In life if we zoom in closely all crises are emotional crises…we do not see reality as it is but always tend to color it with emotions that results in ”stress” or distress. In addiction too, once the substance is stopped and in the treatment process the real issues that crop up are all of emotional unmanageability.
We assume that over the years we have “dealt with” past injuries or incidents that have affected us. Then why does illness strike us? Why is it that we react untowardly to a situation that does not call for such a reaction? This is because the emotions that we thought we have dealt with have only been suppressed or worse, repressed for they have been stored in the cells of our body. Cellular memory has been discovered by science today.
Today it has been proved that the ancient eastern sciences of meditation enable one to attain a balance which is the result of actual structural and biochemical changes that take place in the brain due to meditative practices proved by the advent of advanced CT and functional MRI machines and other technical devices..
Meditation techniques are a bridge towards actual meditation. They are very scientific and developed over centuries by those who have attained.
They have been developed based on pure experience and observations of being aware and taking us beyond emotions.
Effects of Suppression of Emotions
Once any emotion is triggered, if the flow is impeded by suppression of the same, the energy that has resulted in the release of so many biochemical actions on the body and brain is unable to retract these changes. As a result, the chemicals bring about a change at the cellular level and can come up eventually with physical ailments like hypertension, migraines and even cancer in the long run. Psychological ailments like anxiety neuroses, depression, personality disorders might result. In the current scenario of society, meditation might not be directly possible due to these various suppressions and repressions that block the flow of natural energy. Hence the process of catharsis is very essential.
Active meditations enable this catharsis to take place in a guided manner making way for an experience of a meditative state.
What is meditation? Meditation is not sitting with closed “concentrating” on the breath or something. Let us try an experiment—close your eyes and be “aware” of the breathing that is happening in your body.. it is an involuntary process..be aware of it through the rise and fall of your abdomen for a few moments..open your eyes.. Were there any thoughts in your mind for that time? No? You just experienced a state of meditation. This state of ‘no mind’ is the state of meditation .Regular practice of different techniques takes us to that state and eventually we realise that we take life moment to moment and respond instead of reacting.
Current Scientific Studies on Meditation
Researchers at Harvard, Yale, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found the first evidence that meditation can alter the physical structure of our brains. Brain scans they conducted reveal that in experienced meditators increased thickness in parts of the brain that deal with attention and processing sensory input & associated with memory, sense of self, empathy and stress is seen. Likewise, the area of the brain that is responsible for emotional reactions-the amygdala is seen to reduce in size. Thus, though the stressors in the environment remain the same the responses to them change. Thus meditation is also very psychotherapeutic!
Science is still in a fledgling stage to discover the actual Meditative state. However, the individual experience of the state is the only proof required.