Guide to Practicing the Silva Centering Exercise
Part 1: Understanding Meditation
Meditation is fast gaining recognition worldwide. In America, 10 million people now claim to meditate daily and this number is rapidly growing.
Why? Because it works and more and more doctors are recommending it.The following news headlines taken from 2003 help explain the sudden interest in meditation.
From theWashington Times – Aug 14, 2003
A new study shows [that] people who underwent meditation training produced more antibodies to a flu vaccine than people who did not meditate. Those who took part in the meditation study also showed signs of increased activity in areas of the brain related to positive emotion, as compared to people who did not meditate.
CBS News – Aug 27, 2003
People who meditatethese days come from all walks of life and aren’t necessarily weird New Agers or pretentious actors. Students, lawyers, West Point cadets, athletes, prisoners, and government officials all meditate. It’s supposed to help depression, control pain, increase longevity, slow down cancers, invigorate the immune system, and significantly reduce blood pressure. Time magazine recently reported that“meditation can sometimes be used to replace Viagra.”
Time Magazine – Aug 4, 2003
Not only do studies show that meditation is boosting their immune system, but brain scans suggest that it may be rewiring their brains to reduce stress. It’s recommended by more and more physicians as a way to prevent, slow or at least control the pain of chronic diseases like heart conditions, AIDS, cancer andinfertility.
As you read, meditation provides many benefits even when done by a beginner.
The Two Types of Meditation: Passive and Active
When we meditate several important things happen physically and mentally. First, we are “focusing internally” and letting go of the outside world (similar to going to sleep, but without losing consciousness).
This allows our brains to shift into more stable,stronger brain frequencies (called alpha and theta by scientists) normally reached during sleep.
When we can reduce our brain frequencies to these levels while staying awake we are able to bring the unconscious mind to the conscious level.
All meditation systems, such as Yoga, Zen, Transcendental Meditation ™, Silva Life System and others have similar benefits.
By “passively”letting go and going within, we “deactivate” our survival mechanisms and allow our body’s natural health and rejuvenation abilities to be activated.
Each method has its own way of reaching the inner state of mind, and each has its own goals.
Jose Silva’s techniques allow you to use the relaxed, healthy state of mind that occurs during meditation to solve your day-to-day problems.Silva found that by “actively” utilizing brain languages (kinesthetic, visual, and auditory thought processes), we can use this higher energy state to improve memory and learning skills, change unwanted habits, enhance health, and healing.
He also developed techniques to achieve what many people call “tapping the super-conscious” to solve problems, reach goals, come up with new ideas andsolutions to problems. Some students use the Silva Life System to enhance their spiritual growth.
Using such techniques within a meditative state is called “active” meditation.
But what exactly happens when you meditate?
Your brain functions on a small amount of electricity, much like a computer. This electrical current vibrates and pulses at various speeds. When you are wide awake, with your eyesfocused, your brain vibrates 20 times per second – what scientists call 20 cycles per second or the Beta frequency.
You are probably at this beta level of mind right now as you read this.
When you go to sleep, your brain frequency slows down, all the way to about half cycle per second in the deepest levels of natural sleep. This is known as the Delta level.
In between Beta, the waking state,...
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