Meditation is the new super-rich kid in the college that is attracting eyeballs all around. It is an eastern practice called Dhyana (Chan in Chinese, Zen in Japanese). In simple words, it is the practice to gain control over the mind. A controlled mind is the stepping stone to enlightenment.
Not many of us are seeking enlightenment as Buddha did, but we certainly are looking at the ways and means to get over our miseries, physical and emotional.
If you are reading this, then you already have some or more information about meditation. After reading this you will be able to know the following about meditation
- People who practice meditation (Before and after)
- Different ways to do meditation
- Benefits of Meditation
- Market of Meditation
Human beings have made great strides in mastering nature. Our scientific achievements are stupendous. Hunger and diseases are primarily contained. We are the wealthiest generation known to humankind. But we are also fast becoming the unhappiest. Stress has become the new killer.
Modern lifestyle with the unremitting competition, weekend social support systems, globalized offices, smartphone apps, 24 by seven news, all contribute to stress. It triggers the production of the hormone cortisol by the adrenal glands. Constant exposure to cortisol is harmful to your brain, heart, and immune system.
Mediation is the cheapest and the easiest way to overcome stress.
About 200 million to 500 million people globally practice Meditation. They are multiple ways of meditating.
For religions like Hinduism and Buddhism, Meditation is an inbuilt part of faith.
Few Statistics about Meditation
Number of people practicing Meditation
According to a recent survey, 14.2 % of Americans accepted practicing Meditation once a week. This is just a shade less than 14.3 % American s who claim to practice Yoga. The proportion of American children who practiced Meditation jumped from .6% to 5.4 %.
The proportion of adults who at least tried Meditation more than tripled over five years, while the percentage of children who meditated at least once increased by a factor of nine.
Practiced meditation compared
According to CDC research, Women were more likely to meditate than men. 16.3% of women said that they had practiced Meditation compared to 11.8% of men.
15.9 % of middle-aged people practiced Meditation compared to 13.4 % for younger and above 65 age group.
Among Kids, the older they were, the more likely it was that they would meditate compared to younger ones.
In India, Art of Living foundation, which teaches a meditative practice called Sudarshan Kriya, claims to have more than 370 million followers spread in 155 countries. Its proponent is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, an Indian Guru who resides in Bengaluru, India.
Similarly, Sahaj Yoga, as Propounded by Her Holiness Nirmala Mataji has followers in 140 countries. It aims at attaining a state of thoughtless awareness through the balancing of Chakras.
Although they don’t have the exact statistics to quantify their followers in numbers.
Patanjali Yoga Trust
It is based in Haridwar, India. It is led by well known Yoga Guru Baba Ramdev. He teaches Yoga and Meditation based on the eight-step path taught by Maharishi Patanjali. It claims to have more than fifty million followers.
Yoga has been embraced in India by well-known people like Prime Minister Modi. It has also become an international event with 21st June as being celebrated the International Yoga day.
Vipassana (meaning witnessing) the method of mediation having its roots in Buddhism and with Gautama Buddha, its original master is being taught in ninety-one countries globally at 341 centers. It was reborn in public consciousness by the efforts of S.N. Goenkaji, who brought this esoteric teaching from Burma to India. It attracts some serious followers like Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter.
Zen meditation is very popular in Korea and Japan. It is also widely practiced in the west. It begins by focusing your attention on the breadth and trying to control the wandering tendency of mind. If the mind is controlled, than entire life would also be under control. It again has millions of followers though exact numbers cannot be quantified.
Tai Chi is a Chinese martial art cum meditation practice. It has millions of followers worldwide, though exact numbers again cannot be quantified. It is believed to have several physiological and physical benefits.
It has been taught to millions of followers by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Its most famous students were Beatles. It has supposedly five million followers globally. It takes the help of a mantra to calm the mind. It has been proven to improve creativity and is popular amongst the creative types.
