Med health benefits_slides


Published on

health benefits of meditation

Published in: Education, Spiritual, Technology
  • Be the first to comment

No Downloads
Total views
On SlideShare
From Embeds
Number of Embeds
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Med health benefits_slides

  1. 1. Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits<br />Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />Class I<br />Intro to meditation and different positions to practice. <br />Carl Gustav Jung: collective unconscious and different personality types.<br />Physiology of breathing and relaxation through breathing.<br />Questionnaire for students and goal of this course.<br />Class II<br />Brief History of meditation philosophies. The eight paths of Buddhism and the eight paths of Yoga. Mind-Body-Spirit connections.<br />Practice and Discussion.<br />Class III<br />Importance of breathing in meditation: Pranayama, complete breathing.<br />The autonomic nervous system and balance in daily practice.<br />Practice lying down on floor, moving consciousness through body parts.<br />Class IV<br />Energy fields and points, chakras, nadis, acupunture/acupressure points and meridians. <br />Health benefits of meditation. <br />Practice and Discussion.<br />Questionnaire for students and feedback.<br />Class party.<br />This course is designed to gain basic principles of meditation, theory and health benefits and to apply them to the basic concepts of daily practice. Classes and practice will be done sitting comfortably on a chair or on the floor. For those students who wish to continue and deepen their studies, resources will be provided upon request. Suggested books: Siddhartha by Herman Hesse and Quantum Healing by Deepak Chopra.<br />Location: Art of Wellness TR @ 7 pm<br /> 7th& Bainbridge – Tel. 215-305-2238<br />Photo by CinziaSevignani ©<br />
  2. 2. Carl Gustav Jung (July 26, 1875-June 6, 1961) was born in Kesswil, Switzerland. He was psychiatrist and founder of the school of analytical psychology.<br />Outside World - “Maya” (Illusion)<br />Ego or jivatma<br />“Personal”<br />Subconscious<br />Collective Unconscious- (Archetypes)<br />Jung developed a personality typology > basic distinction between introversion and extroversion<br />Inward or Outward Personality? <br />Outer reality? Or toward the collective unconscious (and its archetypes)?<br />Balance between the two types? <br />Or different level of “spiritual evolution”? <br />(The science of Yoga (“experimental science”); The philosophy and religion of Buddhism). <br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  3. 3. We are different and unique. We are not our parents…<br />Pearl S. Buck, (1892-1973), recipient of the Pulitzer Prize in 1932 and of the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1938, said the following about Highly Sensitive People (HSP, K. Jung ~ 5%-10%):"The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this:A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.To him... a touch is a blow,a sound is a noise,a misfortune is a tragedy,a joy is an ecstasy,a friend is a lover,a lover is a god,and failure is death.Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create - - - so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating." - Pearl S. Buck<br /><br /><br />
  4. 4. We are “physiologically designed” to collect information from our outside World “only” > 5 senses.<br />Our environment is a perception of our mind (“Maya”).<br />Meditation > training of the mind > different stages > “deeper” level > subconscious level...<br />Outside World - “Maya” (=“Illusion”)<br />Ego or jivatma<br />“Personal”<br />Subconscious<br />Collective Unconscious- (Archetypes)<br /> Carl G. Jung<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  5. 5.<br />Our vision < > bees? How do they perceive flowers in the garden? <br />
