This week on Everyday Spiritual we’re talking about forgiveness and the research has blown me away.
On a spiritual blog of course we’re going to explore the idea of forgiveness but what I found out was that forgiveness is the key to all forward progress spiritually and to your own sense of well-being and okay-ness with the world!
When we meditate we are trying to get to a state that we know produces more Alpha and Theta brain waves. These brain wave frequencies are associated with creativity, significantly reduced stress, divine insight, problem solving, and emotional resilience. The more often your brain is in these states the more you will experience all of the things I just listed.
Up to this point Transcendental Meditation has been thought to give the most benefit as far as brain wave activity. The theory behind it is that you’re not trying to do or accomplish anything as you would be in a guided meditation. Transcendental Meditation is simply clearing your mind and focusing on the breath. You may focus on one thing like a color or sound just to get your mind to quiet, or you may just do this yourself. Any thoughts that come up and witnessed but not engaged with. If/when you lose your focus you don’t judge yourself you just simply re-focus on your breathing and continue where you left off. Gently taking note of what’s happening as an observer and not engaging in anything that comes up.
Thinking thoughts like, “There’s a thought about my mom…” and then letting it go. Or if you feel an emotion like anxiety, “This is feeling anxiety…” and letting it be or letting it go. Always from the perspective of the observer.
However, I came across and article by Vishen Lakhiani, founder of Mindvalley, that is about scientists at the 40 Hours of Zen meditation retreat.
“Why the odd name? Well the scientists who developed this technology studied the brainwaves of many remarkable people. Billionaires, intuits, creatives, monks and mystics.
What they found was that when you meditate using these methods, your brain takes on the same patterns as someone who has spent 21 to 40 YEARS in Zen meditation.”
“Nothing I’ve Studied in Meditation Comes Close to This.”
They have sophisticated equipment that they have hooked many people up to during meditation – and the retreat itself has to do with you being hooked up while you meditate in order to get the most out of it and correct any mis-step you may take – and also give you feedback during your meditation sessions.
“As I drifted into different states of consciousness and tested out almost every visualization, relaxation or meditation technique I knew, I could instantly hear and see the results. This allowed me to quickly adjust and improve everything I thought I knew about meditation.”
Through this process of quantifying meditation they discovered that forgiveness meditation is far and away the best meditation to further your practice, get you into more and more favorable brain waves – and basically all of the benefits we’ve all been hoping to get out of meditation all along!
So much so that they ONLY do forgiveness meditation at this center!
“Having collected a vast amount of data, they discovered that different brainwave patterns were associated to different types of people. They studied highly creative people, Zen monks, billionaires. All of them showed very different and distinct brainwave patterns.
But what’s really exciting was that he found a way to train people to replicate these patterns.”
“We had to forgive every single person in our lives who had wronged us. Even if it was in the slightest way imaginable.
I had to forgive high school teachers. Business partners. Family members. Everyone I could think of that I believed wronged me, big or small.
And every time I did a round of forgiveness, my alpha waves would spike. The people behind the program discovered that the single biggest factor suppressing alpha waves are holding on to grudges and anger. So it was critical for us to be able to release every last bit of it out of our system.”
The forgiveness meditation that I gave you on Wednesday is a very close replica of their process. First you imagine the person and the scene of the event where the hurt took place, next you feel the hurt or anger, and finally you move on to forgiveness through seeing what the situation taught you and fostering compassion for where that person might be in their own life.
The article is amazing and you should read it!! (All quotes in this article are from it.)
Thanks for being a part of Everyday Spiritual!
Talk to you next week.