Archive

Author Archives: James Rink

Garrett Gunderson
CONTRIBUTOR
I write about wealth-building and personal finance for entrepreneurs.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
Gary Vaynerchuk, the vocal social media entrepreneur, says meditation is going to be the “next big business wave.” And why shouldn’t it be? Increased creativity, improved focus, reduced stress and anxiety and more without breaking a sweat — what’s not to like? If some entrepreneur does find a way to help meditation catch on with the masses, it will only be catching up to what Bill Harris, founder of CenterPointe Research Institute and creator of Holosync, has known for the past 25 years. And it’s not just that meditation helps you relax, it actually changes the makeup of your brain to improve your cognitive abilities.

Bill Harris, author of The New Science of Super Awareness and creator of Holosync, has been teaching the benefits of meditation for decades.
Bill Harris, author of The New Science of Super Awareness and creator of Holosync, has been teaching the benefits of meditation for decades.

Recent studies have shown that practicing meditation increases gray matter in the brain. And that can lead to improved focus, enhanced memory and reduced stress among other benefits. I’ve made meditation a part of my morning routine for the last several years, often with the help of Holosync, and have noticed a huge difference in my life. And Harris recently released his new book, The New Science of Super Awareness, so I gave him a call to hear his thoughts on the world of meditation today. Here are some of the highlights of our conversation:

What Do You Think Of The Latest Brain Studies On Meditation?

“The new brain science discoveries are absolutely astounding,” Harris said. “It’s really an exciting time. What scientists now know is that all typical human problems like anxiety, lack of motivation, lack of confidence, depression, brain fog and inability to make decisions are the result of parts of the brain either being overactive or underactive.
“And to go to the other side of the coin, things that people want — like more creativity, more confidence, more motivation, the ability to enter flow states and on and on — these are also a function of the brain. And meditation enhances the part of the brain that you need enhanced, and calms the part of the brain you need to calm. So things that used to be thought of as being very, very difficult to [change] now can be changed much more easily.”

 

Who Is Meditation Good For?

As an entrepreneur, meditation helps me stay focused, creative and calm. I have less stress and anxiety, and I have more energy to face everyday problems in my business and find solutions. But meditation can benefit anyone who relies on their brain, entrepreneur or not, as Harris points out:

“Meditation also applies to the corporate environment because if someone can become more creative, have higher levels of pattern-recognition, greater confidence, greater motivation, greater focus, greater concentration, less anxiety and less brain fog, obviously they’re going to be more valuable to a company.”

Why Does Meditation Work?

Harris believes that your brain is in conflict: “There’s a war going on inside your brain. There are two main parts, and depending on which one is running the show, your life can be quite different.”

You’ve likely heard about the Stanford Marshmallow Test from the late 1960s. Researchers stuck kids in a room alone with one marshmallow and proposed a deal. The researcher would leave the room for several minutes, and if the child could refrain from eating the marshmallow until the researcher returned several minutes later, they could have a second marshmallow. It was a test to see if kids could delay gratification. Some of the kids could, and some couldn’t. But what researchers discovered by monitoring these kids throughout adulthood is that the kids who could delay gratification were more likely to be successful in life.

Harris has followed the study for decades, including a 2011 update that utilized modern brain scan technology: “When brain imaging came into vogue, they found out that those who could delay gratification had very strong robust prefrontal cortexes [which controls] problem solving, learning from mistakes, creativity, pattern recognition, rational thinking, delaying gratification, will-power, etc. And they had very calm limbic systems. The other kids, that couldn’t delay gratification, had overactive limbic systems and small, not very functional prefrontal cortexes.”

The Prefrontal Cortex Versus The Limbic System

“The limbic system, when it’s overactive, does two main things that are problematic,” Harris said. “One is that it’s the source of fight or flight. Which is great if you have a life threatening situation, but because modern life is so stressful, people go into fight or flight when they can’t find their cell phone temporarily, or when someone cuts them off or when someone disagrees with them in a meeting — a million things that are not life threatening. When you go into fight or flight, blood flows away from your brain into extremities so you can fight or flee. You can’t look at long term consequences, you lose IQ points and you do stupid stuff that you later regret.

