Welcome to the Saint Mary’s College of California Office of Mission and Ministry Meditation website. Hopefully, this set of meditation recordings will be of use to you. My name is Brother Camillus Chavez, a De LaSalle Christian Brother and I will be your guide.
First of all let us examine a few important points such as
- What is meditation?
- What is the value of meditation?
- And what method do these recordings use?
To understand meditation we must also know what the ordinary state of mental functioning is. During most of the day we operate in a problem solving level of mind wherein we use the cognitive mode of mind mainly in logical, analytical, and linear ways of thinking. This mode is called beta and the brain functions at 40 – 12 cycles per second. The next mode is called alpha wherein the brain functions at 12 – 8 cycles per second and is an altered state of consciousness. This is the first step into meditation.
When you enter alpha the intuitive mode of mind takes over which connects you to the deep unconscious. Then you relax and become receptive and passive to the way the deep unconscious operates. Images begin to emerge, and they operate in a dream like manner different from the beta mode.
Entering meditation is an intentional state and does not just occur by accident. Therefore, it requires techniques, a method that enables an individual to enter an altered state of consciousness. These techniques are deep breathing, use of imagination, relaxation, countdowns, and mental repetition of power or prayer words.
Now let us examine the value of meditation. What I state here has been proven in scientific research. Not everyone is affected in the same way, but significant numbers of people have experienced these positive results in meditation experiments so that researchers state with confidence that meditation produces these affects: a deep state of relaxation, reduction of stress and anxiety, improved focus on tasks and functioning of the immune system, and increased self confidence.
People ask, “How will I know if I have entered a meditation state?” These are general indicators: first, attaining a deeper state of relaxation than before, second, entering a state of peace or calm, and third, having the mind become less distracted and perhaps even clear.
This series of recordings for stress and anxiety reduction includes this introduction to the meditations. The first meditation recording is short using deep breathing followed by the repetition of a power or prayer word; this meditation lasts about seven minutes. The second meditation adds a countdown technique and the creation of a place of rest; it lasts about 12 minutes. The next meditations last 20 and 30 minutes, which are interspersed with periodic statements of, ”Take a deep breath and go deeper,” to help you refocus. In addition, recordings will contain musical excerpts from the album “Golden Bowls” by Karma Moffett, which he has graciously given us permission to use.
A final word, meditation in general is a healthy and pleasant experience. However, there are a few people who suffer from seizures, such as epileptics; meditation is not recommended for them. Some individuals suffer from traumas and in meditation may connect to painful memories. They should proceed with meditation only under the guidance of an experienced counselor or psychologist. Also, no one should use these meditation recordings while driving or operating heavy equipment.
Welcome again and may meditation be a pleasant and life enhancing experience for you.