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Dr. Vijaya Nair began meditating at the age of six. She eventually took the discipline to the next level by studying yoga and meditation in medical school at the National University of Singapore. Dr. Nair found the techniques sharpened her mind and helped her studies so much that she decided to do her post doctoral studies at Harvard and later at Columbia University. “I found my calling,” she remembers. But Dr. Nair believes meditation cleared a path for her that is far more relatable than just reaching the pinnacle of academic and material achievement. One she hopes to share in her monthly free Peace Meditation Group in Armonk/Bedford.
New to America, she had three children, a stressed out husband, and mounds of work between her job, family and research fellowship work. “Stress encouraged me to dive in within myself for answers,” she remembers. "Meditation provided clarity and peace of mind. So I just knew what I had to do, and did it.”
Easy Effective Methods
The monthly free Peace Meditation continues with a discussion of how our mind, thoughts and feelings interact to cause anxiety, worry, concerns and even physical illnesses. “They take on a life of their own. Many people do not know that they have a choice of easy effective methods to stop living in a state of constant stress and unhappiness,” said the Bedford resident.
Instead, during the second Peace Meditation phase, group participants learn to circumvent distractions by focusing on breath. The moment is facilitated by listening to a Buddhist peace chant, inspired by monk, author, and peace activist Thich Nhat Hanh.
During the meditation, a sensation of minimal or no thoughts emerges, and pain is miraculously transformed into inner peace. “You end up in a place that has deep compassion, wisdom and understanding. In this state, the person may reach a deeper realization of the very same concerns or problems they came to the session with. Many participants come out of the meditation with solutions they could not have guessed when dealing with the emotional and mental stress of their problems,” says Dr. Nair.
During phase three, the group participants are encouraged to relish the inner peace and quiet for a few more minutes. The process is then completed with a guided visualization or light meditation. The final phase allows the viewer to give and receive with all their heart; the gifts of peace, love and gratitude with their loved ones, all beings everywhere, and Mother Earth," says Dr. Nair’s website Soul Access Meditations.
Practice small doses.
On their own, Dr. Nair instructs participants to pace themselves. 20 minutes, twice a day, she said, “You don’t just get to quiet your mind straight away. You can practice small doses of five to 10 minutes of daily meditation and mindful living. This will help relax you, and you will begin to find peace and joy in the midst of a busy day.”
Mindful living activities include being aware of your breathe and body as you walk or actually experiencing food as you eat. She also recommends taking time during stressful moments to put a hand over your heart and breathe.
Activate Brain and Heart Harmony
“You can activate brain and heart harmony by requesting the mind to send images that are the combination of the following powerful words: appreciation, gratitude, love, care, and compassion. You can start feeling the warmth and happiness in your chest within a few minutes,” said Dr. Nair.
The build up of positivity, gratitude, and joy will eventually put negative thoughts and emotions at bay. This keeps people from avoiding problems by busying themselves with work, bad habits, or other distractions. In her case, she had to figure out how to balance an internal drive that put overachieving above all else.
“You don’t have to run away,” she said. “A magical thing happens when your mind starts to rest. You actually achieve much more, learn better and have more clarity and creativity in your life. It’s a more fun and creative way to live life.”
The sky is the limit.
Success means activating the warm loving vibration of your higher self that facilitates healing on so many levels. “You see things like a witness. So now instead of reacting to stress, you can respond,” Dr. Nair said. “Once you know how to reach within your creative higher self, the sky is the limit. You live life fearlessly and with joy.”
Old news in the East, the science now agrees. The proof, according to Nair, is the facilitation of gamma wave activity during deep meditation. Mental capacity then increases, while relaxation and positively go on the rise, and impacts anxiety and depression.
The heightened awareness that meditation brings enables the brain to more efficiently use energy to improve conditions such as cancer, heart disease, and lyme disease, according to Nair. In fact, she says, “Multiple research studies show that the meditation states can affect immune functioning and the anti-aging process.”
But mostly she sees people, who despite success, are never able to put aside the worries of tomorrow. “When it comes, there’s always another tomorrow to worry about. So there’s no joy of living in the present,” she said. "It is sad when you reach the pinnacle of success in terms of materialism and career achievements, and you begin to wonder if this is all there is to life.”
This confuses many as to why they are so deeply unhappy. "You have not connected to your higher self," she reasoned.
Gain Compassion, Wisdom, and Support
Fortunately, Dr. Nair can attest to positive change for participants. “A lot of people realize something is off in their lives,” she said. “They come here in order to experience a different way to connect with themselves and gain the compassion, wisdom, and support they have wanted all their lives. They are better able to enjoy quality and loving relationships and serve their community with wholeheartedness, ease and grace,” she concludes.
For more information on Peace Meditation