“The other thing that the limbic system does that’s problematic is that it’s the source of intense, momentary desires like eating stuff that you know isn’t good for you, or losing your temper or blowing off exercising or procrastinating. And so on and so on.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/garrettgunderson/2016/06/28/the-science-is-in-and-meditation-may-be-the-next-big-business-opportunity/#2431d7d723c0

Dina Kaplan
CONTRIBUTOR
I founded The Path and write about living mindfully.

Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

When I started meditating, I knew it would make me calmer. It would slow my racing mind and help me project a less frantic energy. I wanted to feel, and be, more relaxed.

I wanted this for my personal life.

But meditation had a profound impact I didn’t expect on my professional life. It dramatically improved my skills at negotiation.

I used to be a terrible negotiator. I often didn’t get what I wanted and angered whomever I was negotiating with — the worst of both worlds!

Once I began meditating, this changed dramatically. I went from almost never getting what I wanted and leaving people upset to being so successful it almost scares me. Now I accomplish what I need and leave my counterpart feeling good about the deal and our relationship.

All this changed from meditating 20 minutes a day.

What happened?

First, meditation quiets your mind, which creates space to absorb more information than you could imagine collecting. You begin to notice what people are telling you in addition to their words, such as their vibe, tone and body language. As legendary management guru Peter Drucker said, “The most important thing in communication is hearing what isn’t said.” Albert Mehrabian, a professor at UCLA, has done extensive research on this and wrote in his book Silent Messages that communication is 55% body language, 38% tone of voice and 7% what you actually say.

Before I began meditating, I was a good listener. As a former TV reporter, I had trained my mind to focus on each word someone uttered, so I could quote back whatever that person said. But I had room for nothing else. I missed paying attention to people’s facial expressions, pitch, eye contact, gestures and more. And so I missed clues to what was personal to someone or professional and data about what was important to someone and what wasn’t.

Because you reduce the thoughts in your mind when you meditate, you gain intuition and begin noticing subtle signals from people, such as when they look away, start playing with their hair or speak with a more emotional tone. Now my gut picks up on these cues and I sense, for example, when someone is sharing a key point. There’s a term for this: emotional awareness. (In their Harvard Business Review case study “Nonverbal Communication in Negotiation,” Michael A. Wheeler and Dana Nelson write about how much communication is not conscious — I add that our input on the listener’s side is subconscious, too. The meditator picks up on things you couldn’t tangibly explain.)

This information is negotiation gold. Nonverbal signals convey crucial information. In an often-cited study published in the European Journal of Social Psychology, Michael Argyle concludes that nonverbal channels are 12.5 times more powerful than the verbal channel.

There’s another benefit, too. When negotiating in the past, I focused on getting a particular result. This had the unfortunate effect of making whomever I was negotiating with feel backed into a corner. I left her with nowhere to go, which is a good way to make someone want to rebel or just say, “No!” As written in How to Negotiate, “No one likes to feel helpless.” This builds up resentment that can hurt a deal and a relationship in the long term.

This changed when I began studying Buddhism, the philosophy behind my meditation practice. Buddhists place far less importance on outcomes than your average Westerner. I find the more I meditate, the more I focus on saying what’s important to me and being honest, rather than simply getting what I want. What does this mean? Over time, as you meditate, you become less attached to outcomes. And the people you interact with and negotiate with feel less cornered and more free to make a decision that can be mutually beneficial.

