Benefits of Meditation for Individuals
and for Society as a Whole
How is Meditation Used Today?
People from all walks of life, in all the countries of the world belonging to all the possible religions, meditate for a wide variety of reasons. The same technique offers something different to each according to his needs and motives. Some of the motives for which people meditate today are:
To relax the body, mind and rejuvenate one?s flow of energy in order to more effectively face the responsibilities of one?s demanding and active life.
To heal illnesses (especially psychosomatic ones).
To overcome emotional problems.
To develop a more relaxed and positive view towards life.
To develop a peaceful and more clearly functioning mind.
For greater ability to penetrate into the core of problems and find inspirational solutions. This has been found especially useful by scientists and businessmen.
To tune into a creative inspirations for artistic expression.
For freeing oneself from addictions such as cigarettes, alcohol, narcotics and tranquilizers.
To purify one?s character.
To develop will-power.
As a method of self-observation and self-discovery.
To develop the latent powers of the mind.
To create a relationship with God.
To develop an inner relationship with the Divine.
For spiritual growth, self-knowledge or enlightenment.
To transcend the identification with the body and mind, and experience spiritual realities.
For the ecstasy of union with the Universal Spirit, which is the essential reality of the universe.
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Moms, did you ever question your value as a role model, caretaker, administer of hugs and Band-Aids? I think we all have in today’s climate of “do more, get more, have more.”
Many of us work to bring home a paycheck and others work for our sanity. Have you ever wondered if your children were better off with the baby sitter than you?
Scientific studies are beginning to point to the overwhelming value of a mother’s love, hugs and support. Nannies, baby-sitters and relatives are terrific. They just aren’t as terrific as Mom.
I have had the best of both worlds, I suspect. I worked a high-powered executive job until my older daughter was two and a half. At a crossroads in my career, I opted to “get pregnant and stay home for a year.” Little did I realize I was about to take a ten-year hiatus from my much-loved life.
I didn’t get pregnant right away, but, after having spent a year basking in the glow of being Mom, I couldn’t bear giving up the care and nurturing of my daughter to another nanny, no matter how wonderful. I think it was the best career move of my life.
Ten years later, I am back in the work force and thriving. Yes, I felt bored much of the time. Yes, our family sacrificed the bigger house, fancier cars and vacations some of our peers were enjoying. But it was a conscious decision to sacrifice for the benefit of our children. We wanted our morals, our ethics and our life lessons to influence our them.
I think moms can work at home, be homemakers or work outside of the home and still be great moms. The most important part of mothering is being there for our children. Maybe your sacrifice is going to work but spending your precious little free time reading your child a bedtime story every night, taking him to the park on Saturdays or chaperoning your daughter’s school dance. What matters is our input, the confidence in our roles as mothers, knowing we are the best person for the role and to understand how valuable we are to society.
Pat yourselves on the backs, moms … you’ve accomplished a miracle! There is no greater sacrifice on earth, in my opinion, than making the decision to be a parent. Know how important you are. Know that your children need you to be as solid an individual as you can be. Therein lies your strength as a mother, whether you spend the day at home or in an office. We are all exceptional women in our motherhood.
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Most parents can hardly wait for their baby to say its first word. This usually happens between the nine months and a year. From about two years, the child should be able to use simple phrases, and by three he should be able to use full sentences. By four, he should be fully able to talk, although he may still make grammatical errors. By five, he should have acquired basic language.
There is little doubt that language acquisition is one of the key milestones in early childhood development. Much of a child’s future social and intellectual development hinges on this milestone. A language delay can lead to isolation and withdrawal, and to learning difficulties and poor academic performance. Recent research has revealed a dramatic link between the development of spoken language and written language among children, and the importance of language acquisition to basic reading skills.
Many parents believe that the term “language development” implies that the child’s acquisition of language is an automatic process. This, however, is not the case. There is nothing that any human being knows or can do that he has not learned. This is especially true of language acquisition.
The child begins to learn language from the day he is born. From the very first moment it is the parents’ responsibility to lay a proper foundation that will enable the child to acquire adequate language skills. Just like parents must ensure that a child follows a healthy and balanced diet for optimal physically development, they must take steps to ensure optimal language development.
HOW LANGUAGE IS ACQUIRED
Parents should start talking to their little baby from the day he is born. Some mothers are by nature quiet and reserved. Others have the unfortunate idea that it is foolish to talk to their babies, knowing that they do not understand. The mother, who does not talk continually while feeding, bathing and dressing her baby, is laying the foundation for a late talker.
The baby learns language in one way only, and that is by hearing language as the parents talk and talk to it. The more a parent can talk to a child, often repeating the same words, the same phrases, the same structures over and over, the sooner the child will learn language.