  6. 6. Different types of meditation: <br />They have in common to “focus” (…re-focus your attention!) on the present moment, no judgment and to detach from past.<br />Meditations > “empty mind” or on “qualities”.<br />In meditation we can change brain waves, mostly low frequency: alpha or lower.<br />Low frequency brain waves are also common just before and during sleeping stage, but it doesn’t mean that people are also in deep relaxation. <br />For example, during sleep muscle can still be very tense (temporo-mandibular joint {TMJ} and lead to teeth pain/inflammation) or people can have very stressful dreams. <br />So the sleeping state is not always a relaxed and restful time! <br />Every person is different and what can be relaxing for one it could be stressful for another person (see my examples on drawings/paintings and swimming!).<br />Other signs of discomfort in our physical body: <br />Shallow breathing and/or upper chest breathing. Discomfort in our trout. “Butterflies” in the stomach. <br />They could also be symptoms of psychological problems: loss of hope, no interest in life, constant negative thoughts.<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  7. 7. Electroencephalogram (EEG) of an awake subject and of subjects in Stages 1, 2, (3), 4, and REM sleep. <br />Alpha waves ~ 8-13 Hz<br />(Hertz = cycles/sec)<br />Beta waves ~ 13 Hz or higher up to 30<br />Theta waves ~ 4-7 Hz<br />Delta waves ~ lower than 4 Hz<br />REM is also called paradoxical sleep: b/c the person is most difficult to awaken.<br />(Stage 3, not shown, very low-frequency delta waves and occasional sleep spindles.)<br />
  8. 8. Meditation techniques from different spiritual systems(I): <br />Kundalini<br />Kriya yoga<br />Bhakti yoga (Path of Devotion)<br />Jnana yoga<br />Mantra yoga<br />Yoga Nidra<br />Sahaja Yoga<br />Buddhistic Meditations (…,vipassana/mindfullness, anapasanati, samatha. samadhi)<br />Meditations from Kabbala<br />Sufism<br />Shamanic Meditation (also called: sitting in the power to connect with the spirits’ world)<br />And more…? (Tarot, Astrology,…)<br />Positions for meditation:<br />Sitting on a chair<br />Crossed legs (yoga)<br />Lying down on a mat<br />Positions:<br />on chair or Shavasana(Yoga – “dead man”)<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  9. 9. Meditation techniques from different spiritual systems (II): <br />Mindfulness meditation (Buddhist): accepting awareness of whatever arises in the senses (including mindfulness breathing, walking and eating,…Jon Kabat-Zinn began teaching the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) at the Stress Reduction Clinic in 1979)<br />Loving-kindness meditation: cultivates feeling of compassion for all people.<br />Movement meditation: awareness of the sensations of movement, such as in walking meditation or Tai-Chi. (For me also swimming is a type meditation!).<br />Visualization: mental images/colors/situations (including Mandalas of Tibetan Buddhism or circulation of “energy” (Qi) in the body.<br />Transformative meditation: turning negative emotions/thoughts into positive.<br />Chanting: repeating aloud a mantra (also vibratory effects of the sound).<br />Tratak:(like gazing at the flame candle > “activation” of 1st - 3th - 6th chakra).<br />Yantras: (Westerners are more left hemisphere dominated and are deficient in right hemisphere education. Right hemisphere education through art, dance and music is needed to restore the balance)<br />Other: Qi-gong meditation, Rei-Ki meditation,… <br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  10. 10. Physiology/science and Importance of breathing: Breathing is an extremely important physiological function because it brings oxygen to every cell in our body! <br />Yoga breathing/Pranayama (awareness and control on our breathing rhythm) has direct effects on our body. Abdominal breathing vs. chest/upper chest breathing.<br />Circulation can be affect by breathing too. Blood carries nutrients to every part of the body and it brings back metabolites and CO2. This is why to improve and maintain good circulation and good breathing is a way to nurture and purify our body. And if the body is in good health, our mind will benefit from it and vice-versa.<br />Balance is very important (3 points/Triangle) > body – mind – soul/spirit.<br />Breathing is unconscious > regulated by the Autonomic Nervous System. But it can be controlled by our conscious mind. <br />Breathing > a “bridge” between conscious and unconscious mind. <br />Brain is “the tool” of our mind. <br />But what is consciousness?!<br />Relaxation through breathing > slower inhale/exhale > slower thoughts > like clouds in the sky – just observe them > no judgment…<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  11. 11. Abdominal breathing or “baby” breathing and our Health<br /><ul><li>Diaphragmatic Breathing for Relaxation (remove tension)
  12. 12. Slow breathing (do not hyperventilate!)