Is a new form of stress reduction technique that has originated in Europe. It marries Eastern meditative concepts with western relaxation concepts. It is merely fifty years old and was pioneered by Spanish neuropsychiatric Alfonso Caycedo in the 1960s. It is a step by step method for conquering anxiety and building consciousness.
Students use it for managing stress, helping women give birth, and to reduce corporate burnouts. It is also used by sports stars to prepare themselves for mega-events.
It has now spread across Atlantic and has gained thousands of adherents.
87% decline in chances of being hospitalized for cardiovascular disease. As mediation is an antidote to stress, it is tremendously beneficial to people who suffer from heart related problems.
Meditation lowers Blood Pressure
80% of the people who were practicing Meditation saw their blood pressure getting lowered; further, 16% of the people could get rid of their medication altogether.
75% of insomniacs who practiced Meditation daily were able to doze off to sleep within 20 minutes. Even better, 91% of them could get rid of their medication.
Meditation reduced both physical and Physiological PMS symptoms by 57%.
General Well Being
76 % of the practitioners who practice regularly claim improvement in their general well being. They felt healthier and happier. 60 % of people reported increased energy levels. They also claimed reduced stress and increased happiness.
Meditation helps in Anxiety
After practicing meditation for 6-9 months, two-third of practitioners claim a reduction in anxiety level by 60 %. It is better than most medication with the added advantage of no side effects.
Mindfulness meditation helped people with back pain to reduce their discomfort by 30%.
Mindfulness meditation reduced the symptoms of PTSD in 73 % of cases. Although further studies are still required for the exact analysis of data. It was more effective than prolonged exposure therapy.
Better concentration and memory
Even within a short span of four days, there was an improvement in cognitive functions. Executives reported improved decision making.
Those who practiced Meditation for eight weeks showed an increase of grey matter in the hippocampus, an area of the brain known for memory learning and emotional regulation.
It also improved an area called TPJ, involved in empathy and the ability to take multiple perspectives. It added cells to another area called Pons, which generates regulatory neurotransmitters.
A study from Rutgers University combined Mental and physical exercise. That is Aerobics followed by mindful Meditation showed amazing results, including significant production of neurons. It also showed improved concentration.
40% of participants found a permanent solution to their depression issues. In 12% of the cases, Meditation has been shown to reduce depression relapse.
It has been shown to a 43% increase in telomerase an enzyme needed to delay the onset of disease, including Alzheimer’s.
Statistics of those who practice Meditation
APPs: There are more than 1500 meditation and mindfulness apps. Headspace alone has 35 million users in 190 countries. Calm has featured 26 million downloads, with 50,000 new sign-ups each day.
Market of Meditation
It is expected to grow from 1.7 billion USD in 2017 to 2 Billion USD in 2022.
- 52% of the employers offered mindfulness training at workplaces.
- One company found that Meditation increased productivity by 120%.
- There is a lot of evidence on the positive impact of Meditation on the classroom environment.
- One school was able to reduce suspensions by 45% after introducing Meditation.
Women are more likely to meditate then men. The reason could be men externalize their emotions while women tend to internalize them. They tend to ruminate over a problem longer; hence, Meditation naturally attracts more women. The difference is 4%.
- The global wellness industry is expected to be 4.2 trillion dollars.
- Google trends indicate that Australia and Ireland are two countries that search for online information on Meditation.
- During the war in Lebanon in 1980, peacekeeping committees were formed in Jerusalem. They reportedly reduced war-related deaths by 76%.
Various forms of meditation are available in schools, Gyms, smartphones, and even on Television. It is difficult not to be swayed by its all pervading presence.
It is the best available cure for stress and loneliness. It helps you connect at a much deeper level with yourself and others.
At the spiritual level, it helps you get rid of your karmic baggage.
Modern men, with his highly evolved intelligence, often finds traditional religions unable to answer his deeper queries. Meditation answers both the material and spiritual needs of an individual. Though it originated in India, it now has a global following.