#4 of 10 Good Reasons to Meditate (according to science): Sleep

#4 Better sleep It is now well established that a good night sleep is essential for a healthy body and mind (see the recent book "Why We Sleep" by Matthew Walker). It turns out that sleep is enhanced by meditation. Not only does it help prepare the body for sleep by relaxing the body and reducing anxiety and stress, it also has been demonstrated to reduce insomnia. To site just one example, a Harvard study looked at 49 adults who had difficulty sleeping. They divided the participants into two groups. One group did a mindfulness awareness course and the other group did course focused on sleep education (e.g. teaching them ways to improve their sleep habits.) All participants met once a week

Divine Will vs. Divine Wish: An Islamic Take on Free Will (Ibn 'Arabi)

Ibn 'Arabi was reportedly one of history's greatest spiritual teachers. Known as "The Greatest Master," this 12th century Islamic spiritual master authored over 350 books and was known as a visionary and extraordinary spiritual teacher in his day. And, as testament to the power of his insights, his ideas continue to be discussed and taught through to this day, including, among other places, via the Ibn 'Arabi Society. I mention him because he has a fascinating and illuminating way of approaching this whole question of free will. He writes that there are two forces at work in the world. One he calls Divine Will and the other he names Divine Wish. Ibn 'Arabi might express it by saying that the

#3 of 10 Good Reasons to Meditate (according to science): Brain Health

#3 Greater mental sharpness Science has now shown that people who meditate demonstrate increased mental sharpness, greater ability to focus, and have better memories than those that don’t. And this isn’t just for people that have clocked tens of thousands of hours of meditation. In one study, researchers examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition when compared to an active control group. The control group had four sessions of listening to a recorded book. The other group, none of whom had any prior meditation experience, were led on four sessions of mindfulness meditation. Both groups were then assessed for brain function. The results showed that for the meditator group, ev

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