Notes from Meditation classes by Stanley Merrill

Why Meditate

What happens to generate stress:

We are all faced with challenging circumstances.  This is inevitable.  Unfortunately when negative circumstances occur  our responses and reactions can sometimes make the situation worse.

  • Unwanted Circumstance
  • We judge and label
  • We blame
    • Ourselves – and feel guilt and shame
    • Others – and feel hatred and anger
  • We dramatize and exaggerate
  • Our emotions are triggered
  • Our blood pressure and heart rate increases
  • We are anxious and make bad decisions
    • We create more unwanted circumstances

Physiological Impact of Stress:

The focused attention cultivated in meditation slows down  our breathing, and pulse rate and stops the flow of adrenaline.  As you relax you can avoid some of the negative impacts of adrenaline such as:

  • A weakened immune System
  • Speed up of the aging process
  • Poor sleep patterns
  • Deteriorated thinking process
  • Clogged Arteries

How Meditation Helps:

Mental Discipline:

Meditation is a discipline in focus and attention.   It helps us become aware and sensitive to our responses and reactions.  It cultivates the awareness that we need to see the situations we face with clarity and without distortion and dramatization.

We are creatures of habit and it is difficult to break our tendencies to react in an counter productive ways to our circumstances.  Meditation is an awareness practices that encourages us to constantly be aware of what we are doing and to be thoughtful and intentional about where we place the focus of our attention and energies.  When we are aware that we are in a disturbed state we can focus our mine on insightful actions instead of habitual negative reactions.


Once we develop the mental discipline through meditation we can become more mindful that is we can live more fully in the present moment.   By keeping our focus on the present moment we avoid the agitation created by regrets about the past or fears of the future.  Mindfulness brings a special quality to and appreciation of each and every precious moment.