WHY AHIMSA MEDITATION?
Have you experienced those really stressful events that you didn’t know how you’d cope? Many meditation practitioners report that if not meditation, they wouldn’t know how to deal with the aggressive stressors in our everyday life.
Our modern life if full of that – we can call it ‘business’, ‘rat race’ or simply ‘lack of time’, but the fact remains the same – we are feeling joy much less, but are stressed out by our crazy lifestyles.
Yet we want to be calmer, more composed and pay attention to our happy moments, the ones that matter!
One would not argue that our current rise of mental and lifestyle diseases triggers an increase in violence, crime, armed conflicts and cruelty to one another and the environment. Global violence to ourselves, our families, nations and the world is a major cause of suffering for all.
What are the causes of these mental and physical health issues?
Everyone can see a rapid pace of our life, increased stress levels and overstimulation with information, social media and technology. It triggers a variety of mental health conditions which we still do not really know how to address on a global scale. In the meantime, these issues continue to influence our physical health too.
We live constantly ruminating about our past and worry about our future, we torture ourselves with thoughts, we simply hurt ourselves. It not only ends up in increased levels of stress, this mindless living also translates to overconsumption. This abundance unfortunately causes our current epidemic of obesity. Ironically, whilst many live in this over-abundance, 800 million people live in hunger.
Many studies have also confirmed that bad nutrition, excessive sugar, salt and cheap fat consumption is linked to violence, crime and poor mental health. Mental health issues can trigger anger, aggression and violent incidents too.
Research also has determined that poor nutrition early in life predisposes people to antisocial and criminal behaviours and lowers intelligence. It is all very interconnected.
Stress causes us many kinds of trauma. We are developing attention deficit. Some of us sliding down into a depression. Yet it’s not just about mental health, we can see the effects of such a lifestyle on our waistlines. Our kids are not getting any healthier too. We all experience rapid rise in lifestyle diseases such as type 2 diabetes and hypertension, eating disorders such as anorexia, bulimia and binge eating. These are not only ruining the lives but also create a massive strain on the healthcare system.
If we look around, we could see a massive suffering that big food industry inflicts on innocent animals. Billions of farmed animals are being slaughtered by corporations. They live their life only to become somebody’s burger, it is not fair to an animal, but also to our environment too. Animal agriculture is the most wasteful, polluting and cruel industry of all. Its damage to our environment exceeds one from transportation system. If you add to the count millions of animals who are being killed just to test a new beauty product or participate in another sort of scientific experiment, this count of violence is mind-boggling.
Human violence doesn’t just disappear, it skews our values and in general promotes quite mindless and miserable existence. Not surprisingly, nonviolence is at the very centre of a “better living”, as humans start to be more gentle with themselves and then this skill or attitude grows and so social circles and then all sentient beings benefit from human kindness and compassion.
Therefore, nonviolence is important on the planetary level.
It contributes to achieving a world peace.
Nonviolence becomes a foundation for our mindful living, ethical consumption and global welfare.
What’s awesome is that nonviolence starts with single one of you and me. Ahimsa Meditation offers some help with access to nonviolence meditation instruction and guidance. We aim to provide you with a concise information on cultivating our mind.
Meditation helps to train three major skills:
- Wide awareness.
- Kindness and compassion.
It is obvious how important that we re-learn how to pay attention, develop groundless and calm emotional stability.
When we rest in our wide awareness, we truly live moment-to-moment and are ready for whatever our ever changing life throughs at us. Kindness must start with self-acceptance, but it soon reveals a lot of similarities between everyone of us and our interconnectedness. It helps to dissolve stress and life becomes warmer and more wholesome.
These practices have an ability to help all of us to lessen the anxiety, overcome past emotional traumas and pain, deal with an increasing issue of attention deficit, cope with anger and manage our response to everyday stress factors.
In addition to that, learning meditation and mindfulness techniques and regularly practicing it assists our kids’ education and supports their efforts. Students can boost their mental working capacity and they would be able to prepare for the exams more effectively.
Mindfulness meditation benefits
Leading neuroscientists, psychologists and general practitioners are confident that mindfulness meditation changes how our brain operates.
They have stated that regular practice thicken cortical layers in regions of the brain that control attention (Lazard et al, 2005), add neural connections in the insula, a part of the brain that supports both self-awareness and empathy for the emotions of others (ibid), increase the relative activation of the left prefrontal cortex, which helps control and reduce negative emotions (Davidson 2004), strengthen your immune system (Davidson et al, 2003), reduce the impact on pain and accelerate post-surgical recovery (Kabat-Zinn 2003; Kabat-Zinn, Lipworth Burney 1985).
Fantastic benefits, don’t you think? This is all available to all of us without the need for a happy pill or any intoxicants.
We can only cultivate nonviolence individually, not by imposing some rules or laws from top to bottom, but by methodical training and cultivation of our mind. Meditation is a proven process how to do just that.
Meditating on breath lowers blood pressure, slows heart rate and eases anxiety. Mediation can be used as a complementary practice to traditional or alternative medical treatment, it can help to heal from various illnesses such as cancer and heart disease more effectively. It can help manage pain and prevent illnesses by helping you stay physically balanced and healthy. It creates contentment, peace and joy. It promotes longevity.
We can all reap enormous benefits to our physical, emotional, mental and social lives:
- More peaceful living for all, harmonious communities and understanding between all of us;
- Lower stress levels of everyone, increase kindness and compassion;
- Lower crime, pollution, world hunger;
- Lower suffering and eliminate killing of innocent living beings and especially farmed animals;
- Get healthier, both mentally and physically, regulate your emotional state and enjoy better relationships;
- Promote and enjoy ethical living and moderate consumption by means of living in an economy of ‘enough’.
We can increase well-being for all living-beings. Everyone can increase their self-compassion, self-care (nutrition and activities), practice forgiveness, gratitude, but also realise how connected we all are and that we want ultimately the same thing.
We do not need to seek and strive to prove how ‘special’ we are, but rather be kind to ourselves and others. The foundation for mindfulness practice, for all meditative inquiry and exploration, lies in ethics and morality, and above all, in the motivation of non-harming.
Everyone can get a lot of benefits that meditation practice brings:
- Better health, energy, vitality, mood and productivity in whatever you do and how you live through training your mind.
- Increased inner peace that allows you to pay attention to things that matter, be calm and composed when things turn out not as we’d wanted and feel joy when we are happy.
We are constantly collecting the latest research and publications on meditation, so please head to our Meditation Benefits article if you want to dig deeper into physical, emotional and mental health benefits that meditation can bring to you.
Ahimsa Meditation operates as a non-for-profit organisation and relies on individual and corporate donations, grants and support. With your donation we are able to promote Ahimsa Meditation and nonviolence to more and more people and make this world a better place for all sentient beings. Help us offer mindfulness meditation for everyone’s healthy, mindful and peaceful living!
Basic practice of mindfulness meditation is accessible to everyone – young and mature, healthy and sick, busy or not. Yet, as you could see, it offers a wide array of benefits for everyone’s mental and physical health. Practicing meditation also means making our communities and the world a better place. Our effective programs help people to achieve inner peace that contributes to world nonviolence. Start meditating today!