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Hi Patres,

You seem like exactly the type of person that would benefit the most from meditation. When I first started the program nine months ago, I started messing around with meditation just because it was part of the program and I felt like I ought to do it.

Now nine months on, I am starting to regard meditation as the single-most important part of the program. I am now practising for 30 minutes everyday and I can't remember feeling more calm and more focussed for a long time. If I happen to miss a session, then I can really notice the difference. There is so much to be said for trying to still the barrage of (mostly) useless thoughts that inundate us every day. Clearing these thoughts really allows one to think about the things that really matter in a clutter-free environment; it also helps in maximally enjoying and living each moment (mindfulness). When you are living with a condition such as MS where the future will always be somewhat uncertain, this is essential.

I like the works of John Kabat-Zinn. He is completely non-religious and non-mystical which appeals to me. Kabat-Zinn says that you don't have to like the meditation, you just have to do it. It was a little bit like that for me at first but now I wouldn't be without my meditation for all the tea in China.

Try it. Don't expect to reach nirvana or anything - it's really not about that, don't even expect to enjoy it. In fact don't expect anything at all - it really is about that. A little bit of time out of each day is all it takes and fully worth it I think.

Gareth
Thanks for the comments Gareth. Yes, I am exactly the kind of person that needs meditation. A

I have just finished the book. I plan to re-read it and go through the exercises. It's going to take more than a little effort to free my mind from the assault of thoughts that come every minute! I never realized it before. Even while getting a massage, I am thinking, thinking, thinking! I never want to waste time.

I have been practicing mindfulness all weekend and I am getting the idea that I can do this.

This might possibly be the most useful book I have ever read. It brought to light some things about myself that I was not aware of. Actually some things hit me like a ton of bricks, but in a positive way.

I have moved more than 15 times because I like the excitement of newness - new home, new apartment, new city, etc. Doing some of the exercises in the book led me to the conclusion that I don't need to keep moving (literally and figuratively) to be 'happy'. Major revelation to me. My whole family will be happier if I could actually relax.

This crazy MS is leading me on a bizarre journey.......
.........I'm on that journey too my friend.I am honestly coming to the conclusion that MS is a gift given to me to give me the jolt that I needed to make sure that I live my life right. Crazy but true.

Gareth
After finishing the Happiness Trap and Catastrophe, I must say I can feel myself changing. I am becoming more mindful of everything I do.

Some of the changes that are taking place in me:

- I am stopping to really look at things. I was driving to my job and I was noticing all the other people going to work too. I looked left and right in traffic and noticed the actual people in these cars, all in the same boat as me - driving to work, contributing to society, etc. Sounds a little silly, but before they were just annoying cars to deal with.

- I am smiling more. Not sure why, but I just feel more peaceful.

- I am not rushing to do things. I am taking the extra moment to move through my day without the useless hurry I had before.

- I am noticing all my feelings, good and bad and not judging myself.

- I can meditate for about 20 minutes, and I can do the 'body scan' sometimes without falling asleep.

I can't thank you all enough for the information on this forum. While I am only about 5% where I need to be in terms of meditation and relaxation, every little change counts.
Ol1,

Meditation improves endothelial function?

I couldn't find any research showing this. I did find one showing that meditation had no impact on endothelial function: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17007170. Would you please find some links.

Thanks.

Rebecca
Hi Rebecca,

Sorry it was reported at a conference in a pilot study but did so some statistically significant results.

http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/739 ... &src=nldne

Either way, it is beside the point. It is without a doubt in my mind a practice that is beneficial.

Hope this helps,

Otto

Also check out http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/co ... 05973.html
Nice discussion, I'd just like to add one thing... Trying hard and meditation can't even be in the same sentence. >Meditation is about relaxing and allowing, not trying hard.

Western society is all about competition, hard work, trying hard, pushing against (whatever), fighting... while meditation is just the opposite - it's about doing nothing. :)
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