The Power of Stillness: Learn Meditation in 30 Days

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Learn More - opens in a new window or tab. Related sponsored items Feedback on our suggestions - Related sponsored items. Some evidence suggests that the amount of these fatty substances directly correlates to biological age, and by extension to a rash of age-related diseases. Additionally, the authors cite other research that has shown that meditation decreases stress, which has been linked with diseases such as coronary heart disease, cancer, and rheumatoid arthritis. In another study, Dr. Lawrence R.

Murphy of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health reviewed literature on "worksite stress-management intervention. As more connections are made between meditation and health, a striking image is emerging. Either of itself, or in combination with corresponding changes in habit, diet, and general outlook on life, meditation is now being strongly associated with better physical and psychological health and longevity.

Researchers and physicians have proposed that meditation may help alleviate the symptoms of a staggering list of ailments: hypertension, chronic pain, motion sickness, addictions, PMS and menopause discomfort, diabetes, irritable bowel syndrome, dermatological conditions, impotence, arthritis, insomnia, breast and prostate cancers, panic attacks, depression, and heart disease, among others. The ramifications of all this are incalculable, at both the individual and societal level. One thing is becoming clearer — meditation and its associated lifestyles yield very real benefits for practitioners.

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Why We All Need to Learn the Art of Stillness

The power of bringing the mind to stillness seems to spread throughout practitioners' lives like a systemic, healing balm. Improvements in physical and psychological health are only a small part of a larger reparation. Those who meditate regularly also report increased levels of creativity, productivity, and ability to concentrate. Philosophical views change and, it follows, so do relationships and social skills. Self-esteem rises, as does the ability to empathize, while negative emotions such as anger become increasingly intolerable.

Overall, individuals become more productive, caring people, more capable of rendering valuable services to their communities.

How to Meditate - Meditation for Beginners - Day 1

Now, back in your lab with your own research subject, you might wonder, objective considerations aside, what this individual is experiencing subjectively. If you thumbed through a general psychology book to the section addressing meditation, it would likely be defined as an "altered state of consciousness. But what is an altered state of consciousness?

More importantly, what is the particular altered state experienced during meditation? Something is happening during meditation; this much is clear. But science stops short in its efforts at probing beyond the surface issues. By its own methods, science is securely fastened to measurable phenomena. In the case of meditation, all that we can witness and record are but consequences of the practice; they do not define it. In essence, they are side effects.

This holds true for the physical effects of meditation as well as the personality shifts experienced in meditative practice. All the things we can see and touch and measure are like ripples spreading out from a rock's splash in a calm pond. They move out from a central event, following the event but not causing it.

Studying the effects of meditation leads to little understanding of what is going on under the surface. The best that such study can do is demonstrate that something must be producing the effects. If there are ripples on a once-smooth pond, something must have caused them. Despite the limitations of a scientific scrutiny of meditation, scientific observation is now helping us understand this ancient practice.

These days, spiritual teachers are regularly relating their own theories back to actual scientific research, rightly or wrongly, and researchers are becoming increasingly interested in probing the mystery of self-awareness.


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Modern science and medicine have encouraged popular interest in meditation by documenting the observable phenomena associated with it, namely the health benefits. They have also lent favorable models for learning and evaluation, helping to counter some of the negative stereotypes associated with the practice.

Power of Stillness: Learn Meditation in 30 Days by Tobin Blake, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®

When we examine meditation fairly, we can see that it has much to offer to a needy world, and that its pursuit does not require us to sacrifice our fidelity to reason. This insight has been, in part, the gift of science to the meditative community. However significant the contribution of science, though, there is a point beyond which spirituality and science cannot meaningfully connect.

Meditation cannot be learned through observation. It must be practiced to be understood. Hence the spirit of this book is one of active participation, as opposed to pure intellectual study. To help you participate, I have broken the text into thirty days of practice.