Just taking a moment of meditation can make a difference. (Photo courtesy of Pexels)
Just taking a moment of meditation can make a difference. (Photo courtesy of Pexels)

Meditation makes you more empathetic, too, which transforms how you relate to people while negotiating. I now go into a negotiation so focused on the process, I often find myself saying (and believing) that I only want to do win/win deals. I encourage the person I’m negotiating with to walk away if the deal doesn’t feel right. When people believe you’re looking out for their best interest, that level of trust helps to close deals, especially if it’s a long-term partnership. As Professor Deepak Malhotra writes in the Harvard Business Review piece “6 Ways to Build Trust in Negotiations, ”establishing trust is critical to achieving success in any negotiation.”

These skills — building trust, focusing on right actions and words, not fixating on outcomes and reducing the clutter in your mind, have a powerful impact on your ability to negotiate. I also believe they make you lighter overall, more carefree and joyous. Perhaps that, too, makes you more pleasant to negotiate with and to work with, too. I’m not perfect on this front, but I’m on my path. And I’m curious to hear if you meditate, have you noticed an impact on your negotiation skills? Please let me know what you’ve discovered in comments below.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/dinakaplan/2016/07/13/meditation-a-secret-superpower-for-negotiation/#72f44e602dcc

Jul 11, 2016

2016-07-11-1468212837-3810917-scooteruniverse225.jpg

Meditation is everywhere. Angelina Jolie meditates. Ellen DeGeneres meditates. Dr. Oz meditates! Oprah and Deepak Chopra present live webcasts to more than half a million people from around the world in their 21-day meditation challenges. Even Clint Eastwood meditates!

In America, more than ten million adults have a daily meditation practice, and those are just the ones that participated in the poll. Meanwhile, many more of us are quietly meditating in our homes and offices.

Furthermore, scientific studies are showing, by testing yogis, meditators, and mystics of every kind, what has been long been known: meditation really works. It strengthens the immune system, lessens the effects of depression, and lowers blood pressure, just to name a few benefits. Meditating even improves the way we age.

Meditation is being used in every kind of setting, from hospitals to prisons. It is being used to help alleviate the effects of stress and chronic pain. Meditation is even being used to help people through the process of dying. Schools are using meditation to assist children with hyperactivity and keep them off drugs. It is being used worldwide by groups numbering in the millions to purposefully raise humanity’s consciousness to a new level. Meditation is sweeping the Western world!

So what is meditation?

Most of us imagine someone sitting cross-legged on a mountaintop in India. But for most, meditation doesn’t fit this stereotypical image. It is rather a simple daily practice, done at home sitting on the couch, or at the office on lunch break. We do it to keep our balance, to find our center, and to stay present – even when things are difficult – especially when things are difficult.

Life can be so overwhelming. We can get distracted, distraught, confused and overwhelmed by the sheer volume of life. We are bombarded with information and stimulation. There’s so much to do. We are trying so hard to make money, raise kids, to be a good person. We get over-stimulated, over-amped, and finally overwhelmed.

There’s never been a time in history where ADHD and all kinds of other nervous disorders and immune system diseases have been more rampant. We eat too much; we work too hard. We swing from gung-ho exercise programs and massive dieting, to total lethargy and Big Macs. We are a bi-polar nation. We are desperately looking for meaning and simplicity.

We are looking for a way to get back to ourselves – to that part of us that is sacred . . . and it’s been right there all along.

Meditation reconnects us to that simplicity and meaning. It awakens that part of ourselves that is always already connected. When we meditate we have the actual experience of inner peace and a deep inner calm. It’s like the feeling after having returned from a long vacation; you return rested with a greater sense of well being, but also a broader perspective of your life, and for a while we have a whole new outlook. With a meditation practice, you can have that experience every day.

People by the thousands are turning to meditation every single day, because we’re just plain overwhelmed. We’re stressed out and pissed off. We feel powerless, worried, unworthy, or worse, apathetic. All of these states are conditions of being disconnected – which creates pain. We are in pain because we are disconnected.

Meditation helps us to reconnect to our higher knowing. And the really good news is that it’s easy. It’s simple to do and as normal as breathing. Meditation gives you back your most true and authentic self. When we meditate we begin to feel more and more calm, more sure, and guided in every moment. Meditation takes you where you are, accepts you, and gently, lovingly, and in perfect timing, takes you back to yourself.

