Meditation Stone Garden Zen Sea Stones Balance

Meditation is an active and effortful process that literally changes the way the brain works.  It enhances performance; improving focus; cognitive ability and quality of sleep. It produces the relaxation response; reducing stress; the recurrence of depression, biological aging; pain symptoms and the sensation of pain itself.


Time, like flowing water, never comes back.  The same is true of life.  That is why ‘today’ and ‘now’ are so important.  What is important is how one lives in the now.”


Hozumi Gensho Roshi


Mastery of thoughts and emotions is attained through meditation.

Without a shadow of a doubt, meditation is the best way to still the mind. The benefits of meditation have been known to man for thousands of years. Initiates to the priesthood in ancient Egypt, and Yogis in India could survive being shut in boxes and initiation chambers for long periods due to the strength of their practice. That very same practice can equip us for the stresses and strains of modern living.  It will reduce stress, strengthen the immune system and help the bodies’ natural healing process, it will actually change our blood chemistry. Brain waves and the breath will slow, blood pressure and heart rate decrease, detoxification and circulation of blood increase, lactic acid fall and skin resistance rise – all measurements of stress.

So meditation not only leads to mastery of the mind, but also to mastery of the chemical factory that is our body. By mastering these things, we are able to control our emotions and inner nature. This is true for all of us, not just the gurus amongst us.



What Meditation and Mindfulness can do for you!

Improvements are shown in just one day.

While improvements are shown in just one day, the longer you have practiced the better you will become. Research shows that positive personality growth and psychological benefits increase with meditative experience: improving overall self-esteem, feelings of worthiness, benevolence, and self-acceptance.  EEG studies have shown that during meditation the brain will rapidly enter a continuous state of Alpha then Theta Waves which is associated with drowsiness, sleep. That state is known as “restful alertness” and within meditation one stays there, accessing dream-like images. Initially the right and left sides of the brain align themselves and then the back and front of the brain. That means it is really good for you.


Meditating even makes you younger!!!

Even short time meditators test as physiologically five years younger, how good is that! Tests of blood pressure, vision and hearing show those practicing for five years were physiologically twelve years younger than their non-meditating counterparts, with some subjects having a biological age twenty seven years younger than their chronological age! When meditation was introduced to elderly people they showed numerous beneficial changes including on average ultimately living longer. Those benefits endured when tested more than ten years later! So there is a reason why experienced meditators live so long and look so young!

Dan Buettner, author of “The Blue Zones” and researcher into longevity hotspots around the world, suggests small lifestyle changes can add up to ten years to most people’s lives.  He says aging is ten percent genetic and ninety percent lifestyle and that having mechanisms to shed stress, like prayer and meditation, is of high importance in the longevity hotspots he studied and a major factor in long-term health and aging.


Meditation is the Treatment of Choice for Chronic Pain.

Meditation is also becoming the treatment of choice for chronic pain. Participants of a ten week mindfulness programme experienced significant reduction in pain symptoms including mood disturbance. The sensation of pain itself is improved: Zen meditators have lower pain sensitivity both in and out of a meditative state and experience an eighteen percent reduction in pain intensity which has fantastic implications for pain medication. Depression, which is currently the fourth most debilitating human condition (behind heart disease, cancer and traffic accidents) according to the World Health Organisation, WHO. WHO predict that by the year 2020 depression will have risen to be the second most debilitating condition, and it occurs in up to fifty percent of people with chronic pain.  Meditation trains the brain to be more focussed on the present and therefore to spend less time anticipating future negative events.


Meditation Reduces the Recurrence of Depression.

This may be why meditation is effective at reducing the recurrence of depression, which makes chronic pain considerably worse”.  In fact: “A study, published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology showed that mindfulness and meditation proved as effective as maintenance anti-depressants in preventing a relapse, and was even more effective in enhancing peoples’ quality of life”.

Current research shows that even weekly meditation lessons backed short daily practice improves quality of sleep and lowers feelings of stress AND having facilitated meditation and relaxation classes since 2001 I have seen this for myself. If there is one piece of feedback from my classes and recordings that is almost universal it is “what a great night’s sleep I had”, and that’s after just one time!

