• How many folks on the site meditate? And does that help with stress and anxiety?

    Asked by AlizaMLS on Friday, March 15, 2013

    How many folks on the site meditate? And does that help with stress and anxiety?

    If you are a meditator (don't reply if you aren't please), tell us about how you got into meditation, whether it was before, during your diagnosis, or afterwards and what it did for you in terms of keeping stress at bay. Also what kind of meditation do you practice? And where did you learn it? A center, a teacher, a book? Thanks again for your answers.

    12 Answers from the Community

    12 answers
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      I can start the ball rolling by answering my own question here. (I'm AlizaMLS, a BC patient and retired Medical Librarian).

      I began meditating in 1989. That was a difficult year. I separated from my husband and had my daughter who was age 2. My girlfriend was a TM (Transcendental Meditation) Instructor and advised me because I was extremely anxious, to get some meditation instruction (not from her because she was too close to me [there's an ethical component with regard to their philosophy]) but from a TM Center, so that's what I did. If you Google TM or Transcendental Meditation you can get the entire history of the movement which was much more popular years ago when the founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was alive - he was the fellow who influenced the Beatles (some of you may remember) and ultimately (for other reasons), they wrote their song "Sexy Sadie" about him and his "activities". Back to meditation,

      Yes, it helps. I have a mantra that I use that is my own (given to me by the teacher at the TM center) and it helps me to refocus and concentrate on the breath-most meditation does that. I know from reading about it and practicing it as well that Zen meditation does that as well, though I am not seasoned at sitting zazen. With TM you are supposed to sit for 20 minutes twice daily. I was very good about it in the beginning and at various times in my life,. I will confess that I have not meditated since I was diagnosed last August-I think you'd have had to tie me down first, because of stress. I wished I would have done many of the things I advise other people to do then like get in touch with CancerCare earlier. However it's never too late to go back to. I just bought meditation music at one of the boutiques at Sloan Kettering and am looking forward to listening to that and I think I will try TM. Meditation is hard in the beginning because other thoughts always float in-daily concerns, here-cancer, and you must learn just to let them float in and then say your mantra to yourself and bring yourself back to the breath because there is only Now!

      over 4 years ago
    • nancyjac's Avatar
      nancyjac

      I have meditated as needed for years long before I had cancer. Don't have any idea anymore how I got into it, how I learned and I didn't know there are different types of meditation, so I don't know if why I do has a particular name or not. I never went to a center or took a class, just me and a couple of friends go into it years back. I don't use music or mantras or anything else, it is just finding a mental focus/visualization and letting everything else go. Most of the time it literally puts me to sleep because I get so totally relaxed.

      over 4 years ago
    • GregP_WN's Avatar
      GregP_WN

      Our most recent blog post is on this subject. Here is a link to it. https://www.whatnext.com/blog/posts/healing-body-and-mind-with-meditation

      And NO I don't do it, does that mean I'm in trouble because I answered?

      over 4 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      Greg,

      We'll let it go this time that you're not a Meditator because you placed a link!! But since you answered you are now required to choose and learn a form of Meditation and write a 15 page essay on it which you will submit to me and which will be graded. This is due by Monday and I don't grade on a curve...;)
      Also be sure to include footnotes and a bibliography (and don't plagiarize - I can smell Wikipedia at 50 paces...;)

      AlizaMLS

      over 4 years ago
    • Nomadicme's Avatar
      Nomadicme

      I started mediating recently and it's not tied to any philosophy (it is tied to a branch of cognitive behavioral theory). As I've just started I do only 10 minutes a day, I close my eyes and focus on my breathing. If thoughts keep coming into my head then I also count breaths. I'm finding it relaxes me some, hopefully with more time/practice I'll see more gains.

      over 4 years ago
    • Gena's Avatar
      Gena

      Prayer is my meditation and I do it daily. Did not do it regularly before diagnosis. I can release all of my worries and frustrations and be thankful for all the blessings I have been given. It helps me realize I am not alone in this fight.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      I think there is great befit from meditation even for children. I have meditated for many years I just didn't know it. I am learning alot from the Deepak series and enjoying it. I think it helps anyone find some "me" time that is difficult to get these days yet its so important.

      over 4 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar
      CAS1

      The first introduction on the Deepak series states" No need to get into a yogi postition in order to meditate" I just love that about Deepaks approch to meditation. He is factual.

      Its down to earth and not at all pretentious.

      I have a friend who spent last week at his camp and just had the best experience. And he offers a dvd with the guided meditation series he is currently offering for free.

      So far I think its been great and I am grateful for this free program.

      over 4 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      I've done yoga and meditation on and off for 34 years. Mindfulness is the buzz word these days, and there's a mindfulness meditation book that teaches the technique in 8 weeks. I liked the book. 12 years ago I went through the 10-day intensive Vipassana training in Mossyrock, WA. They said that mantras keep you from "going further" - they have worked with people using mantras and re-wiring the brain from TM hasn't been successful. 30 years ago read a book about Sufi practices - a Turkish poobah worked with a woman who had been "wired" for TM and she was all but catatonic when he worked with her. Take it or leave it. The mindfulness meditation technique is good, but if you were raised in a religious order, stick to that because of the wiring, and simply pray. There is scientific evidence that meditation (exclusive of yoga) has the effect of calming the person and allowing the person to observe rather than react to events.

      over 4 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      Dear Fiddler,

      What you mentioned re Vipissana meditation is interesting. I've also practiced "Mindfulness Meditation" (as per Joan Borysenko) as well, but I must say that using TM as a meditation tool really didn't make me catatonic...;) (Don't worry I didn't take it personally-just observing what you said). I was very much able to get up from my meditations refreshed and go back to my role as a single mom to my daughter, to a graduate student in library school or a Librarian as things progressed. We didn't have too many catatonic Librarians where I worked (catatonic patrons sometimes, catatonic librarians - no!)...;)

      over 4 years ago
    • fiddler's Avatar
      fiddler

      Aliza, no need to take it personally anyway - you missed what I said. I didn't say TM caused catatonia in the woman - I said that it was after she started practicing Sufism. The book (and cd link for assisted daily practice) that I like is "Mindfulness: An 8 Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World", by Mark Williams and Denny Penman, published by Rodale Press.

      over 4 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar
      AlizaMLS

      For those of you who might be interested in what TM (Transcendental Meditation) is like or about, their website is www.TM.org. They have an interesting interview with Jerry Seinfeld there (YouTube) about it (he's a practitioner) from one of the morning talkshows and I also saw that Paul McCartney is a practitioner as well. I'm not pushing it (nope, I don't get paid for locating recruits for the TM movement...;)) just thought you'd find it interesting.

      Another site on meditation that I found that was interesting was The Secular Buddhist Association. Their URL is: http://secularbuddhism.org/2013/03/12/the-whiners-meditation-guide/

      I can also think of several other people to mention who've written books on mindfulness and/or meditation and they include: The Dalai Lama, Joan Borysenko ("Minding The Body, Mending the Mind), Bernie Glassman ("Instructions for the Cook"), Pema Chodron, John Daido Loori, et al.

      over 4 years ago

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