Ivan Zamorano

Acupunture Treatment

Meditation as medicine: Vanessa Kettering at TEDxClaremontColleges

Translator: Tijana Mihajlović
Reviewer: Denise RQ I’d like to begin with an aspiration. “May you hear something today
that ignites a spark in your consciousness and enables you to live a life
that is in alignment with your highest ideals
and deepest values.” Easier said than done, right? We live in a world
that’s addicted and afflicted. So, either it’s food, angry birds (Laughter) or something more immediately
and obviously destructive, like drugs or alcohol, the process is essentially the same: anything that takes us out of the moment, creates a distraction
or an illusion of comfort, can be extremely seductive. So, what’s the solution? Don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you to ask your doctor
if X, Y, or Z medication is right for you. But I want to propose
something much simpler that can be practiced
by people of all ages. Possible side effects may include: lower blood pressure, improved immune functioning, better sleep, more adaptive emotional responses, improved ability to focus, and a general increase
in sense of well-being. It’s one letter different than medication
and it rhymes with accreditation, sort of. Meditation, yoga, another ancient traditions
of focusing the mind and the body have been practiced
around the world for centuries. And science has only recently
began to scratch the surface, in terms of understanding
the impact of these powerful habits. Still, why meditate? Well, like it or not, our minds are programmed to function
essentially like an iPod shuffle. For those of you in the audience
who still have Walkman at home, an iPod shuffle
is this colorful little device that has all our pre-downloaded
programs and music, and randomly shuffles through the tracks. Similarly, the untrained monkey mind is automatically
and unconsciously switching between familiar scripts
and patterns of behavior, and driving our thoughts
and actions most of the time. So, how do we get
the monkey off our minds? To borrow an analogy from a best-selling author
and Buddhist teacher, Jack Kornfield, we train the mind essentially
in the same way we would train a puppy. Be patient, be consistent, and hopefully, you’ll have
some fun along the way. And eventually, we may develop
the ability to pay attention and begin to see the beauty
that’s inherent in each moment. Beauty that is more often than not missed, missed because there’s something
more important happening five years from now,
or this weekend, or last year. Yes, but … I can’t turn my mind off, I don’t have time, I can’t do a full lotus yet. You name it, I’ve made the excuse. But finally, I decided to stop
making excuses and just start sitting, and my life got different. I’m still an imperfect perfectionista
with unrealistic expectations, but somehow, life
feels lighter, more fluid. And it’s never enough,
and I’ll always want more, but I’m learning
to take a timeout every day, and take responsibility
for my own quality of life. Because there’s a million and one
new apps, programs, devices, and gadgets all promising greater health
and happiness. And I’m here to say
that all we really need is our breath, now available for 3,99. (Laughter) But with that being said, if you can find something that helps you commit to a more regular practice
or a healthier lifestyle, and it’s not overly distracting, then, by all means, go for it. But in the words of Sharon Saltzberg,
meditation is the ultimate mobile device. You can use it anytime,
anywhere, unobtrusively. Anyway, don’t take my word for it. Let’s try out for ourselves. So I invite you to sit comfortably
with both feet on the floor, or run out of the room screaming – that’s fine, too;
we all have free will here. (Laughter) But if you’re still with me, let’s go into the experience
of focusing on the breath. (Meditation gong sound) You can start by dropping
the awareness into the body. Gently focus on the rising and falling
of the in and out breath. You are likely to have thoughts
competing for your attention. When you notice this is happening, gently bring your awareness
back to the sensation of the breath. (Meditation gong sound) Thank you for joining me
for that experience. And hopefully, you’ll see that it doesn’t have to be
complicated or mystical. It can be as simple as setting aside
some time in the morning or before you go to bed at night, and stopping throughout the day
to take a few mindful breaths. You’re worth it. (Applause)

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