Meditation and Science: A Happy Marriage

Today in Time Healthland there was a great blog post, “Omm…How meditation makes you smarter” |, citing the cognitive changes that meditating can stimulate. Whenever I see these kinds of posts and articles (and they now appear with great regularity), I am glad and grateful that meditation continues to be mainstreamed and has left the train station of hippieville.

In the mid 90’s a friend and I were fortunate enough to attend a 10 day training at The Omega Institue in Rhinebeck, NY led by Jon Kabat Zinn and Saki Santorelli. To my mind, these two men have been THE parents to the Science/Mediation relationship. Aside from the essence and energy of who thery are and their ability to make meditation do-able, (as Jon would say ” just get your ass on the cushion”), they were, and are, deeply entrenched, accomplished scientists who were already accumulating the evidence of meditation and the mind/body connection.

There were great amounts of time that they both spent in going over the evidence, covering a gammit of physical maladies that could be eased by a meditation practice, such as stress, blood pressure, psoriasis. to name a few. At the time, I was much more interested in just feeling the comfort and calm of developing my own practice as well as just taking in the energy and food of Omega. But, since then, I rely on their science and their vision to share what I know and have seen in working with clients as to the wholistic benefits of meditation. as well as deepening my own practice.

Sometimes, it’s REALLY hard to get your ass on the pillow………..  And, for the vast majority of my clients, the primary reason they either don’t or feel they can’t meditate is that they feel they’re doing it wrong and the spector of the critic puts the cabosh on it.  The greatest gift the workshop gave me, and that I hope I can pass on, is that there is no wrong way to meditate.  It’s really the journey, not the destination of sitting quietly and watching the thoughts come and go, getting pulled in, noticing, and coming back.   It’s the easiest and hardest thing anyone can do.  And science is showing, over and over, that the journey is SO worth it.