An important thing to note here is that by the time a baby is about nine months old he should be able to understand simple words and commands. He may perhaps also be able to say a few simple words already. Invariably, however, one finds that the baby understands much more than he is able to say. In fact, this remains so of any person throughout his life. One is always able to understand more of any language, even one’s mother tongue, than one is able to use in active speech. This is even more so of any second or third languages that a person is able to speak.
This shows that we have two more or less separate masses of language knowledge, our PASSIVE knowledge (also called receptive language) on one hand, and our ACTIVE (expressive language) on the other. When we listen or read, we make use of our passive vocabulary, and when we speak or write, of our active vocabulary.
An important thing to note here is that the child’s passive vocabulary came into being through constant and continual repetition of words, phrases or structures. Once a word, phrase or structure has been repeated often enough, it also becomes part of the baby’s active vocabulary. This shows that the active vocabulary can only be improved VIA the passive. Research has shown that a child who is just beginning to talk must hear a word about 500 times before it will become part of his active vocabulary. Long before that it will already form part of his passive vocabulary. This means that parents should create as many opportunities as possible in which their baby can hear them talk.
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A certain educator was once asked at what point should a parent begin to prepare for child raising.
“How old are you?” the educator inquired.
“You should begin twenty-three years ago.”
What is the message? The single most important thing a parent can do to educate a child is to provide the child with a good role model. A parent has to work a whole lifetime becoming the type of person that he wants his child to become.
The most important people in the world in the child’s eyes are his parents. They are his first and most important teachers. The behavior of a child’s parents leaves a permanent impression in the child’s subconscious mind. Why is this so? The reason is that the most reliable source of priorities and values in a child’s eyes is his parents. Children have an innate trust in their parents. They feel that everything their parents say and do is the true and proper way to behave.
We all wish our children would do what we say and not what we do. However, this is not how the mind of a child works. The intellect of a child is undeveloped. As a result, children function an emotional level, absorbing more from what they see and hear around them than from what they are taught.
What is the take home message? The main thing for you to realize is that you have far more influence on your child than you probably realize. Your child is going to pattern himself after you. That is how nature set it up. Your job as a parent is to be the best role model that you can be. True, it is hard, but that is the way it is.
The following is a story I heard recently that brings out the extent to which your child learns from your actions.
A certain kindergarten teacher once warned a group of parents to be careful how they behave in front of their children.
“By the way your children play in school,” she said. “I know which of you treat each other respectfully. I know which of you use foul language at home. I know everything about how you behave in your home by the way your child plays, talks, and behaves.”
Remember, you might think that everything that goes on in your home behind closed doors is hidden from the world, but it is not. Your child sees everything. Your child is going to take your behavior and broadcast it to the world. Make sure that what he is transmitting is something that you want the world to see.
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Did you know that the 911 equivalent in the UK (999) now has call waiting? I hope that you never find out for yourself.
Have you ever had to resuscitate someone? I sincerely hope that you haven’t. Have any of your family spent time in hospital? If they have, I hope it wasn’t for long.
Well, I have experienced all three of the above the following number of times in the last three years:
Held in a queue after dialing 999 – 4 times
Given resuscitation to my son – 6 times
Time spent at hospital bedside – at least 18 months
Oh, I almost forgot. We have also been told on no less than three occasions that it would be unlikely he would survive the next 24 hours
Am I bitter? No. In a way, I’m grateful for the experience. I wouldn’t be doing what I am doing now if it wasn’t for my son. All of my priorities have been turned around because of him.
I could be one of those people who wallow in self-pity at how unlucky they are, or how unfair life is. I have chosen not to. I have chosen to take something positive out of the fact that my 3-year-old son is severely disabled, and will be for the rest of his life. I have quit my job to spend time looking after my family. I now spend more time with my wife, my son, and I can take my 6-year-old daughter to school every day. I have decided that life is there for living, and that money (although nice to have) shouldn’t be the prime motivator for working.
I can also now appreciate how lucky I really am.
There are many families who have a ‘special’ child like ours, who is not as fortunate as my son. We are lucky that we have a healthy daughter. I am lucky that I have a wonderful wife. Being in this situation makes you appreciate the good things, instead of focusing on the bad things.
I envy families that can go on holiday together, who can play in the park together, or can go out for a meal together. The saddest thing is not what I haven’t got, it is those who have got what I want not even realizing the lucky hand they have been dealt in this game of life. Be thankful what you are able to do or be, and don’t dwell on those things that you wish for. If you could realize how lucky you are, then your life will improve dramatically, just like mine. Be grateful that you have a roof over your head, electricity, television, and running water. There are a lot of people in this world who have none of these and end up becoming more successful than you or I.
If you can show gratitude for what you have, and use your energy towards attaining what you don’t have, then you are on the first rung on the ladder to success.
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