Since a few years ago, scientists have been aware that those who meditate have unique brain architecture from the rest of us. The effect of meditation on our grey matter has not yet been confirmed. Now, a ground-breaking study has not only established a direct link but also demonstrated that meditation, even for those who have never practiced it before, can improve brain function in just eight weeks. In this article, you’ll know How to meditate to increase brain power
US researchers scanned the brains of 16 people who had never meditated before in a study that was published in Psychiatry Research: Neuroimaging earlier this year. They then repeated the procedure after the group had finished an eight-week meditation program. The group practiced mindfulness meditation during that time, a particular form of meditation that focuses on non-judgmental observation of sensations, feelings, and states of mind, for an average of 27 minutes per day.
In the hippocampus, the part of the brain responsible for learning and memory, as well as in other brain regions responsible for self-awareness, compassion, and introspection, tests performed on the group after the program revealed increased grey-matter density. The amygdala, the area of the brain that regulates fear and stress, also shrank in size.
In other words, the silent practice of meditation alters the structure of our brains, enhancing the regions that support our ability to concentrate, recall information, and be self-aware while decreasing the regions that may cause us to feel agitated and nervous.
This research, according to US-based meditation master Thom Knoles, who is currently in Australia, validates what long-term practitioners have known for thousands of years.
He claims that practicing meditation “puts the difficulties in our lives into appropriate perspective, helps us see things clearly, and gives us a better sense of self.”
The ability of the brain to heal itself organically and an increase in the brain’s grey matter are two advantages of meditation, according to the study. It is plausible to assume that the brain is actively generating new brain cells.
Many approaches, one goal
Although the US study demonstrated the advantages of mindfulness meditation, other studies have demonstrated that meditation generally enhances people’s grey matter.
All forms of meditation are healthy for our brains, according to Knoles, who teaches Vedic meditation, which centers the mind through mantras.
Regardless of the label given to the meditation experience, he asserts that closing one’s eyes and relaxing into the most basic form of awareness is a powerful practice.
Greater intellectual capabilities
The practice of meditation calms the mind and promotes emotions of tranquility. The body then reorganizes itself into a restful and stress-free condition after the brain delivers happy messages to the entire body.
Try out this five-minute exercise in mindfulness meditation.
- Either sit on the chair or on the ground. Make sure your arms are relaxed and your back is straight. Alternately, lay down on the ground.
- Spend a minute focusing on your breathing. Feel the movement in your stomach.
- Expand your awareness to incorporate all of your physical sensations, along with any ideas or emotions.
- Be as objective an observer of your ideas as you can.
- Refocus on your breath if you find yourself getting carried away in a notion.
The practice of mindfulness meditation has grown in popularity over the past several years. Its main goal is to assist you in reducing stress and enhancing relaxation and tranquility. The practitioner of this style of meditation observes the present moment without passing judgment.
A popular myth about meditation is that it teaches you to empty your mind, but in reality, it teaches you to concentrate on your body’s sensations, thoughts, and feelings so you can see them more clearly.
How Should Muslims Meditate?
There are numerous techniques and goals for meditation. Some people just use it as a technique to quiet down, relax, relieve tension, and slow down their thinking. Some people meditate by giving something or someone their full concentration while others concentrate on an idea or something else.
Given that there are so many distinct varieties of meditation, some of which are expressly connected with religious beliefs and practices that are incompatible with Islam, some Muslims are naturally reluctant or skeptical of the term “meditation.”
However, the truth is that our pious forefathers engaged in a variety of linguistically-based kinds of meditation, and through these practices, they attained advanced spiritual states and improved their worship, prayer, and recollection.
Examining closely how they conceived meditation and imitating their practices within the context of Islamic belief, worship, ethics, and manners are essential to reviving their practices. As long as we remain rooted in Islamic tradition, the Prophet (saws) remarked,
“We can even include contemporary insights from psychology and mindfulness practitioners.”
Wisdom is the believer’s lost property, thus he has a right to it wherever he finds it, according to the saying
Some Muslims claim that because mindfulness or meditation came from Buddhism and may still adhere to some of its beliefs, it is against Islam or haram (forbidden).
Islamic mysticism places a strong emphasis on Sufi meditation. The Sufi tradition emphasizes self-knowledge and self-inquiry as a means of establishing a personal relationship with God. It purges the mind and heart of spiritual toxins via Zikr (chanting) and Muraqba (meditation).
Sufi meditation is known as murqabah. Murqabah allows a person to keep watch over their (spiritual) heart and gain an understanding of how the heart interacts with its surroundings and creator.