"Which is better for your body: meditation or exercise?" asks The Telegraph journalist Jonathan Wells on 23 March 2016. "On the surface, it seems like an obvious decision - physical exercise can strengthen our muscles, bones and heart, and has been proven to promote the production of oxytonin and other 'feel-good' chemicals. Whilst meditation is, well, a fad. Right? Wrong. Or, at least, possibly wrong."
Under the title “Modern Meditation - A practice without the complexities of traditional systems”, the Malaysian newspaper The Sun has recently published an interview with Acem’s founder Dr. Are Holen. Acem Meditation, starting in Norway in 1966, is described as a “no-fuss” approach to meditation - a non-religious technique that is unlike traditional meditation - one sits comfortably and gently repeats a simple sound in the mind.
"Here are three novel techniques to help you de-stress," writes MORE, an American magazine "for women of style and substance". One of the techniques they recommend for those who want to "chill out" is Acem Meditation, because it does not ask you to empty your mind, but allows thoughts and impressions to come and go freely. This "makes this Norwegian verson much easier for some people."
The course venue was Cuatre Camins, a prison outside Barcelona, with prisoners convicted of drug crimes, violence and murder. Those who go through a rehabilitation programme may be rewarded with leaves and possibly even earlier release. The programme includes learning Acem Meditation and practising the techinque for at least two months, after which continued meditation practice is optional.
If I hadn’t meditated, I wouldn’t have had the necessary self-confidence, but last autumn I applied for a promotion at work. I didn’t have the courage to do such things before, but have developed more trust in myself.
“When I was looking for a meditation technique, I looked for a method I could use to improve myself. I was particularly interested in the psychological aspects. Acem Meditation looked promising. Since I like to prepare and know what things are about, I read the information about scientific aspects of the technique on the website. Rather than just following the road already defined, I prefer an open-ended process."
For Elia Camacho, it took time before she finally decided to learn to meditate. “I had heard about meditation, but did not start before I moved from Mexico to Spain, after talking with a friend who had some experience. I chose Acem Meditation because it is non-religious.”
It is a wild mixture of everything you might possibly be interested in: TV personalities, storytellers, famous politicians, members of parliament, spiritual gurus, proponents of alternative energy, as well as some of India's most popular singers, healers, and fortune tellers. In the midst of all this, Acem India Chairman Torbjørn Hobbel is awarded the International Wellness Award for his outstanding contribution in the field of meditation.
The meditation sound should be adjusted to the spontaneous activities of the mind. When the meditation is more on the silent side, we repeat the meditation sound more subtly than usual. Attempting new ways of repeating the sound will involve increasing our inner freedom, beyond what we are usually capable of. We should not be restricted by habitual patterns of reaction. The challenge is to meet the new situations with an open mind.