Kyle Widner: Hi, I’m Kyle Widner, President and CEO of the Wild Divine. I’m excited today to have a chance to speak with you about something very near and dear to my heart. That’s helping you develop a healthy meditation practice quicker and more enjoyably than you probably ever thought possible.
I’ve been on a quest for the last several years to make it easier for people to create a healthier state of awareness when it comes to the mind-body connection. Specifically, as it relates to the practice of meditation because I know what adding a real mind-body connection to your life can do to improve your day to day outcomes in real life situations.
If you’re already practicing meditation or even if this is your first try at it, this video is for you. If you want to feel less stressed, or if you’d like to improve your ability to focus and concentrate, stick around and let Dr. Chopra help you learn some never before revealed techniques to rapidly improve the results you achieve from your meditations.
Before we move forward, let’s hear a word from Dr. Chopra on what meditation really means. Deepak, can you define what meditation really means?
Deepak Chopra: Meditation is the progressive quieting of the mind until the mind reaches a place of total stillness. In many spiritual traditions, this place of total stillness is considered to be the realm of spirit or a soul that transcends the mind, because the mind is always in an internal dialogue. Meditation techniques originally developed in great wisdom traditions both east and west were developed in order to give the person a spiritual experience. In the last 30 years or so, meditation has been used as a means for stress management, because whenever the mind quiets down, the body follows as well and because the mind and the body are inseparably one.
So, meditation has been used as a stress management tool. Why? Because stress is the perception of threat whether it’s physical or psychological, and when a person is stressed then their blood pressure rises. Their platelets get jittery. Adrenaline and cortisol goes up. The immune system gets compromised. And we know now that stress is directly or indirectly linked to the major epidemics of our civilization including heart disease and hypertension, and even cancer, infection and accelerated aging. There’s a lot of scientific proof that stress is damaging to our physical health.
And over the last 30 years, there have been over 800 publications in the scientific literature that shows that not only does meditation lower stress. But as a result of lowering stress, it actually affects these illnesses that are becoming the epidemics of our civilization. So many studies over the years have shown in scientific peerreviewed journals that meditation lowers the risk for heart disease, and for infections, and for even accidents, because accidents are a result of being distracted, and many other illnesses.
You can interpret the use of meditation for yourself. Do you want to use it just as a stress management technique? That is extremely useful. Or do you want to go deeper and actually experience that realm of consciousness which people call “The Spirit,” the universal domain of consciousness where we find our commonality.
As people learn to meditate and practice meditation, they begin to actually realize that meditation is more than stress management. They feel a progressive awakening and expansion of their consciousness. And as a result, they have more insight, more intuition, more conscious choice making, even more imagination and creativity. But they also discover a part of themselves, which being transcendental, meaning beyond space, time and causality are all part of themselves that gives them centered
awareness at all times. That gives them loss of even fear of death in many occasions, because they’ve touched a part of themselves which is beyond beginning and beyond ending.
Meditation is a very useful tool both for psychological problems and for physical problems but also for getting in touch with the essential you, which is your spirit.
Kyle Widner: We live in a world that is so fast-paced and so hectic it can get to be completely overwhelming sometimes. And when you’re in that state of overwhelmed, you can easily lose track of what’s really important. You end up engulfed by the pressures of work and social obligations, and just don’t have time to focus on something as simple as clearing your mind of all the noise, or even just breathing deeply and fully the way your body is really designed to. That’s right, I’m talking about the most basic yet fundamentally important thing we have, our breath, and how we use it. Let’s take just a moment to focus and really become aware of our breath, ready?
Breathing properly is one of the most fundamental things we can do to affect our day to day quality of life. Our bodies are meant to breathe naturally and deeply. Over time and with the chaos of our day to day lives, we often end up breathing very shallow and not from the diaphragm. It’s just in our face and mouth. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is very important. If you don’t do it, it ends up affecting the quality of your sleep. And you get that busy brain syndrome with thoughts bouncing around your brain like asteroids. With more feelings of stress and you really can’t enjoy the types of relationships that you really want to have. Learning the secrets of meditation can change all of that.
In this free video series with the help of Dr. Chopra, I’m going to show you precisely how to take what you already know about meditation, no matter how great or how small and multiply it. And if you’re still a little bit skeptical, I encourage you to stick around and find out for yourself whether meditation is a real tool you can use to improve your life or if it’s just another passing fad.
Deepak, can you talk about what scientific proof there is as to whether the benefits of meditation are real or not?
Deepak Chopra: Meditation has a lot of benefits physiologically, and it is all a result of a more balanced system, a system in your body that returns to what is called Homeostasis. Homeostasis is the selfregulation of your body. It’s also referred to as the state of dynamic non-change in the midst of change. So all of your biological parameters like blood sugar, adrenaline levels, other hormone levels, body temperature regulation, they usually stay within a certain range. When a person is very stressed, then they start to fall out of the range. It’s like setting a thermostat
You know, when you set a thermostat, the temperature remains approximately the same irrespective to what’s happening outside the room, so to your body it’s like that. It has many homeostats. And your self-regulating mechanisms which include hundreds of things, thousands of parameters actually, they will stay within a certain range. And in a healthy person, that’s how it should be. When you meditate, that helps homeostasis or selfregulation. So your biological parameters stay within a healthy range.
And that’s why meditation is of such great benefit in any condition that is linked to stress. And today we know that almost all conditions are linked to stress, that disease is not just a result of a pathogen. It’s the result of a pathogen on a susceptible stressed host. A hundred people can be exposed to the same virus, not everybody gets sick. A hundred people get exposed to the same poison, not everybody gets cancer. Similarly when you treat people with conventional medicine there is a variation in the host’s response. And more and more people are now convinced in the scientific world that the variation depends on whether you have the ability to selfregulate, whether you’d remain in centered awareness or whether you’re overshadowed by the things happening around you, so that the stress overwhelms your ability for the self-regulation response which is built in into us.
So instead of having this stressful response or the fight-flight response, your body now has what is called the restful awareness response.
Kyle Widner: So, can you tell us some of the real benefits of meditation?
Deepak Chopra: In summary, meditation is good for your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being. It decreases anxiety and enhances: insight, intuition, creativity, conscious choice making, improves your sleep, it gives you more energy and balances your hormonal system. It helps you self-regulate your biology so that you have lower blood pressure and decreased risk for stress related illnesses. And in the end, it enhances also your relationships and your ability to make wise decisions.
Kyle Widner: Interesting. So in other words, if a person is able to learn to selfregulate using something like meditation, they get all of these benefits like feeling more rested, and more aware, and genuinely feeling more present. That is why improving your meditation practice is so important to me personally. Thanks for joining us for this free video series.