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Thursday, 05 November 2009 12:40

Ladies are the corner stone of our society and have specific needs. Meditation workshops oriented for ladies provides several advantages for this segment.

 

 

Shrimataji’s Advice for woman

 

1)      Housewife

 

The ladies have to be very good housewives, to be the gruhalakshmi, the goddess of the household. In India, The housewife is a very powerful institution, and regarded as the highest. It doesn’t mean that you have to keep house very clean. It means that you have to be very open hearted, loving and devoted personalities. The Gruhalakshmi is the power of tremendous love, compassion and forgiveness. The ladies have to be very dharmic and chaste, innocent by nature, and not cunning or crafty. In India, every housewife must wear her ornaments…you see...it’s auspicious...she can’t go about without ornaments.

 

In India, wives gets up long before the husbands, and does all the preparation of the food etc, and then sit down with him and fans him as he eats…so giving him a rhythm for the whole day and so he doesn’t get hectic. She doesn’t discuss horrible things in the morning, but creates the feeling of peace in the household. She does so by absorbing. She is very mature person and sees the futility of unnecessary arguing. She is so powerful that she doesn’t take but just gives. Where the women are respectable, and respected, there reside the Deities.

 

2)      Is there any dress code in sahaj?

  

"Give up artificiality and be more natural." says Shri Mataji.  And She continues:

"So you have to be a natural person; very natural in your behavior.  WISDOM IS VERY IMPORTANT IN SAHAJA YOGA, which you have to keep intact all the time. Natural means you must wear natural dresses, which are suitable to you, e.g. in this climate there is no use to wear dress like Rama used to wear. He will not wear anything on the top, there was no need. You have to wear the dress of whatever country you belong; whatever suits the occasion.

 

Whatever you think is dignified and good. It speaks for your elegance and your personality. No clownish things are necessary, no dandy stuff is necessary. Simple, beautiful dresses should be worn which give you dignity.

 

Common Problems:

 

1) HOT FLUSHES

 

Hot flushes are a common problem amongst women in their menopausal years. In fact 90% of women can expect to experience menopausal symptoms of which the hot flush is the most common. It is an experience characterized by flushing of the skin of the upper part of the body, sweating, and a sensation of heat and associated feelings of not well.

Interestingly, the hot flush can be worsened or brought on by stress. In fact many women report that high-pressure situations greatly worsen the number and severity of the flushes that they experience. Also, women report that their flushes improve somewhat when they are calm and relaxed.

With this in mind a pilot trial of hot flushes was setup for menopausal women. Ten women were enrolled into an eight-week program. The frequency and severity of their hot flushes and other menopausal symptoms were recorded using standard methods before and after the 8 week program. The results were very impressive with all women experiencing improvement in their condition. In fact 9 out of the 10 women reported at least 50% reductions in the frequency of their hot flushes. Six of these women had a 65-70% improvement in their hot flushes which, after eight weeks of meditation “treatment”, is comparable to that seen in conventional hormone replacement therapy! In addition, standard measures of quality of life and symptom profiles showed similar degrees of improvement.


Abstract: Ramesh Manocha, Barbara Semmar, Deborah Black (2007) 'A Pilot Study of a Mental Silence Form of Meditation for Women in Perimenopause', Journal of Clinical Psychology in Medical Settings 14(3):266-273

 

2) STRESS

 

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Meditation is an eastern tool that offers western health practitioners a new way of looking at health. The role of stress in disease is well recognized by modern medical researchers but, despite the progress that has been made in this field, there remain some very fundamental yet unanswered questions. One of those questions is, “What exactly is stress?” Few of us can easily come up with a good definition of “stress”, yet while we don’t know exactly what it is, we intuitively recognize that while we can think about events in the past (even a few moments ago), or events scheduled in the future (even milliseconds in the future), it is impossible to actually think about the present moment which we are continuously experiencing and is ever changing.

Now think about the stress that we all experience from time to time. Despite the huge variety of situations that “stress” us they all have one thing in common: we have to think about the events before they can reduce our sense of wellbeing. In other words thought itself is the final common pathway by which all events create stress within us!

The past, comprised of events that have already occurred, no longer exists. Similarly the future, comprised of events that have yet to occur and are therefore undetermined, does not yet exist. However, paradoxically, we human beings exist only in the present. The mind (and its thoughts), since it is comprised only of stuff from the past or future, is therefore not real and so the stress that it generates is also not real!

