10 X 10 Team Building Fun at Celtic Careers – Meditation

Meditation

Known as Chin or Vitarka Mudra. This touch of the thumb and forefinger evokes mind and mindfulness. A yogi will assume this gesture—accompanied by outstretched arms and upturned palms resting on knees—while meditating in the lotus position.

Calm, Mellow. Aware, Relaxed, Peaceful… All words used by the team here at Celtic Careers after engaging in a 4-minute body scan meditation. As someone who has dabbled in meditation occasionally but not done anything in a few weeks, I was amazed at how serene and deeply relaxed I felt after the experience. I feel there is something about a body scan in particular that relaxes the body entirely to produce an overall impact of internal harmony.

Meditation has been around for thousands of years and has its roots in China and India. The English word meditation is derived from Old French meditacioun and the Latin meditatio from a verb meditari, meaning “to think, contemplate, devise, ponder”  There are dozens of definitions for what meditation is and this is not surprising as it has spanned countries, cultures and religions for so long. As a general guideline, we can say that meditation is any practice that trains our attention to focus on becoming more calm and attentive. Types of meditation vary from praying and yoga to focussing on an object, focussing on the breath to Loving Kindness Meditation. This is a type of meditation whereby the individual sits and focusses on appreciating first themselves, then close family and friends, then acquaintances and eventually the whole universe. The aim of Loving Kindness Meditation is to develop a deep love of oneself and others around us.  When we think of meditation, many of us may conjure up the thought of clearing one’s mind of thoughts and distractions, internal bombardment and obsessive thoughts. Interestingly, this type of meditation that involves an attempt to clear the mind of thoughts was discouraged with the introduction of Christianity as it was believed that emptying the mind left space for evil temptation to enter our minds.

I came across a comprehensive study about meditation which combines the findings of over 100 studies on the subject.  A host of scientifically proven benefits emerged from this study.  These range from a decrease in depression and anxiety, an improvement in focus and attention and a reduction of risk of heart diseases and stroke. These are certainly desired effects of meditation and thought-provoking benefits which would motivate anyone to take up the practice. There was one finding though that really stuck out to me and one of which I was not aware of before.  In a particular study carried out by scientists at UCLA, it was found that people who meditate over many years have larger amounts of gyrification (“folding” of the cortex, which may allow the brain to process information faster) than people who do not meditate. “The cerebral cortex is the outermost layer of neural tissue. Among other functions, it plays a key role in memory, attention, thought and consciousness.”  To read the full article check out the UCLA website here – http://newsroom.ucla.edu/releases/evidence-builds-that-meditation-230237 

So if a 4-minute meditation can induce such wonderful benefits in the mood of a small group of people, imagine what persistent meditation can achieve for each and every one of us. Try our body scan meditation today. Close your eyes and open your mind.

minute body scan meditation by Leslie Rohonczy

For a rundown of the comprehensive  study and an overview of the different types of meditation check out these links: https://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation and https://liveanddare.com/types-of-meditation

Check in next week for no. 7 in our 10X10 Team Building activities. Visit https://www.celticcareers.ie/advice-blog-news/10-x-10-team-building/ for all activities to date.