There are advantages for mind, body and soul to being calm oneself to be more present and aware. Much of the guidance on meditation starts with focusing on the breath. I found it to be more effective to practice Heart Rate Meditation by focusing via direct feedback. Also, a key to consciously changing your heart rate is to adjust your breathing.
In 2006. the Pacific drove me into the sand breaking 5 vertebrae, one shoulder, one collar bone and one rib. There was little for me to do other than lie in the hospital bed and try not to move. On the nightstand I could see the SpO2 monitor which showed me my heart rate and oxygen. I remembered my Tai Chi / Qi Gong Master, Lee Holden, had talked about consciously lowering one’s heart rate. So, I worked on keeping the oxygen above 90% while lowering my heart rate to 40. This also proved to be a great way for me to remove myself from the pain.
Since then, I have leveraged this Heart Rate Meditation to settle my breathing and heart-rate. It brings me into a state of tremendous inner peace and tranquility. Simulataneously, it also seeming to open me to a greater awareness – strange as that may sound. The direct feedback loop of an SpO2 meter helps in learning to influence your heart rate and breathing.
The Heart – Mind Connection
Scientific American: Psychology beyond the Brain reveals insights into how your heart rate has a surprising influence on our abilities:
“Psychology’s recognition of the body’s influence on the mind coincides with a recent focus on the role of the heart in our social psychology. It turns out that the heart is not only critical for survival, but also for how people related to one another. In particular, heart rate variability (HRV), variation in the heart’s beat-to-beat interval, plays a key role in social behaviors ranging from decision-making, regulating one’s emotions, coping with stress, and even academic engagement. Decreased HRV appears to be related to depression and autism and may be linked to thinking about information deliberately. Increased HRV, on the other hand, is associated with greater social skills such as recognizing other people’s emotions and helps people cope with socially stressful situations, such as thinking about giving a public speech or being evaluated by someone of another race.”
The feedback loop enabled by an SpO2 meter helps in training yourself to control your heart rate meditation. You will discover a keep part of that is slow, steady, deep breathing. Neuroscientists have identified how exactly a deep breath changes your mind speaks to how breathing impact brain function…
“Simply put, changes in breathing—for example, breathing at different paces or paying careful attention to the breaths—were shown to engage different parts of the brain…
..The findings provide neural support for advice individuals have been given for millennia: during times of stress, or when heightened concentration is needed, focusing on one’s breathing or doing breathing exercises can indeed change the brain. This has potential application to individuals in a variety of professions that require extreme focus and agility.”
The Benefits of Meditation
Tai Chi / Qi Gong also solves for a healthier mind, body and soul through mind/body practices…
On January 22nd 2006, mindfulness and performance expert George Mumford told Kobe Bryant not to try to score, but just be in the moment and let the game happen. That night he scored 81 points against the Toronto Raptors.
- CD’s BreathWork
- Scientific Benefits of Meditation – 76 Things You Might Be Missing Out On
- Scientific American: Psychology beyond the Brain – What scientists are discovering by measuring the beating of the heart
- Quartzy: Neuroscientists have identified how exactly a deep breath changes your mind
- Neuroscience Has a Lot To Learn from Buddhism
- Scientific American: Mind of the Meditator
- Research on meditation
- Breathing for Life: The Mind-Body Healing Benefits of Pranayama
- More Calm & Less Stress Discover For Yourself Why Millions Enjoy Qi Gong
- A Comprehensive Review of Health Benefits of Qigong and Tai Chi
- Mayo Clinic – Massage can be a powerful tool to help you take charge of your health and well-being. See if it’s right for you
- National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health – Massage Therapy for Health Purposes
- This Is How Meditation Literally Changes Your Brain!