If we are beings that exist in the present, and we realize that the stress in life emanate from a mind which is the product of past/future, we acknowledge also that the antidote for the mental illusions that cause stress is to reign in our attention and focus it on the present moment.

While, for most of us, focusing on the absolute present moment is virtually impossible, it is this razor’s edge of “thoughtless awareness” that the easterner seeks to cultivate and sustain in meditation. The vast inner silence of the thoughtless state leaves the mind uncluttered. By existing in that “space-between-the-thoughts” one is neither enslaved to one’s past nor confined to a predetermined future. The inner silence of meditation thus creates a naturally stress-free inner environment.

Despite the tremendous advances in modern medicine we are still to develop truly effective strategies to deal with the common public health problems that cause most of the mortality and morbidity in the wider community. The use of stress reduction has been shown to be beneficial in many diseases, as it improves psychological and physical health and lifestyle awareness.

Regardless of the underlying theories, the majority of clinicians recognize that stress is a major contributor to disease and that a simple stress management technique, such as meditation - once scientifically proven and clinically evaluated - could be widely applied in the clinical setting.

Stress is anything that brings mental and emotional pressure that leads to fear, anxiety, worry, apprehensions, anger and even excitement and the body responds in a prompt, speedy and inefficient way. According to medical professionals, 90-95% of illnesses in modern era can be blamed on psychological forces; 98% headaches originate due to stress and stress also manifests itself into many other physical ailments like indigestion, acidity and life-killers like heart attacks. 

The symptoms of stress include:

  1. Change of facial expression and bodily postures 
  2. Withdrawal from social relationships 
  3. Low task performance (sometimes its opposite also manifests i.e. high productivity but which is highly detrimental for our physical and mental health) 
  4. Impediment of speech 
  5. Sighs & continuous fidgeting  
  6. Nervous laughter 

Benefits of meditation in Stress

About fifteen years ago in India, Professor U.C. Rai accomplished some pioneering work with a technique of meditation called Sahaja yoga. He was head of the Department of Physiology at Maulana Azad Medical College in Delhi. He himself had suffered serious angina attacks and was surprised to find that this technique of meditation seemed to alleviate his medical condition.

Professor Rai, impressed by this personal experience, sought to scientifically document the effects of this technique. He set up a multifaceted research project. Part of this was a study on the effects of Sahaja yoga meditation on chronic illnesses such as epilepsy and asthma. Rai’s research team found that regular practice of this technique reduced the frequency, severity and duration of his patients’ epileptic seizures.11 Moreover, when Rai taught another group a mimicking exercise, which resembled but was actually not the real technique, the same improvement did not occur!

 

Source:

Meditation Research Programme, The Natural Therapies
Unit, Royal Hospital for Women, Ph (02) 9382 6626, Fax (02) 9382 6660.
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

2) DEPRESSION

 

Some people say that depression feels like a black curtain of despair coming down over their lives. Many people feel like they have no energy and can't concentrate. Others feel irritable all the time for no apparent reason. The symptoms vary from person to person, but if you feel "down" for more than two weeks, and these feelings are interfering with your daily life, you may be clinically depressed.

Most people who have gone through one episode of depression will, sooner or later, have another one. You may begin to feel some of the symptoms of depression several weeks before you develop a full-blown episode of depression.

The symptoms of depression include:

  1. Constant feelings of sadness, irritability, or tension
  2. Decreased interest in usual activities or hobbies
  3. Loss of energy, feeling tired despite lack of activity
  4. A change in appetite, with significant weight loss or weight gain
  5. A change in sleeping patterns, such as difficulty sleeping, early morning awakening, or sleeping too much
  6. Restlessness or feeling slowed down
  7. Decreased ability to make decisions or concentrate
  8. Feelings of worthlessness, hopelessness, or guilt
  9. Thoughts of suicide or death

Benefits of meditation in Depression

A study conducted at the University of Exeter, UK, showed that Sahaja Yoga Meditation has a beneficial therapeutic effect on the symptoms of patients with depression and anxiety.