  13. 13. “Deeper” breathing
  14. 14. More oxygen
  15. 15. Better circulation (blood flow, lymphatic)
  16. 16. Immune system
  17. 17. More…</li></li></ul><li><br />Breath is a bridge between the body and the mind. When trying to meditate it is extremely common to have tension in the muscles and noisy thoughts in the mind. The nervous system is the arbiter between the tense body and the noisy mind. One of the best ways to regulate that nervous system, and in turn the body and mind, is through the breath. This has been known by the Yogis for thousands of years, and has also come to be widely known in recent years by the modern medical and psychological community.<br /> Value ofSohamand breath> to train the breath, and in turn, regulate the nervous system, relax the body, and quiet the mind is through Soham mantra practiced at a steady, slow speed, with exhalation somewhat longer in duration than the inhalation. <br />The soham mantra has been called the universal mantra because of the fact that its vibration is already a part of the breath, and everybody breathes. Sooooo... is the sound of inhalation, and Hummmm... is the sound of exhalation. <br />
  18. 18. “Start”<br />Meditation<br />Streching/<br />“any physical”<br />exercise<br />“Inward” <br />process<br />Breathing/<br />Pranayama<br />“survey/scanning”<br />Body/relax muscle<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  19. 19. The 8 limbs of Raja Yoga<br />The 8 paths - Buddhism<br />Yama<br />Niyama<br />Asanas<br />Pranayama<br />Pratyahara<br />Dharana<br />Dhyana<br />Samadhi<br />Sammaditthi<br />Sammasankappa<br />Sammavaca<br />Sammakammanta<br />Sammaajiva<br />Sammavayama<br />Sammasati<br />Sammasamadhi<br />What in common?<br />Similar ethical/moral principles and Universal Law of Karma.<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  20. 20. The 8 limbs of Raja Yoga (Details I)<br />Yama (social code)<br />Niyama (personal code)<br />Asanas (postures)<br />Pranayama (control of breathing/prana > life-force)<br />Pratyahara (withdrawal of the senses)<br />Dharana (concentration)<br />Dhyana (meditation)<br />Samadhi (transcendental/higher consciousness)<br />
  21. 21. The 8 limbs of Raja Yoga (Details II)<br />1. Yama<br />Social code (social behaviors with 5 moral principles):<br />non-violence/do not harm any creature – anything (ahisma)<br />Truth and honesty – “non gossiping” (satya)<br />Non stealing (material or intangibles) (asteya)<br />Non lust (sexual relationships should be “divine” (bramacharya)<br />Non possessiveness – live a simple life (Do you really need more material things?) (aporigraha)<br />2. Niyama<br />Personal code (inner discipline and responsibility with 5 principles):<br />Purity (body is your temple, keep it and your environment clean) (shanca)<br />Contentment (be happy with what you have and what you are, be grateful, focus on the moment (santosha)<br />Austerity (self-discipline in body, speech and mind (tapas)<br />Study sacred text (books that are relevant and inspiring to you, education an change outlook on life (svadhyaya)<br />Living with/on awareness of the Divine (devotion to God/Buddha/Universe, what is Divine for you? (ishvara-pronidhana)<br />
  22. 22. The Eightfold Path (Details I):<br />The Buddha's Eightfold Pathconsists of:<br />Panna/Prajna:Discernment, wisdom:<br />1) Sammaditthi Right Understanding of the Four Noble Truths<br />2) Sammasankappa: Right thinking; following the right path in life<br />Sila: Virtue, morality:<br />3) Sammavaca: Right speech: no lying, criticism, condemning, gossip, harsh language<br />4) Sammakammanta Right conduct by following the Five Precepts<br />5) Sammaajiva: Right livelihood; support yourself without harming others<br />Samadhi:Concentration, meditation:<br />6) Sammavayama Right Effort: promote good thoughts; conquer evil thoughts<br />7) Samma sati Right Mindfulness: Become aware of your body, mind and feelings <br />8) Sammasamadhi Right Concentration: Meditate to achieve a higher state of consciousness<br />
  23. 23. The Buddha's Eightfold Path (Details II)<br />The Four Noble Truths:<br />The Buddha's Four Noble Truths> human suffering. <br />Simplified description: <br />Dukkha:Suffering exists: (Suffering is real and almost universal. Suffering has many causes: loss, sickness, pain, failure, the impermanence of pleasure.)  <br />Samudaya:There is a cause for suffering. (It is the desire to have and control things. It can take many forms: craving of sensual pleasures; the desire for fame; the desire to avoid unpleasant sensations, like fear, anger or jealousy.) <br />Nirodha:There is an end to suffering. (Suffering ceases with the final liberation of Nirvana. The mind experiences complete freedom, liberation and non-attachment. It lets go of any desire or craving.) <br />Magga: In order to end suffering, you must follow the Eightfold Path.<br />
