“The more consciousness you bring into the body, the stronger the immune system becomes. The body loves your attention. Most illnesses creep in when you are not present in the body. If the Master is not present in the house, all kinds of shady characters will take up residence there” – Eckhart Tolle
Last week I was privileged to attend a 5-day teacher training retreat at the Gawler Foundation where I immersed myself into the science of mindfulness meditation. Yes, that’s right, meditation has been studied vigorously by scientists around the world, and there is an abundance of evidence supporting its usefulness for improving, and in some cases, reversing the progression of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer; mental heath concerns such as depression, anxiety and stress; chronic pain and even unexplained infertility. Much of this research has been based on the pioneering work of Dr Jon Kabat Zinn.
Mindfulness meditation isn’t just for those looking to improve a problem, in fact, its power also lies in its preventative properties.
One leading researcher in the field of preventative medicine, Dr Dean Ornish has demonstrated that mindfulness meditation can lengthen telomeres, the ends of our chromosomes that control ageing. In his groundbreaking research, he found that meditation can even change the way genes are expressed by ‘turning on’ genes that are protective and ‘turning off’ genes that promote chronic diseases.
While it may seem like sitting quietly with your thoughts is ‘dead’ time, it’s actually quite the opposite. The human brain is changing itself in ways not even medicine can and it’s leading to better health outcomes and longer, more satisfying lives.
Now that I have completed my teacher training in the course known as Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation* (MBSM), I look forward to sharing this program with others. The program consists of 2-hour sessions held over 8-weeks and includes a mixture of theory and practice. Some of the topics covered are: The benefits of mindfulness meditation; the stress and relaxation response; dealing with emotions; and how to incorporate mindfulness meditation into everyday life.
While I can’t tell you whether you should meditate, if you would like to learn how to meditate, and learn a new way of managing stress that will forever change the way you deal with life’s ups and downs, then this program is for you.
The only prerequisites are that you have a mind and a body; there is no such thing as a person who can’t meditate, so I hope to see you there. To express your interest in completing the MBSM program, please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
*The Mindfulness-Based Stillness Meditation Program was developed by Dr Ian Gawler and Paul Bedson from the Gawler Foundation in Yarra Junction, Victoria. The Gawler Foundation was established in 1983 and has been running retreats since 2004 to help people prevent illness and improve their general health and wellbeing.