What is meditation?
Broadly speaking, meditation is a relaxed, centred state of awareness and connectedness: a place of being in the here and now. During meditation, brain wave patterns slow, taking us into a pleasant, light day-dreaming state which induces overall well-being. Our muscles relax, digestion improves, heart rate lowers, breathing slows and deepens and we produce mood-enhancing endorphins.
What are the benefits?
Meditation is well known to be a really effective way to manage stress. As we enter this relaxed but aware state of being in the moment, the everyday thinking part of our brain takes a back seat; released from the busy chatter of our mind we create a space for ourselves in which to re-balance and re-charge.
Meditation provides a gentle means for self-development. By putting us in touch with our natural resources, we are able to find balance, perspective and support within ourselves. We need balance, perspective and support in order to function healthily – both on a personal and social level. With these in place, we can begin to relate better to ourselves and others.
Whatever our belief system, meditation also provides us with an opportunity to explore the spiritual side to our nature. This can be extremely life affirming, and help us to deal with the psychological and physical challenges that come with ill-health.
What are the benefits of meditating in a group?
Meditating in a group creates a feeling of being held supportively by others; this is especially important, as M.E. may sometimes cause us to feel isolated and misunderstood.
Also, sharing feedback can be empowering and enriching, as hearing experiences similar to our own reassures us and provides us with an opportunity to learn from each other.