Continuing on last week’s blog on Meditation For Entrepreneurs. Why And How?, let’s explore some science and spirituality. Never thought these two words would ever be in one sentence. LOL
Scientific study around meditation
There are many scientific studies that have shown how meditation works in the body. Here is what Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Sara Lazar, found from her studies on meditation. Meditation and similar practices can improve, expand and change your brain. Some findings showed enhanced senses, improved executive decision making (so entrepreneurs???) and increased gray matter in the prefrontal cortex (It is a part of the brain located at the front and is implicated in a variety of complex behaviors, including planning, and greatly contributes to personality development). Also meditation enhances the production of regulatory neurotransmitters and reduction of brain areas related to anxiety, fear and stress. Read more from Gaia.
Religious and indigeneous practice. Prayer is not meditation
In many world religions today, meditation is a standard practice. But let’s not confuse prayer for meditation. Prayer is an excellent spiritual practice. Different kinds of prayers is practiced through out all religious practices. From Christianity, Islam, Buduhism to more indegenous spiritality like African traditional spirituality, diverse Aisan or Eastern spirirtual practices and even older west European spiritual practices. Prayer is more of an external practice where you are either being grateful by expressing gratitude, asking for something or praying or something or someone.
Whereas meditation is an inwards practice where you look inwards within your body, mind and soul. You activate the inner space using diverse techniques. One very profound technique is using your breath. Breath is a free gift of life and the life force that connects us all. Why not use it to cleanse and rejuvenate your soul? Also let’s not mistake the effect of achieving calmness through meditation with the calmness you can also achieve through different practices like a walk in nature, a trance dance, Yoga and many more. All these practices are extremely vital for you as an entrepreneur and we will explore more of them in future blogs, so remember to subscribe and come back weekly to read new blogs.
During my research trip for a documentary I am working on, I met with several religious and spiritual leaders from different belief systems. I was amazed how a Muslim Imam (an Arabic spiritual leader), a Christian pastor and an African traditional priest all confirmed the profoundness of taking contemplative quiet time to meditate.
Meditation for cognitive enhancement as used by an African spirituality
This blew my mind! Two different African traditional priests who are both followers of a Yoruba indigenous spirituality called Ifa explained the concept of meditation to me. We, in Africa know so much, have so much, but we have forgotten or never cared to ask. These Ifa priests enlightened me about the concept of training upcoming priests to contemplate through the 256 Ifa scriptures.
Just like the Bible scriptures or Koran or Sanskrit (Buddhism), Yoruba belief has its own scriptures. What fascinated me the most, was that these scriptures were not written down in a book-form. So you could not read to remember, but you had to memorise to remember. They explained that these young potential priest in training had to spend time meditating. It has already been known to the Ifa Worshipers that a form of meditation was needed to improve their memory. They were taught scriptures and would have to memorise it. They had to recite it to incorporate it in their memory. Hence that meditation is believed to enhance the cognitive ability of the trainees.
I was enlightened further about the special, in most cases, sacred nutritional practices and recitation methods applied to enhance the cognitive abilities of the trainees. Meditation they explained what very key. In future blogs, we will introduce you to some of these nutrition and recitation mantras I learned to enhance cognitive ability. Like I said, I learned a whole lot and it is unfortunate we do not tap into these profound, now even some backed scientifically, knowledge.
Next week we’ll continue this session with meditation as I share my own simple method everyone can try. Let me know your thoughts on meditation. Have you ever tried to? What works for you? For example, I love to close my eyes during meditation. Share your comments and questions. Remember to subscribe to my newsletter for more practices on how to refresh your mind and improve your wellöbeing as an entrepreneur. More information will be published on my YouTube channel, so do not forget to subscribe if you are on YouTube.
I wish you a happy and peaceful meditation,