24 patients with depression and anxiety were divided into three groups: a group receiving Sahaja Yoga Meditation over 6 weeks, a group receiving the conventional behavioral treatment for depression, i.e. cognitive behavioral therapy and a control group that received no treatment. 

The group treated with Sahaja Yoga Meditation compared to the non-treated group showed a statistically significant reduction in the symptoms of anxiety, depression and general mental health. At a trend level the Sahaja Yoga Meditation group also showed improvements compared to the group treated with CBT.

The study shows that Sahaja Yoga Meditation has a significant effect on improving the symptoms of anxiety and depression, which was more pronounced than the conventional behavioral treatment for the disorder.

 

2) ASTHAMA

 

Asthma is a chronic inflammation of the lungs in which the airways (bronchi) are reversibly narrowed.

When a person with asthma comes into contact with something that irritates their airways (an asthma trigger), the muscles around the walls of the airways tighten so that the airways become narrower and the lining of the airways becomes inflamed and starts to swell. Sometimes sticky mucus or phlegm builds up which can further narrow the airways.

The symptoms of asthma include:

  1. Coughing
  2. Wheezing
  3. Shortness of breath
  4. Tightness in the chest

Benefits of meditation in Asthma

Given the effects of mediation on reducing sympathetic activity and respiratory rates, several studies have investigated whether meditation would have an effect on respiratory diseases.

A study conducted at the Natural Therapies Unit of the Royal Hospital for women, in Sydney, Australia, showed a significant beneficial effect of Sahaja Yoga on Asthma patients who were resistant to steroids (Manocha et al., 2000).

47 patients with severe asthma were randomly allocated to two groups: one group received Sahaja Yoga Meditation treatment (21 patients), the other group received general relaxation treatment (26 patients), both conducted over 4 months and involving a 2 hour session.

The Sahaja Yoga Meditation group showed a significant reduction in the severity of asthma as measured in airway-hyper-responsivity in response to chemical challenge (an objective indicator of the severity of asthma) compared to the control group who received relaxation.

http://www.meditationresearch.co.uk
Chugh D. (1997): The effects of Sahaja Yoga in bronchial asthma and essential hypertension. New Delhi Medicos 13(5):46-47.

Manocha R, Marks GB, Kennhington P, Peters D, Salome CM. (2002): Sahaja yoga in the management of moderate to severe asthma: a randomized controlled trial. Thorax 57(2):110-115.

 

2) ADHD

 

Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and adulthood. Symptoms include difficulty staying focused and paying attention, difficulty controlling behavior, and hyperactivity (over-activity).

ADHD has three subtypes:

  1. Predominantly hyperactive-impulsive
    Most symptoms (six or more) are in the hyperactivity-impulsivity categories.
    Fewer than six symptoms of inattention are present, although inattention may still be present to some degree.
  2. Predominantly inattentive
    The majority of symptoms (six or more) are in the inattention category and fewer than six symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present, although hyperactivity-impulsivity may still be present to some degree.
    Children with this subtype are less likely to act out or have difficulties getting along with other children. They may sit quietly, but they are not paying attention to what they are doing. Therefore, the child may be overlooked, and parents and teachers may not notice that he or she has ADHD.
  3. Combined hyperactive-impulsive and inattentive
    Six or more symptoms of inattention and six or more symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity are present.
    Most children have the combined type of ADHD.

Researchers are developing more effective treatments and interventions, and using new tools such as brain imaging, to better understand ADHD and to find more effective ways to treat and prevent it.

Inattention, hyperactivity, and impulsivity are the key behaviors of ADHD. It is normal for all children to be inattentive, hyperactive, or impulsive sometimes, but for children with ADHD, these behaviors are more severe and occur more often. To be diagnosed with the disorder, a child must have symptoms for 6 or more months and to a degree that is greater than other children of the same age.

Children who have symptoms of inattention may:

  1. Be easily distracted, miss details, forget things, and frequently switch from one activity to another
  2. Have difficulty focusing on one thing
  3. Become bored with a task after only a few minutes, unless they are doing something enjoyable
  4. Have difficulty focusing attention on organizing and completing a task or learning something new
  5. Have trouble completing or turning in homework assignments, often losing things (e.g., pencils, toys, assignments) needed to complete tasks or activities
  6. Not seem to listen when spoken to
  7. Daydream, become easily confused, and move slowly
  8. Have difficulty processing information as quickly and accurately as others
  9. Struggle to follow instructions.

