The longer or more seriously an individual practices meditation, the greater the likelihood that his or her goals and efforts will shift toward personal and spiritual growth. Tibetan Buddhist practice includes meditation as a crucial component for one’s development. Meditating can help develop calmness and tranquility, reduce stress, increase health and enable a richer, deeper, experience of life.

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As hearing the dharma teachings may be seen as “eating” food, and pondering the teachings may be viewed as “digesting” food, we see the results of meditation on our minds as similar to the nourishing of the body following the eating and digesting of nutritious food. Quite beneficial, indeed. Simply put, it is through our meditation that we experience the mindfulness and awareness that leads to wisdom and the opening of the heart from which compassion and loving-kindness spring.

Many of our members are “beginning” meditators. While we meditate at each of our gatherings, our meditations currently do not extend past 30 minutes or so, and are frequently of shorter duration. The Chenrezig Project provides a peaceful and friendly environment in which to learn meditation according to Tibetan Buddhist traditions. It is a wonderful experience to meditate in a group in which one feels secure and supported.
We currently do both one-pointed and guided (analytical) meditations. In the near future, as well as continuing with simple meditations, we will be scheduling meditation events in which the focus will be deeper meditation of longer duration. While we tend to focus more on the spiritual benefits of a mediation practice, reported physiological and psychological benefits of meditation:

Physiological Benefits

  • Deep rest (as measured by decreased metabolic rate), lower heart rate, reduced work load of the heart
  • Decreased high blood pressure
  • Higher skin resistance. Low skin resistance is correlated with higher stress and anxiety levels
  • Drop in cholesterol levels. High cholesterol is associated with cardiovascular disease
  • Improved flow of air to the lungs resulting in easier breathing. This has been very helpful to asthma patients

Psychological Benefits

  • Greater creativity
  • Decreased anxiety
  • Decreased depression
  • Decreased irritability and moodiness
  • Improved learning ability and memory
  • Increased self-actualization
  • Increased feelings of vitality and rejuvenation
  • Increased happiness
  • Increased emotional stability