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Meditation: Medical myth or miracle?

<p>Free your mind, and the rest will follow. Meditation guru Andy Puddicombe trained as a Buddhist monk in the Indian Himalayas. Today, he has an office base in London where he works as a meditation “guru” to rock stars, elite sportsmen and celebrities. He tells Metro about trying to get people to disengage from the whirlpool that is their thoughts and just “be.”</p>

Free your mind, and the rest will follow. Meditation guru Andy Puddicombe trained as a Buddhist monk in the Indian Himalayas. Today, he has an office base in London where he works as a meditation “guru” to rock stars, elite sportsmen and celebrities. He tells Metro about trying to get people to disengage from the whirlpool that is their thoughts and just “be.”


The meaning of meditation

“In a world where everything is black and white, people are frustrated by things they don’t understand,” says Puddicombe. “As a technique, it’s about sitting in a quiet place, undisturbed for 10 to 20 minutes, but as an experience it’s harder to explain.”



Psychotherapist Marisa Peer trained with mediation expert Deepak Chopra and describes meditation as learning to do nothing more than focus on your breathing, staying still, and keeping distractions far.



So, what is it?


“It’s a way of calming the mind,” explains Puddicombe. “Once you have attained a degree of stillness, you’ll have clarity and better understanding of what is going on around you. Meditation heightens anything from awareness and self-understanding, calm and clarity, to compassion and empathy. It’s about knowing how you feel and why you feel it.”



Should I meditate?

People who come to Puddicombe have often been referred to him after suffering from depression, anxiety, insomnia, addictive behavior, anger issues or high blood pressure.


“I treat people stuck in emotional patterns of destructive behavior, which is a loop people find hard to get out of. Imagine being stuck on a wheel and spinning around faster and faster without being able to stop. You need to step off the wheel, allowing natural momentum to slow it down. Meditation is about observing the mind, feelings and thoughts, and rather than running away from them, perceiving them.”



Does it really help?

In essence, meditation allows you to step out of an emotional loop and disengage with a pattern of behavior. A recent study carried out at Harvard Medical School found that meditation led to an increase in blood flow in the prefrontal cortex, associated with positive emotions such as happiness.


The verdict … just be.

 
 
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