Children who have symptoms of hyperactivity may:

  1. Fidget and squirm in their seats
  2. Talk nonstop
  3. Dash around, touching or playing with anything and everything in sight
  4. Have trouble sitting still during dinner, school, and story time
  5. Be constantly in motion
  6. Have difficulty doing quiet tasks or activities.

Children who have symptoms of impulsivity may:

  1. Be very impatient
  2. Blurt out inappropriate comments, show their emotions without restraint, and act without regard for consequences
  3. Have difficulty waiting for things they want or waiting their turns in games
  4. Often interrupt conversations or others' activities.

Benefits of meditation in ADHD

A study conducted in Australia, at the Natural Therapies Research Unit, at the Royal Hospital for Women in Sydney, and in collaboration with the Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, UK, showed significant improvement of the symptoms of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). ADHD is a disorder that develops in childhood and is characterized by problems of attention, impulsiveness and hyperactivity.

The treatment of choice in ADHD is the administration of stimulant Medication. However, there are side effects, there is concern about the unknown long-term effects of stimulants on brain development and there is evidence for limited effectiveness that wanes after a few years. For these reasons parents prefer non-pharmacological treatment and there is a search for effective alternative non-pharmacological treatment options.

26 children with ADHD, aged between 4 and 12, were treated for 6 weeks with Sahaja Yoga Meditation adjunctive to their usual treatment (i.e.  some of them were receiving stimulant Medication) and then compared to a waiting list control group who received no treatment.

Children with ADHD who learned how to meditate compared to the waiting list control group showed a significant reduction of the main symptoms of hyperactivity, impulsiveness and inattention. Other, secondary benefits were an improved child-parent relationship and enhanced self-esteem in children.

Furthermore, of the children who were treated with stimulant Medication, over 50% either discontinued or reduced their stimulant medication but still improved in their symptoms.

This pioneering study suggests that Meditation is clearly a promising non-pharmacological treatment option for children with ADHD that needs to be further explored. 

http://www.meditationresearch.co.uk
Harrison, L., Rubia, K., Manocha, R. (2003) Sahaja Yoga Meditation as a Family Treatment Program for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Children. Clinical Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 9 (4), 479-497.

 

Meditation Technique for mothers

 

There are certain truths about children that we all seem to hold. Children are our future. They are entrusted to us. They are unique individuals and are not just little versions of ourselves. They are innocence. They are joy. They give reason and purpose to our lives. They keep us young.

 

In Sahaja Yoga Meditation, we hold all these things as true. And something quite a bit more. Children are here to teach us, as much as we are here to teach them. What do they teach us? Unbinding love is one thing. They love us without conditions, without reservations. They trust us because they know they are from us and we are with them. We are on their side and they are on ours.

 

Children are simple, in the present and they are spontaneous. These are all qualities valued in Sahaja Yoga Meditation. It doesn't mean we should be child-like. We should act our age, but we should also try to imbibe those three qualities exemplified in children: simplicity, spontaneity and the ability to live in the moment.

The benefits of Sahaja Meditation

  1. General health improves: Physical, mental and emotional. The root causes of the disease are cleansed from the subtle system.
  2. Relief from the symptoms of stress by:
    • Raising the individual's stress threshold
    • Changing the internal reactions to the external stimuli that cause stress
    • Having the ability to remain balanced and clear-headed in stressful situations
    • Neutralizing the effects of aggression, frustration and anger in others around us.
    • Improving sleep patterns.
  3. Habits and addictions drop away effortlessly without having to be given up or going through withdrawal symptoms.
  4. Communication skills improve, leading to improved relationships with others.
  5. Focused attention and better concentration leading to improved study and workplace skills. Self-esteem, self confidence and inner sense of security all improve.
  6. Inter-cultural integration. Sahaja Yoga Meditation brings about a true integration of all the major cultures of the world by overcoming all the divisive forces which are tearing the very fabric of societies all over the world.
  7. Emancipation of humanity by bringing about an inner transformation of human beings, the benefits of Sahaja Yoga Meditation accrue not only to the individual, but to society, to the nation and ultimately to the whole of humanity.

 

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 02 December 2009 19:35
 

The Mother

Shri Mataji Nirmala Devi

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