How Meditation Alters Consciousness?

August 11, 2021by Health Desk

There might be moments in your life where you lost focus on the task at hand. You might have opened Chrome to search for a topic but ended up looking at something else entirely. You might not even realize it. How to develop focus over your conscious self and be in a state of pure awareness? In this century, meditation is the key to establish mindfulness of the conscious self for overall health and well-being.

What is Consciousness?

In theory, consciousness is everything that you experience. Be it a throbbing headache, severe pain after losing a loved one, the sweetness of a chocolate cake, or a song stuck in your head. All these experiences have been termed ‘qualia’, which has been a mystery since the early days. In other words, consciousness is an individual awareness of thoughts, feelings, memories, and sensations. This awareness is exclusively subjective to an individual. For instance, if you listen to rock music, the music’s impact is your unique feeling and state of being.

According to an article published in Scientific American, conscious awareness closely resembles the brain’s cerebral cortex – this is an intricately connected and folded sheet of nervous tissue. The report states that every experience corresponds to a particular set of neural activities, known as the NCC (Neural Correlates of Consciousness). The NCC is a part of the posterior hot zone of the brain, which is the most active during a conscious experience.

What is the Relationship between Meditation & Conscious?

Dr. Nirmala Shrivastava, the founder of Sahaja Yoga Meditation practice, has described that ‘Meditation is the only way you can grow….because when you meditate, you are in silence. You are in thoughtless awareness. Then the growth of awareness takes place.’

The relationship between your conscious self and meditation has been in practice for centuries. The most ancient techniques can be found in the Hinduism and Buddhism cultures. Vedas – ancient texts from India, talk intensely about meditation practices. Furthermore, in today’s era, several scientific studies in psychology and neuroscience suggest that mediation enhances healthcare & well-being. This is also a method to alter your consciousness to a great extent.

Pure consciousness or pure awareness is a state in which a person is only aware of herself/himself and isn’t aware of anything else outside ‘self’. EEG patterns have shown alternations in the conscious state, mainly in the frontal brain parts. Meditation practices regulate and balance the activities between the amygdala and the autonomic nervous system. This balance leads to enhanced attention and decreases stress levels rapidly.

Apart from this, a blissful experiences can be felt during deep meditative practices. Here, the mind surpasses mental working to feel the inner consciousness’s ground state, which is marked by unbound space & time. Daily mediation practice promotes an augmented state of consciousness. This state can be recognized by the coexistence of delta EEG with alpha 1 EEG during higher brain integration, sleep, exceptional emotional stability, and reduced anxiety during challenging activities.

Research conducted by Richard Davidson, co-author of the ‘Altered Traits’, found that meditation enhances the brain’s gamma waves drastically. He carried brain scans of some of the great meditators and found different brain waves altogether. Their levels of gamma waves were at their peak. For those who don’t know, gamma waves are the strongest waves in the EEG spectrum. All humans get gamma waves during problem-solving scenarios, but these waves last only for half a second. The meditators from Richard’s research had given almost 62,000 hours of lifetime meditation. Therefore, they possessed strong gamma waves, and this is their everyday state of mind. We may not be able to fathom what it could be like as Science has never seen it before!

Why Your Consciousness Needs Altering?

An altered or an improved form of consciousness paves the way for a healthy lifestyle. A person who meditates daily acquires a state of mind that is much higher than a person who doesn’t practice meditation.

Here’s why you need to alter your consciousness –

  • High level of autonomic nervous system control. This system regulates involuntary physiologic processes such as blood pressure, heart rate, digestion, respiration, and sexual arousal. A controlled autonomic nervous system means a healthy internal circulation.
  • Activation of enhanced attention
  • Meditation stimulates the PFC (Prefrontal Cortex) of the brain, which signals the hypothalamus to release beta-endorphine hormone. This hormone diminishes feelings of fear and pain and, in turn, releases joy and euphoria emotions.
  • Heart rate and respiration slow down, which induces a sense of calmness and relaxation.
  • Hormonal activity dealing with stress eventually decreases.
  • Positive feelings emerge, such as ‘self-perceived arousal’.
  • Altering consciousness promotes a strong packaging of new memories and elevates the learning process.

How to practice meditation?

There are several ways to do meditation, but the Sahaj Yoga technique of mindful meditation can give you results at a faster rate. This is proven an effective technique and is practised by people across the world at an exponential rate. This technique not only induces a sense of euphoria in you but also releases high-stress levels instantly. You are organically connected to your self-consciousness and seep into a passive, relaxed state.

Lead a life of wellness and good health by diving deep into your conscious state.