I highly recommend trying a meditation I recently was introduced to by Dr. Daniel Amen. I have tried and recommended many meditation. It is not unusual for folks to have difficulty meditating. They get discouraged and give up. This is by far the easiest, most practical and rewarding one I’ve found and the results for me and my clients are so positive we want to do it every day.
What Makes It So Great
Here’s why people can do this meditation more easily and it make a daily habit.
- Meditation has many advantages but sometimes they are gradual and subtle, not readily apparent. So thinking it’s not, “working” folks will stop doing the meditation. With this meditation the positive results are readily noticeable, sometimes even the same day, often unexpected, long-lasting and benefits increase over time.
- Some meditations are long, making it hard to fit into the demands on our time and our busy schedules. This meditation is only 12 minutes long.
- Other meditations often involve sitting in particular positions and require complicated breathing patterns that prevent us from actually meditating. Instead, we are focused on “doing it right” and find the whole process unpleasant. This meditation has easy, simple directions and allows us to breathe normally. Our breathing pattern may change while doing the meditation but it will do so on its own.
- It is normal for our mind to wander during meditation. The mind will wander and the goal is not to stop it from wandering but to bring the mind back to the focus of the meditation. In some meditations, it is so easy for an active brain to wander we have to bring our attention back again and again and again, to the point that it becomes so frustrating people just quit. With this meditation the mind is less likely to wander because it is kept busy. You’ll see why when you read the description of what to do.
Here’s What It’s Called
This is the Kirtan Kriya meditation. It is a spoken meditation. There has been extensive research showing that practicing it for 12 minutes a day for eight weeks brings blood flow to important regions of the brain, especially to the part of the brain called the prefrontal cortex where clear thinking and good decision-making occurs. It’s also the place in the brain that puts the brakes on troublesome impulses and corrects useless or harmful thoughts and feelings. This results in better decisions, improved memory and mood levels, and a reduction in anxiety, tension and fatigue. These positive effects have been quantified on brain scans where changes in the brain can be seen immediately and eight weeks later.
In fact, the Alzheimer’s Research and Prevention Foundation based in Arizona strongly recommends this technique to help recover from the damage of Parkinson’s disease.
Note: Although there is no reason to expect you would become uncomfortable physically or mentally while doing this meditation, should that happen, stop as soon as you notice.
Here’s How to Do It
- Find a time and place where you won’t be interrupted, can sit comfortably and have a digital clock in easy line of site. For example, I put my cell phone in my lap. You do not need to sit or breathe any particular way. But do put your feet on the floor.
Personally I find that if I’ve been slumping I begin to sit up straighter automatically while I’m doing the medication and if I’ve been breathing shallowly by breath deepens, on its own but not everyone has that experience, so don’t worry if you don’t.
- When you are ready, close your eyes.
- Then you will be doing two things:
- Repeating four sounds – Saa, Taa, Naa, Maa. Sounds like Saw, Tau, Naw, Maw.
- While you say these words over and over you will be touching the tip of your thumb to the tip of one of your fingers: first to your index finger (Saa), then to your middle finger (Taa); then your ring finger (Naa) and then your little finger (Maa). Then start over again.
- You will do this sequence:
Out loud for 2 minutes
2. Whispering for 2 minutes,
3. Silently to yourself for 4 minutes
4. Whispering again for 2 minutes
5. Out loud again for 2 minutes.
That is 12 minutes and you can get on with your life.
Do not worry is you are not making the shifts right on the exact time period. Just open your eyes every so often to check if it’s time to shift. Or use a Interval App on your phone to cue you.
Here’s What Happens
It’s best not to expect any particular result. I’ve found that each person seems to notice different positive changes they didn’t expect. One person suddenly noticed that she was adding up columns of numbers with ease, something she hadn’t done for years. Another person noticed his handwriting improved, another found the words she needed to best communicate what she wanted to say came more quickly and easily to mind. Most found themselves feeling in a better mood at an unexpected moment.
It’s fun to see whatever might happen. If you have difficulty finding a time and place to do your meditation each day, think about it this way – Do you make time to brush your teeth and your hair every day? Well, Dr. Daniel Amen, M.D., thinks of these few minutes of Kirtan Kriya as “brushing your brain.” I know we can’t see our brains but we can imagine them as healthy and well, without cavities or tats.
Should you miss a day here and there that’s fine. Don’t give yourself a hard time and don’t stop. Things come up. Just do it the next day.