Monday, August 15, 2011


When I was a young boy, about seven or eight years old, my dad would often meditate. He would lay on the ground or on a bed that served as a couch in the living room. Sometimes I would join him. We would lay next to each other, each with a hand on the other's belly noticing each other's breath and slowing it down. I remember that I was usually much better at slowing my breathing down.
Today sometimes I meditate and when I attempt to breathe evenly and slowly I begin to feel the sort of anxiety you get when you feel like you don't get enough oxygen. I ponder why it was that I could slow down my breathing so much and without the sense of anxiety when I was a kid. I thought maybe it was the innate innocence of childhood that let me relax so completely and trust myself in my breathing. I thought it was maybe because as a child I had less things to feel anxious about.
But that wasn't the case. At that time my parents had just recently divorced and so I had plenty of anxiety in my life. So maybe I was able to relax so freely and breathe so slowly and evenly because breathing together, you connect. And connecting with my father put me at ease, made me feel like everything was going to be just fine.
Whatever it was, the experience left a lasting impression. I remember something that I believe is part of the very essence of meditation: a very deep connection with yourself and your own body. Unless you stop and take five and actually pay attention you often notice very little of your own body. But set aside some time and focus only on your breathing and you can connect with yourself in a whole new way.
What's amazing, is that there have been several studies conducted, that show a direct effect on the immune system from meditation. Not only does meditation result in measurable increases in activity in areas of the brain that are associated with positive moods and optimism, but there many experiments that have shown meditation leads to improved immune system function and response.
So, give yourself a bit of time... to connect with yourself. It's good for you!

1 comment:

  1. Love this entry, Flo. I'm definitely going to do some sort of meditation with my kids in the classroom! Thanks for sharing :)