What is Simran?
Jan16

What is Simran?

Many people think "simran" means chanting and repeating, but that is "jap". Simran is more of a deep inner connection to God. SatNam is known as the 'seed' mantra. Join Sadasat Simran Singh as he shares many things, and leads us through a basic breathing meditation.

 

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What is Meditation?
Jan16

What is Meditation?

"Meditation is one process through which you can resolve conflict and misfortune, rather than playing it through in real life."

So what exactly is meditation? How do you do it? Well, actually meditation is like a mental "oil filter." Just as the oil filter in a car catches the dirt as the oil is circulating, so meditation catches your mental dirt so the subconscious mind is cleaned. This is how you become clear, neutral and joyful. It is an automatic process. If you don’t take a bath you start to stink. In the same way, without meditation this is how your mind gets, as the "mental dirt" piles up in your mind and effects your actions, words and whole being.

"Prayer is when the mind is one-pointed and man talks to Infinity. Meditation is when the mind becomes totally clean and receptive, and Infinity talks to the man." 

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How to Meditate
Jan16

How to Meditate

The Four Stages of Meditation

1. First, you must set yourself to meditate. It’s a good idea is to do some pranayama (breathing exercises such as alternate nostril breathing) and yoga exercises first to get your body stretched out, relaxed and energized so that your body doesn’t distract you during your meditation, plus, the energy that is stimulated by the yoga will help you meditate much better. All the energy in the central nervous system moves through the spinal cord, so you have to sit with a straight spine – all the vertebrae lined up without tension, but straight. Shoulders relaxed. That way you will not get sleepy, and will have a much more powerful experience. Meditation can be done with eyes closed and gazing at the third eye point (ajna) right in between the eyebrows, or with the eyes 9/10 closed but very slightly open ("sleepy eyes") gazing at the tip of the nose. The fixed gaze stimulates the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland and brings the brain into the alpha rhythm (relaxed but alert state) to allow yourself to let go and become absorbed into concentration. You can even meditate with your eyes open, staring at a single point such as a candle or a mandala. This is called yantra meditation. But we are going to discuss mantra meditation here, and that is much more easily done with eyes fully closed or 9/10 closed.

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5 Meditation Tips for People Who Can’t Focus
Jan16

5 Meditation Tips for People Who Can’t Focus

Just a few minutes can shift your mindset for the whole day

Meditation is more than just a stress buster. New research shows it can help boost creativity; another review found it could reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, and it could even improve decision making, in addition to a host of other health benefits.

But how can you embark on a serene course of meditation when you can barely quiet your multitasking brain long enough to finish tasks at home or at work? Here, five tips from meditation guru Amit Sood, MD, professor of medicine at the Mayo Clinic and author of The Mayo Clinic Guide to Stress-Free Living.

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Is Meditation Escapism or Experience?
Jan16

Is Meditation Escapism or Experience?

I want to talk to you about a topic which is not really talked about very much (as its scary to those who call themselves spiritual), and applies to people who meditate regularly.

This is a very deep and advanced topic that can only be understood through the experience of doing, not merely by reading this article.

There are two types of spiritual people:

1. People who meditate to escape life, "control" their emotions, thoughts, feelings. Believing there is something inherently wrong with them that needs to be "fixed" with meditation
2. People who meditate for enjoyment, alternate experience
Majority of people fall into category 1 - escapism, even if they think they are part of category 2 - experience

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The right meditation technique may not be the most popular one: SF State study
Jan16

The right meditation technique may not be the most popular one: SF State study

A new study published online July 7 in EXPLORE: The Journal of Science and Healing highlights the importance of ensuring that new meditators select methods with which they are most comfortable, rather than those that are most popular.

If they do, they are likely to stick with it, says Adam Burke, the author of the study. If not, there is a higher chance they may abandon meditation altogether, losing out on its myriad personal and medical benefits. Burke is a professor of Health Education at SF State and the director of SF State’s Institute for Holistic Health Studies.

“Because of the increase in both general and clinical use of meditation, you want to make sure you’re finding the right method for each person,” he said. Although meditation has become significantly more popular in the U.S., Burke said, there have been very few studies comparing multiple methods head to head to examine individual preference or specific clinical benefits.

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Your Brain on Yoga - a new eBook by Dr. Sat Bir Singh
Jan16

Your Brain on Yoga - a new eBook by Dr. Sat Bir Singh

Thanks to Sat Bir Khalsa for this much-needed review of research on yoga, in a format fit for public consumption. What a relief that he includes research spanning the many dimensions of the yoga path - meditation, poses, breathing practices, chanting, etc. - not just a flattened, overly-simplified view of yoga as physical practice. His comment about William Broad's provocative (sensationalized) book on the science of yoga is quite thoughtful. It's also interesting to read his personal journey into yoga research. Overall, a quick and interesting read for anyone considering yoga in a therapeutic context.

Can yoga help reduce the stress that makes you look and feel older than your years? Does yoga help elevate your mood and make you mentally sharper? Will meditation enhance your spiritual outlook or give you a sense of peace and calm? As a Harvard neuro-scientist and a yoga practitioner for more than 4o years, I'm pleased to tell you the answers are a resounding "yes." As nearly everyone knows, life can be stressful—and it's only getting worse. In the American Psychological Association's "Stress in America" survey, nearly half of the more than 1,000 respondents reported having more stress in their lives than in the past five years.

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Harvard Scientists Surprising Results of Meditation
Jan16

Harvard Scientists Surprising Results of Meditation

It turns out meditating is good for more than just quiet time: It can actually help us fight the cripplingly high stress levels we experience during our busy lives, in the office or elsewhere.

Scientists from Harvard University and the University of Sienna recently found that meditation is so powerful it can change the physiology of a person's brain, resulting in positive changes like a decrease in anxiety and depression.

The science: Scientists put 24 participants with no history of meditation through an eight-week course on best practices for, "mindfulness based stress reduction (MBSR)," fancy science talk for meditation. The course consisted of 2.5 hour sessions each week where participants learned "body scanning, sitting meditation, walking meditation and mindful stretching movements." The scientists also requested each participant perform at least 45 minutes of meditation each day. MRIs were performed before and after the meditation boot camp, and each participant answered a series of psychological evaluations to determine their stress and anxiety levels before and after the MBSR course as well.

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