisation is a term which perfectly captures the process by which modern meditation and mindfulness has spread, from east to west and back again. Meditation is an ancient practice of prehistoric origin, which is still extremely popular even in the 21st century. Some of the first written records of meditation, come from Vedantism within the Hindi tradition around 1500 BCE. Throughout the 5th and 6th centuries BCE, other types of meditation began to form in regions such as Buddhist India and Taoist China. Most modern Western practitioners learned about meditation from the Buddhist and Hindu traditions and found that it could lessen the negative effects of the materialism.
We are constantly retaining information through the senses and tend to live very fast paced lives. Technology alongside social media applications like Facebook and Twitter are constantly notifying us. Stopping this continual stream of noise through meditation lets us take a deep breath. Everything changes in this peaceful moment as we stop ourselves from depending on the information provided in the material world. Tension is released as our breathing begins to slow and blood pressure begins to normalise. When this happens, any negative emotions we may be feeling can be dealt with.
Meditation and mindfulness has been scientifically proven to boost participants’ emotional health by reducing stress and risk of several diseases, rewiring the brain and improving well-being. Medical Journal Publisher, JAMA Internal Medicine published a full review of meditation and its health benefits in January 2014. The research showed that not only did Meditation help to reduce symptoms of anxiety, but it was also proved that the practice helped to manage depression and reduce pain. During meditative practice, the nervous system is engaged and regulated more effectively for vital functions such as a steadier heart rate, lower blood pressure and oxygen intake through deep breathing.
Research has proved the numerous health benefits of mediation and mindfulness, therefore no surprise that the practice has become so popular in Ireland, a country where mental health problems have increased in recent years.
Today, there is a meditation or mindfulness centre in almost every town in our country, with our town being home to Kenmare Mindfulness & Yoga, run by Darina O’Shea who has spent over 15 years practicing yoga and meditation. Darina is a certified MBSR (Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction) teacher and offers weekly mindfulness, yoga and eight week MBSR courses.
For more information visit www.kenmare or phone Darina on 085 1673800.