Friday, May 31, 2024

               Blog #147 May is Meditation and Mental Health Month


Among many other May things.  And I am writing this blog right on the cusp of June, but June is a fine month also. Some previous blogs have covered Meditation, but I want to touch on a few points regarding Meditation and mental health and also add a new Meditation, special for this year, which is most powerful from mid-May until possibly the end of July.  


Vipassana, one of the most ancient Buddhist Meditations, originated in India over 2,500 years ago, and was taught by Gautama Buddha as a treatment for universal ills. It involves becoming aware of oneself and the surrounding reality while watching the breath.  It is usually done seated.  This style of meditation can help calm the mind, sharpen powers of focus and concentration and reduce mental and emotional suffering.  Whenever the mind wanders, it is brought back to watching the breath.  


Transcendental Meditation, or TM, was developed last century by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi.  It has become popular and is used by many people to help them with relaxation, which in turn may help improve physical health, such as lowering blood pressure, and improve mental health, such as alleviating stress-related insomnia and anxiety.  TM involves spending 20 minutes morning and evening silently repeating a given mantra.  This can help with mental focus and the release of stressful thoughts and attachments.  


Taoist Esoteric Yoga includes many styles of Energy work and Meditation.  Tai Qi and Qi Gong are moving Meditations.  Some of these forms are many centuries old traditions and some have been developed more recently. Elements of these forms are optimal posture, disciplined use of gaze, flowing movement of the body, and specific mental intention and focus.  Movement and focus help optimize blood and energy (Qi) circulation to achieve specific results, such as warming hands and feet, encouraging peristalsis (intestinal motility) and muscular relaxation.


A specific, Life and Nature-based Meditation, which will be available for people for the next two months or so is what I will call the Cicada Meditation.  From mid-May this year until about the end of July, two different broods of Cicadas converge on the U.S., especially the mid-Western states, such as Illinois, to emerge from the ground, shed their skins, mature and mate.  One brood has been living a few inches underground for the past 13 years, feeding on the sap from tree roots, and the other has been doing this for 17 years.  This overlap of broods last occurred 221 years ago.  We might benefit by taking advantage of this spectacular conjunction with Meditation.  Time spent in Nature can be healing and relaxing.  Not only can we enjoy beautiful plants, animals, lakes, streams, sky and earth, but we can also enjoy the sight of these colorful, gentle Cicadas.  The call of the male Cicada is repetitive, relaxing and Mantra-like.  The female makes a clicking sound.  Some people play recordings of Cicada calls to help them fall asleep at night, or use them as white noise, or even as soothing background for massage or other healing sessions. Observing and listening to Cicadas can be a Zen-like experience, being here now in a natural healing venue.  You may be able to access some Cicada calls via the link below – just cut and paste it to your browser.  Enjoy!


CICADA SOUNDS - Sound Effect of Cicadas in Summer at Night - Sounds of Cicada (Chicharra, Campanero)


This blog’s offer:  enjoy this summer and also the Cicadas.  Plus, from June through July each year you will experience the most powerful and effective Acupuncture treatments, so consider scheduling an appointment during this time.



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