All posts in Meditation article

Free mental attitude – a metacognitive shift

By Øyvind Ellingsen

Øyvcind EllingsenThe brain’s natural resting state is not a void or an absence of thoughts, but a spontaneous wandering among thoughts, episodes, images and feelings (1). Usually only 50 % of us are aware of them, but if we ask people at random, we learn that we all have such activity 30-50 % of the time, also when we are preoccupied with other activities.

The spontaneous stream of thoughts is reduced during tasks that require concentration, and increases during routine activities and rest. During the practice of Acem Meditation, a free mental attitude often increases the spontaneous activity of the mind.

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Milder winds

Halvor Eifring

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.

Acxem MeditationAt 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…

The spontaneous activity of the mind — a key to understanding

Pär Westlund

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…

Acem Meditation may be good for your heart

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…

Patterns in romantic relationships

Anne Grete Hersoug

coupleHow 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.

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When the meditation sound is gone

By Maria Gjems-Onstad

dreamI 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.

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Meditate to be a better leader – but which meditation?

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.

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What is meditative yoga?

By Torbjørn Hobbel

Torbjørn HobbelIn 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.

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When you can’t get rid of your dreaded self

Turid Suzanne Berg-Nielsen

Imagine the following advertisement: “Pamper yourself with an Acem retreat and meet dreaded parts of yourself”. One thing is certain: it would be a quiet, peaceful retreat with very few participants! But is it true that when we close our eyes, turn our attention inwards and Acem-meditate, they’ll emerge from the deep, dark inner corners of ourselves – the awful self-images, like ghosts from our childhood (because that’s where they usually come from)? The answer is yes and no.

To meditate is to open doors inwards. If we have feelings of inferiority hidden deeply away in some inner closet, we may stumble upon them when we meditate.

Psychological maturity has a lot to do with how we handle unforeseen encounters with aspects of ourselves we like the least. Correspondingly, psychological immaturity or stagnation can manifest itself in the various ways we avoid just such confrontations. Why is this the case? Doesn’t it contradict much of popular psychology to cling to positive thoughts about ourselves and others? On the other hand, is there really any point in seeing our own shortcomings eye-to-eye?

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How do you use your brain during meditation?


Brodmann Area 47, in the prefrontal cortex, is the brain area that most specifically characterises meditative activity, but only in techniques using an open, relaxed focus of attention.

Imagine yourself lying in the grass in the forest on a pleasant summer day. You feel the warm wind, the grass tickling your legs, you hear insects buzzing nearby, you see the sunlight shining on millions of green leaves in the branches overhead. You experience a thousand little things all around you.

Then change the scene: You are now at work, preparing intensively for a meeting with your boss and several customers in an hour’s time. Co-workers try to stop by for a chat, your phone receives text messages, and it is raining outside the window. But you are not aware of any of this; you concentrate solely on the task in hand, excluding almost everything else going on around you.

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