  24. 24. The Buddha's Eightfold Path (Details III)<br />The Five Precepts: <br />These are rules to live by > they are recommendations. Believers are expected to use their own intelligence in deciding exactly how to apply these rules > no punishments/rewards like in other religions > see law of Karma (Universal Law) and karma producing behaviours.<br />Do not kill (this is sometimes translated as "not harming" or an absence of violence) <br />Do not steal (this is generally interpreted as including the avoidance of fraud and economic exploitation)<br />Do not lie (This is sometimes interpreted as including name calling, gossiping,...)<br />Do not misuse sex (for monks and nuns, this means any departure from complete celibacy. For the laity, adultery is forbidden, along with any sexual harassment or exploitation, including that within marriage. The Buddha did not discuss consensual premarital sex within a committed relationship; Buddhist traditions may differ on this…)<br />Do not consume alcohol or other drugs (the main concern here is that intoxicants cloud the mind. Some have included as a drug other methods of divorcing ourselves from reality -e.g. movies, television, the Internet)<br />
  25. 25.
  26. 26. Meditation is part of many different ancient spiritual systems. <br />Its origin is from Tantra(~ 5000 years ago), which refers to scriptures pertaining to esoteric traditions rooted in Hindu and Buddhist philosophy. Those ancient traditions were passed from teachers/mentors/gurus to disciples/students as life-learning experience. <br />We can find meditation traditions in different spiritual systems and/or religions. Meditation is how Buddhists “pray” and it is the oldest religion/philosophy before Jesus Christ. <br />Buddhist Philosophy and Yoga (The science of Yoga) are “sisters” spiritual traditions originated in India. The Vedas (~ 3000 years ago) is the sacred scripture of Brahmanism that is the basis of modern-day Hinduism. The Vedas contains the oldest known Yogic teachings and as such, teachings found in the Vedas are called Vedic Yoga. <br />The main difference, between those two “sisters” spiritual traditions, is that Yoga recognizes and has devotion for God/Creator of the Universe. <br />Buddhism “rejects” God, but it accepts the existence of Bodhisattvas (similar to Angels in Christianity or Avatars in Hindu tradition). They are “people” on the path of enlightenment who stays on hearth to teach and guide living beings to find their path to happiness that does not depend on external situations. <br />The more important similarity is that both, Buddhism and Yoga, have in common eight paths to enlightenment or to higher consciousness. <br />(But can we really measure consciousness in every living and non-living thing? How?)<br />The historical Buddha, ~500 B.C. or more than 2500 years ago, was the Prince Siddhartha/Shakyamuni or Gautama Buddha, this spiritual tradition later spread to China and later to Japan. Buddhism is now divided into a number of different traditions. However, they still share a common set of fundamental original core beliefs. <br />Thelatest form of Buddhism is a Lay-Buddhism (SGI is a Lay organization since 1991).<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  27. 27. Symbols (Taoism and Yoga) of union and balance <br />of opposite “spiritual energies”<br />The autonomic nervous system (parasympathetic and sympathetic) <br /><ul><li>Ida and Pingala > Sun and Moon > Male and Female energy (Yoga).</li></ul>A daily balanced practice > morning and evening (start and end your day with meditation).<br />We know what we know and we don’t know what we don’t know…but what we don’t know is much more than what we know!<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  28. 28. Balance is very important for our body, mind and spirit/soul.<br />For beginners, probably, some “meditation rituals” could be helpful (as a sort of “Pavlov reflex” for meditation), but rituals should not be the objectives of meditation. <br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  29. 29. Yoga Nidra> Sanskrit for “Yogic Sleep” (Sankalpa = Affirmation = “seed of change”) <br />> technique from the tantric Yoga tradition (in Shavasana position) <br /><ul><li>deep relaxation of your nervous (ordinary sleep is not relaxation)
  30. 30. an altered state of consciousness > enter subconscious mind and manifest changes in life > (Conscious > subconscious > unconscious)
  31. 31. Yoga Nidra is a part of the Pratyahara(withdrawal of the senses), limb of Raja Yoga, (Yoga Sutras -Patanjali- India ~ 200 B.C.)
