Why you need to meditate

Meditation can help you find some calm during your morning commute.

Forget what you think you know about meditation: You don’t need to sit cross-legged, you don’t need to light candles and you definitely don’t need to be a Buddhist monk. All you need, according to Jeff Cannon, author of “The Simple Truth,” is a willingness to quiet your brain for a few moments.

“Most people think of meditation as having to sit for half an hour, or going away on a weekend retreat,” he says. “It’s really just a focus of the mind. You can meditate walking. You can meditate standing. Scientists have found that with as little as 15 minutes a day, your brain actually starts remapping itself. To meditate for a couple of minutes gives you stability.”

And it’s not just good for improving your mental health: Your physical wellbeing benefits from meditation, too.

“There are almost endless studies right now on lower blood pressure, ability to control anxiety. They’re using it for people with ADD, cancer patients — they’re using it for pretty much anything that stress can negatively affect. More and more in the medical community are finding that it’s an important part of healing [and] recovery. After a 10-hour brain surgery I was out of the hospital in about three days, and the doctors were stunned because I wasn’t taking any pain medication — I was going back to meditating.”

Indeed, Cannon’s interest in meditation reached its height while he recuperated from a 10-hour surgery that removed six tumors from his brain.

“In the six months I had to seriously recover, I not only watched my brain slowly reboot itself, but I started reading more and more about neuroplasticity. [Scientists] used to think the brain was just a static organ, it didn’t change. But what they started learning was the brain actually remaps itself all the time. I started exploring more and more to say, ‘Well, if the brain can change, then why can’t we change the brain?’”

Cannon swears that if you pick up the habit, you’ll see results “within the first week.”

“You start noticing that instead of making rash decisions or responding to issues by habit, you all of a sudden start pausing your life.”

Cannon’s guide to meditation
   
If you’re sitting, move to the edge of your chair and make your back straight. Or, stand up straight.
   
Close your eyes and breathe in through your nose, into your stomach and hold it there for a couple of counts. Then breathe back out.
   
Slowly breathe in for a count of eight and then hold it for a count of two, then breathe back out for a count of eight. Place your attention on your breath, either on the tip of your nose, at the feel of your stomach as it moves or at the travel of air coming through your throat into your lungs and then back out.
   
Repeat the process.

Distractions will happen: It’s OK

“Your mind is there to be distracted. Just acknowledge that you have a thought. You can tell yourself, ‘Not now, this is my time to meditate,’ and come back to focusing on your breath. This morning I was meditating and you could hear a fire engine go by. You just acknowledge, ‘That’s a fire engine, OK, that doesn’t bother me right now.’”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

Brooklyn man charged in roommate's stabbing death

A Brooklyn man accused of violently stabbing his roommate to death on Monday is in police custody and faces murder charges.

International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

MLB

Angelo Cataldi: Ryan Howard deserves better from Phillies

Just last week, Ryan Howard endured the embarrassment of a benching that was inevitable, and yet still shocking.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.