As cell phones ring, e-mail piles up, and work and off hours blend together, it is nearly impossible to stay centered in today's world."Meditation is so valuable for the American world," said Lama Dawa Zangpo, a Buddhist teacher who studied meditation three years in Oregon. He explained that the hectic, fast-paced lifestyle and must-do attitude of most Americans puts them under pressure and provides a healthy dose of stress.The Consumer Health Information Service, a service of the Hawaii Medical Library, defines meditation as "a technique of mind control that often leads to a feeling of inner calm and peacefulness, and may result in profound experiences of self-realization and transcendental awareness."Zangpo, who moved to Marble a few years ago, leads a twice-weekly Tibetan Buddhist meditation on Sundays and Wednesdays at a Native American kiva near Carbondale. This meditation is open to the public, and it draws anywhere from 6 to 15 participants per session.Many of the participants are Buddhists, but not everyone who comes is associated with the religion."Some people realize that 'Something is missing from my life,' and they meditate trying to find peace," Zangpo said. Many of these same people do decide to embrace Buddhist teachings after participating, but it is a process that occurs not as an overnight conversion, he said.Being in a state of meditation is an art form in that the mind is challenged to focus and clear. Looking for a boost to your creativity? Meditation may be the answer. Professor John Fagan of Maharishi International University in Fairfield, Iowa, said he believes meditation stimulates creativity. Studies such as one in the Journal of Creative Behavior revealed that the practice of transcendental meditation does increase creativity.Zangpo gave two reasons for meditating using the Tibetan Buddhist philosophy: "In the beginning it calms your mind. After your mind clears, you can cultivate wisdom and see more clearly how things are.""Normally we are distracted and paying attention to all that is happening around us," Zangpo said. "Meditation is a way of training the mind so you don't get pulled in so many directions."Buddhist meditation is just one religion that uses this technique. "The discipline is found in many other religions including Christianity, Hinduism and Islam, and it is also advocated by many practitioners of holistic health for its impact on stress-related disease," according to CHIS. You can also undertake meditation on your own by getting a book on the subject and heading for the mountains, so give yourself the permission to find peace and contentment over the weekend.
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