  32. 32. not in the West until ~ the 1960’s > the Bihar School of Yoga
  33. 33. To begin guided sequence (CD ~ 1 hour) of the physical relaxation points > sequence brain centres(motor-sensory homunculus)
  34. 34. Preparation (Sankalpa), Rotation of Consciousness, Awareness of the breathing, Feelings and Emotions, Visualization, (Sankalpa) - Ending the practice
  35. 35. (very short summary!)
  36. 36. many Stress-related diseases (psychosomatic) > Balance > “Holistic Preventive Medicine” (with pure intention, sincere practice and dedication)</li></ul>© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  37. 37. Health Benefits and Holist Health<br />(Physical and Psychological) <br />of meditation from different spiritual systems<br />Meditation is a training for the mind that can “rewire our brain” for a better quality of life - “became a master of your mind, and don’t let your mind master you”. <br />It is a gift for your-self and the world.<br />Meditation (to balance body/mind/spirit) is “also used” for overall wellness > “Preventive Holistic Medicine”> Many diseases are stress–related (psychosomatic).<br />Several specific health benefits are listed on reputable sources, such as (selected websites from References, see below): <br />,<br />,<br />, <br />,<br />People use meditation for various health-related reasons, such as:<br />Anxiety (heart rate); Pain; Depression; Stress; Insomnia; Improve concentration; Physical or emotional symptoms that may be associated with chronic illnesses…<br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  38. 38. © Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  39. 39. Energy fields and points<br />Human beings, and their surroundings, are made up of different form of energies(including spiritual energy > different cultures: Prana/Kundalini/vital life energy in Yoga, Chi/Qi in Chinese, Ki in Japanese), with its own specific vibration (or frequency). <br />The “String theory” (“everything is a form of energy/string” in a Universe <br />with more than three dimensions!), from modern theoretical physics and ancient Buddhist principles seems to have now much more in common than <br />what we could imagine before “this Era of Psychobiology and Biophysics”. <br />The world really seems to be only a perception of our mind and “the non-locality experiment” done in Geneva could come from a “Buddhist book”….<br />Energy channels and points (Nadis and 7 major Chakras & minor chakras in Yoga < Cross-cultural influences > meridians and acupunctures points in TCM ) are part of our “invisible or subtle” body. <br />Today, there is an increase in demand from our society for a different vision of life, for a less materialistic world (Balance) > with true compassion for each other and concern for our Environment. <br />Meditation should be part of general education in our society. <br />© Intro to Meditation & Health Benefits - Instructor: CinziaSevignani, Ph.D.<br />
  40. 40. 7 major chakras (6 + 1) <br />
  41. 41. “The mediocre teacher tells. <br />The good teacher explains. <br />The superior teacher demonstrates. <br />The great teacher inspires.”<br />William Arthur Ward <br />“One looks back with appreciation to the brilliant teachers, but with gratitude to those who touched our human feelings. The curriculum is so much necessary raw material, but warmth is the vital element for the growing plant and for the soul of the child.”<br />Carl Jung<br />