Practicing meditation and mindfulness in our daily lives also raises our self-awareness, and self-knowledge to the level where we can truly master ourselves. Helping us choose how we spend our moments and our days, being aware of everything, waking up. Giving us is an openness that allows us to observe ourselves and the flow of life. The more we connect with that energy the better able we are to make the right decision at the right time, and it’ll often be in in divine right timing.

Now I’m not normally one to bleat on but I can’t help it with meditation, it’s so great. It makes you younger!!! It enhances performance, positive personality growth, improves overall self-esteem, feelings of worthiness and self-acceptance. It helps proactive health producing the relaxation response which in turn induces changes in metabolism, heart rate, respiration, blood pressure, brain chemistry and all the signs of biological aging.  It reduces stress; the recurrence of depression, pain symptoms and the sensation of pain itself. Even negative programming from the past can be offset by taking the time every day to go into silence. Indeed improvement is shown in just ONE day. Its effects extend beyond those of ordinary rest and regular practice of meditation will also bring that comfort of knowing you are a child of nature, secure, permanent and loved. It connects us with the still voice within and leads us to the wisdom of our heart and soul. Away from the past and into the now.

Learn Zen Meditation and Mindfulness in India January 2020

For more on our Wellbeing Retreats in Verkala

Or book here!

Learn Zen Meditation and Mindfulness in Aboyne March 2019

For more on our Wellbeing Retreats in Verkala

Or book here!

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Mindfulness is simply paying attention.


It can be an internal focus or an external focus, like a Japanese Tea ceremony, or equally brushing your teeth! There’s no need for special postures the whole idea is for it to be a part of everyday life.


Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh teaches:


There are two ways to wash the dishes.  The first is to wash the dishes in order to have clean dishes and the second is to wash the dishes in order to wash the dishes.”  “While washing the dishes one should only be washing the dishes, which means that while washing the dishes one should be completely aware of the fact that one is washing the dishes. ”If while washing the dishes we think only of the cup of tea that awaits us, thus hurrying to get the dishes out of the way as if they were a nuisance, then we are not ‘washing the dishes to wash the dishes.’  What’s more, we are not alive during the time we are washing the dishes.  In fact we are completely incapable of realising the miracle of life while standing at the sink.”



Consists of two broad types. Concentrative techniques are focusing, pacifying, and calming, they use a narrow focus; an object of meditation, for example: a mantra or image. Insight has a typically more investigative, wider focus leading to a clearer seeing of how things really are. Known traditionally as prajna or visspana.



The beauty of meditation and mindfulness is that unlike most other psychological therapies, it can be taught in groups by a single therapist, and participants then continue to practice the skills they have learned at home by themselves.

Our courses set up a good solid practice of concentration thus training the mind to stay where it is put. This has great value in itself, we achieve very little in life without focus. We then have the basis to delve deeper into insight.

I will be teaching Zen meditation and Mindfulness during our Wellbeing Retreats in India over the winter and offering them in Scotland from 2019 onwards!

Coming soon~

Zen Meditation and Mindfulness Module 1 Wellbeing
If you’d like to take meditation to a deeper level let me know. I plan to present this Wellbeing Module which consists of 8 x 90 minutes sessions that build to a firm foundation for your own practice of Meditation and Mindfulness.

You might also enjoy the following spiritual practices which are available in Aboyne, on retreat, and privately by arrangement.

Yoga Nidra: Training the Mind for Focus and Resolve
Yoga Nidra is a blissful relaxation for health, healing and deep wellbeing. This 6 session Module will help you through the general bleh of winter, a stressful time and help you gain the resolve and motivation you need to carry on.

OSHO Reminding Yourself of the Forgotten Language of Talking to Your BodyMind.
A process which through communicating with our own body, supports natural healing and harmony and can be used for anything in the body which is out of natural balance, for instance chronic body pains, weight imbalance and unwanted habits. Presented during one session a day for 7 successive days.

And for a taster session ~ 

Meditation, Mindfulness and Yoga Nidra

4 hours of deep relaxation and learning Sunday 24th February 2019 at 13:30–17:30 £50.00

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