"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."
Mindfulness practices aim to reduce mind wandering, while Acem Meditation allows spontaneous thoughts, images and sensations to pass freely, in order to increase stress tolerance, robustness and energy. Øyvind Ellingsen, MD PhD, explores similarities and differences.
The leading exponent of mindfulness meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn, urges us to be less concerned with "doing" and more concerned with "being". It's quite poetic, until you begin to ask what he is actually saying. For meditation isn't just about "being", but just as much about "doing", even if you do it with closed eyes. It is a practice, and its long-term psychological changes help you develop less rigid modes of behaviour.
On a recent visit to Oslo, Jon Kabat-Zinn spoke about mindfulness. Much of it was good and interesting. But doesn't his suggestive (and very digressive!) style sometimes resemble mood making more than mindfulness?
I started to meditate regularly four years ago, and since then, little by little I started to feel better. My outside world was the same (same work, same family, same house, and more or less the same friends – except that the number of Acem friends increased), so it was evident that the reason for […]
An old monk with his rosary in a noisy temple in Beijing becomes an emblem of the mindfulness produced by long-term practice of meditation. In daily life, the effects may be less obviously impressive, but even more meaningful?