Indeed, what was initially a practice linked to philosophy and Eastern cultures, or even, in Christian culture, to prayer, has become a secular or even therapeutic practice.
The quest for meaning and presence… even in France
Today, meditation is widely publicized, as evidenced by the site of Spiritualities Magazine. Many people are no longer content with consumerism, ultra-liberalism, the race for dreams that kills the very meaning of life. All Western countries are concerned and the pandemic, as in many other areas, has accentuated or precipitated the phenomenon.
Even the Queen of England, Queen Elizabeth II in a televised address said: “Many people of all faiths realize that there is an opportunity here to slow down, to reflect, in prayer or meditation “. Meditation allows our mind to be present here and now to fully live this moment. Its beneficial effects are numerous and long-lasting. Meditation increases our ability to concentrate, our attention, our presence in reality, perspective, our emotional balance, inner calm, tolerance… Its effects are both physical and psychological. Everyone who has experienced stress and who has tried meditation has realized the reality of these effects. It particularly allows us to drive out an essential factor of discomfort: rehashing, this little spin in the brain which repeats our problems ad infinitum.
But it’s not just about relaxation. Certain regions of the brain become activated when we regularly practice meditation, for example mindfulness meditation; and the brain itself is physiologically modified. The impacts are physiological, biological and long term.
Mindfulness meditation and its practice
Mindfulness meditation is accessible to everyone and beginners can practice it very easily. It was invented by Professor Jon Kabat-Zinn, when he created a clinic for stress reduction. His idea was to create a secular practice from Buddhist meditation. Mindfulness Meditation, Jon Kabat-Zinn introduced it in medicine and codified it so that it would be recognized by his peers, thanks to scientific tests carried out in a clinical setting. This specific approach applied in particular to the treatment of depression and clinical psychological pathologies has been named MBSR. He explains that it is during this meditation that the consciousness unfolds, because we pay attention intentionally and without judgment. Conversely, when one is permanently preoccupied, one cannot be present to others. The practice is simple: it’s about welcoming your moods without judgment and not identifying with your thoughts or emotions. France welcomed his research and the practice of the MBSR program (mindfullness-based stress reduction) very late; but, he says in a interview with Le Monde newspaper : “In France (…) a distinction is made between body and mind. But science demonstrates more and more every day that there is no fundamental separation between the two”. In this article he also talks about meditation as a tool to be more effective in his “job as a parent”.
This interview is 10 years old and could seem out of step in the concerns of the public. Today it is above all a testimony to the path travelled, since in France meditation has become institutionalized: it is practiced at school, in the medical system and in all circles, more and more , sensitive to “alternative medicine” (also called alternative medicine, complementary medicine, unconventional medicine, parallel medicine, alternative therapies). She also got a lot of media coverage.
National Meditation Stars
In France, stars of meditation express themselves in abundance on social networks.
For example Dr. Christophe André, very present in the media, on the networks, on YouTube. On France Inter for example… A pro-meditation radio? Listen to his show here time to meditate » and the meditation practices it offers. It was Dr Christophe André, a psychiatrist, who introduced the Mindfulness Meditation in France in a hospital environment at Sainte-Anne Hospital in Paris. Christophe André has since become one of the leaders in cognitive and behavioral therapies in France. He naturally introduced Mindfulness Meditation into his care unit in its codified form validated by international scientific research: MBSR.
Equal, but his field of media recognition goes far beyond meditation and concerns spirituality: Frédéric Lenoir.
But do not believe that the practice of meditation and the search for a meaning for its existence is a phenomenon dependent on media coverage. It accompanies, with an authentic quest for spirituality, dissociated from religions, a profound movement in society. Rather than knowingly giving the reasons, you can understand it quite simply by getting a comic strip: ” A few steps to infinity ! To write his comic strip, Joël Callède met many circles: teachers who make children meditate at school, entrepreneurs who treat their blues with the help of mindfulness, psychiatrists who make their patients meditate, politicians who would like to change the rules in the National Assembly… and even a penitentiary centre.
Listen to what is said about Spiritualities Magazine
But isn’t all meditation unique?
To end this article, which could go on forever, so rich is the universe of meditation (the inner universe, which must be cultivated), here is a particular meditation, created from a passage from a book: The Big Book of Essential Oils which combines meditation, essential oils and chakras.
It is an olfactory meditation from an essential oil. The book aims to make you meet the mind of various essential oils, discover in yourself the questioning, the concern, the desired change: you choose the essential oil which answers your problem, and which can accompany you, lead you in a broader dimension, freer, of yourself. You allow yourself to be penetrated by the very spirit of this essential oil, you allow it to act within you, deep within you.
You can practice this meditation at home for your greatest happiness! Listen to her.
You can practice the meditations that suit you and the Internet is also, thus, a door to interiority, elevation, the good life… And then let’s dream together: if our collective life were transformed, as Frédéric Lenoir thinks, following Spinoza, through each person’s work on themselves, if those who take on responsibilities in our world today lived a transmutation that would lead them to genuine respect for nature, animals, and even… humans?
We wish to give thanks to the writer of this short article for this remarkable material
A year of meditation
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