So, don’t be surprised if you find out your accountant meditates or your next door neighbor does. Wouldn’t you love to know that the nurse that is caring for you meditates? Or your lawyer? The more conscious we all are, the better this world will become. Where there is consciousness, there is compassion.

Meditation is a return to love. It is a return to your deepest inner knowing and that place within yourself you have always been seeking. Meditation literally makes yourworld a better place, and therefor, this world a better place.

Meditation will take you home. It creates a clear path to real peace and happiness. The place to start is exactly where you are, and the time is now.

Diana Lang is a spiritual teacher and author of
OPENING TO MEDITATION – http://www.DianaLang.com

Remaining cool and calm is one of the biggest challenges during summer. The soaring temperatures and general discomfort leads to stress, aggression, anxiety and other forms of mental dissonance.

To help counter this, meditation — commonly known as the “mental gym” — is becoming popular among UAE residents.

Pierre Ravan, a trainer at Heartfulness centre, calls himself a lifestyle instructor and thinks spirituality is for everybody. Talking about how he encourages young people to practice meditation by conducting ‘healthy parties’ for them, he said: “We try to make people happy and alive through our sessions at centres across all over UAE. We have a prominent presence in many countries, including US, UK, Europe, India, and Africa.”

What does meditation do for the mind and body? As food creates energy and provides nutrition to the body, mediation powers the mind and soul. It relaxes and cleanses the mind without controlling it, and results in better powers of concentration for the individual.

Vidya, an HR professional, said: “I started mediating because I was suffering in my mind. Fear and anxiety made me a nervous person; I couldn’t concentrate on anything. Then a friend introduced me to this beautiful practice. I am a changed person now, full of positivity and willingness to accept things the way they are.”

Theta Healing for a Healthy Mind

The unique technique of Theta healing helps transform deep rooted negative beliefs and boosts the power to deal with setbacks in life. This particular meditation method was founded by Vianna Stibal, and it promotes physical, emotional and spiritual well-being.

“ThetaHealing has not just changed my perspective on life, but also my relationships with people. I have seen magnificent shifts occur in people, mentally and physically, when they truly realise that waking up to life is a beautiful experience. I focus on the belief that we are here to live, not to survive. Just practicing this mediation everyday for a few minutes lets you transcend to a happy state,” stated Roshni Pillai, who was conducting a workshop.

Smart Meditation at Labour Accommodations

The ‘Smart Meditation’ initiative by SmartLife NGO organises mediation classes at various labour accommodations in Dubai. ‘Smart Meditation’ focuses on uplifting the mental fitness of the blue collar workers. Each workshop accommodates approximately 30 blue collar men or women.

Manjula Ramakrishnan, spokesperson from SmartLife, informed: “We have 3-day workshops scheduled from July 21 to 23, to be held for Al Ahmediya Contracting employees. Earlier, two workshops were conducted exclusively for women from Chicago Ladies Camp in Al Quoz.”

Nanjoba Winfred from Uganada, who attended the ladies workshop, says: “Complete relaxation is what I learnt and experienced from the session, and this comes from regular practice. My inner peace has multiplied with the help of meditation.”

Mohan Bandela, manager of Al Ahmediyah labour accommodation, adds: “Many people are aware of the huge benefits of yoga and meditation, but do not know how to go about it. Hence, we look forward to this workshop and hope to make it a daily practice”.

ankita@khaleejtimes.com

 

How to start the meditation practice

Expert Speak (Harpreet Kalra, trainer @ Heartfulness)

· Wake up early

· Meditate for 30-45 Minutes a day

· Eat light

· Develop acceptance

· Stop blaming others

· Be aware of your thoughts and reaction patterns

· Try not to attending to unnecessary thoughts and reactions

· Try to tune into your heart

http://www.khaleejtimes.com/summer-mental-cool-with-meditation-theta-healing

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 2,352 other followers