Page 3 - Journey.into.Meditation
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Why Should I Meditate? Why Should I Meditate?

The subject of meditation and the great benefits it offers still remains a news-worthy 

topic today as many people now make meditation a part of their daily routine. One of 
meditation‟s great gifts results in re-balancing the two hemispheres of our brain, each 

of which has a distinctly different function. Our left brain hemisphere holds the seat 

of discursive thinking, planning, organizing and analysing. Its busy (masculine) active 
state is called „beta‟ and in it our electromagnetic brain waves fire at 14 to 30 cycles 

per second. Our right brain hemisphere (feminine) functions are more intuitive, 

reflective, creative and are concerned with being rather than doing. These „alpha‟ 
brain wave patterns fire more slowly – between 7 and 14 cps. In this state we are 

mentally receptive to the present moment rather than the past and future modes of 

beta. In an alpha state we also experience a non-judgemental frame of mind.

It has been tested and proven that when those who meditate reach an alpha brain wave 
state their two brain hemispheres adopt a single, coherent electromagnetic wave firing 

pattern. This indicates that both sides of the brain are working together in a balanced 

and synchronous manner. Whole brain functioning also produces neuro-chemicals 
called endorphins. These create feelings of well being, produce anti-ageing hormones 

and cause free radicals to move through the body seeking out and destroying harmful 

disease and cancer producing cells. (Free radicals are highly reactive molecules that 
contain oxygen. A by-product of normal chemical reactions, free radicals take 

electrons from undamaged cells to neutralize their own charge, causing cell damage in 

the process). By experiencing even short periods of whole brain functioning, people 
who meditate will notice improved memory and stronger concentration.

Beside the physiological benefits to the body there is a spiritual component to the 
practice of meditation as well. When one can achieve the balance of whole brain 

functioning and quiet a busy overactive mind, a deep sense of inner calm and peace is 
experienced. It is in this centre, the still point of meditation, that the tradition of 

simple silent spirituality, called „Divine Listening‟ by Saint Benedict, can be enjoyed. 

Meditation opens us up to the inner senses by adding a totally new dimension to our 

  Nadi Sudi

There are many different breathing practices in the yoga tradition and these are 

collectively referred to as Pranayama. Prana is the vital life force that animates each 

living cell in our bodies. When prana flows unimpeded the body radiates health and 
the mind remains sound. When prana is blocked the result can lead to sickness and 

depression. Nadi Sudi, alternate nostril breathing, is a simple exercise to enhance 
balance. First sit quietly then take in a gentle breath. Close your right nostril with your 

right thumb, pause briefly then exhale slowly through the left nostril. Inhale through 

the left nostril, close it with your right index finger, pause for a moment, open your 
right nostril and then exhale through the right nostril. Continue by inhaling right, 

switch to the thumb then exhale left, etc. Enjoy this simple Pranayama Yoga 

technique as you adopt it for balance and stress relief.


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