Focused or Nondirective Attention
By Øyvind Ellingsen
Shifting the mode of the mind is a common feature of various types of meditation used for stress management and personality development. In this article, Øyvind Ellingsen discusses similarities and differences in the ways mindfulness and Acem Meditation achieve such a shift.
In mindfulness, focused attention directed toward the breath and other body sensations is the basic training for reducing stress, mind wandering and negative thoughts. Acem Meditation is practiced with a nondirective mode of attention that allows spontaneously occurring thoughts, images, and sensations to emerge and pass freely. Using a meditation sound induces a marked relaxation response and facilitates emotional processing. Read more…
The meditation sound may be repeated in different ways. It may be clear and distinct or light and more fluid. The body and breath may be more or less involved. A young woman was in doubt about how to repeat the sound. Her uncertainty might reflect her relationship to herself and her life.
At a guidance seminar in Acem, a young woman asked about the repetition of the meditation sound. When she first learned to meditate she found the method simple and easy, but now she was in doubt. Would it be better to involve muscles and the tongue in the repetition of the sound, almost as if she were saying it aloud? Or would it be better merely to think the sound in her mind, without trying to make it distinct? The former solution made her more confident that she was repeating the sound correctly, whereas she found the latter more relaxing. Read more…
In everyday life we are often goal directed – we want results. This is an attitude that we can recognize even when we are meditating or sitting in guidance and communication groups. However, the challenge in meditation and group processes is rather to be present and open to whatever arises spontaneously. The result manifests itself not in the form of a product, but in the ability to be closer both to our own feelings and the feelings of others.
Usually, a wandering mind is not facilitated by exercising our will. In meditation, however, we use our will to create an open space for things that we normally are not in close contact with. The gentle repetition of the meditation sound helps us produce a mental attitude that stimulates the mind’s ability to wander freely. Our awareness has a wide and inclusive focus. The main thing is to create a free flow of everything that spontaneously moves through our mind. The meditation sound is the bridge, the methodological means, for creating the necessary openness. Read more…
Dr. Anders Nesvold interviewed by Anne Grete Hersoug
A recent study showed that Acem Meditation may have a preventative effect against severe heart attacks. “The findings are very promising,” says cardiologist Anders Nesvold, who was in charge of the research team. The results are published in the European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, an influential medical journal. Read more…
Anne Grete Hersoug
How can a pattern of negative interaction develop in a romantic relationship? How can a couple end up finding themselves stuck in psychological tension? And how, if at all, could meditation make a difference? What are the potentials and limitations?
Mira was driven by a strong and growing urge for affirmation of her emotions from her partner, Fred. She wanted him to say that he understood her and accepted her reactions. Whenever he didn’t meet her need for affirmation, Mira felt rejected.
By Maria Gjems-Onstad
I meditate, think of ideas for a new project at work, and on what might be an appropriate present for my sister-in-law. I must remember to buy new screws for the garden chair. I learned a nice exercise for my abb muscles at today’s exercise session. Suddenly I am caught up in thoughts about a text message I am going to send to a former classmate and an invitation I must decline. How can I avoid offending her? And the meditation sound is gone.
A friend of mine recently sent me a link to an article from the business magazine Inc., with the title “Sit. Breathe. Be a better leader.” Since she knows that I am a meditator, she asked me: you probably already know this, right?
The article explains how meditation has helped some American leaders to improve life quality and relax, but also deliver more at work. Ray Dalio, the founder of Bridgewater Associates, the world’s biggest hedge fund, meditates. Steve Jobs was also often associated with meditation. According to the article:
Among entrepreneurs and business leaders, meditation is an increasingly popular seated practice that encourages alertness in the present moment, a pause to relax and focus, and, ultimately, a recentering to lead better.
By Torbjørn Hobbel
In recent decades the interest in body yoga has increased enormously all over the world. In much the same way as the word “meditation” may refer to many different techniques that vary significantly both in method and results, the word “yoga” can also designate many different things.
In order to get a clearer view of the complicated yoga landscape, it may be useful to examine basic differences in how one practises yoga, and the framework within which one understands this practice. Acem’s central focus is on meditation, and a basic parameter is therefore to what extent various forms of yoga are conducive to meditative practice. These are issues it may be useful to consider if one wishes to combine Acem Meditation and yoga in a mutually complementary way.