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The data is clear. It takes 13 minutes to gain memory retention, laser sharp focus and satisfaction in life.

A rigorous scientific study shows that just 13 minutes of daily guided meditation helped participants get rid of brain fog, forgetfulness, stress while empowering them with laser sharp focus, memory retention, and improved emotional regulation. However there are important nuances to consider. Most importantly, can some meditation methods be detrimental? Can some bring happiness?

These are five important things to consider.

1. Expectations vs. facts. It is scientifically proven that we can prime any activity to get the best results and catalyze important physiological and neurological transformations.

In a study, 84 female room attendants across seven different hotels were told that their work of cleaning up rooms met the National Health Guidelines. Just telling them that and not changing anything else so their activity remained the same, they perceived themselves as getting more exercise, and this shift in their mindset alone had an incredible results. They decreased waist to hip ratio, body fat percentages, blood pressure, and other important markers compared to the control group.

The hypothesis being that exercise works, at least in part, via the placebo effect, meaning that our expectations, our beliefs, have incredible effects on the results that we achieve. This might also mean that if we have a negative connotation toward certain practice, or we just have no information about the results that we can achieve with it, we may have lesser results. So before you start your meditation practice, just do some research or just stay for number two.

2. Neurological threshold. Brain imaging showed that just 13 minutes of daily guided meditation practiced between five to six times on average per week had activation or an increasing activation in key areas in the brain like the prefrontal cortex and the hypocampus, which are associated with higher cognitive function. There seems to be a certain amount of time that is necessary to dedicate to this practice in order to have the remarkable results in cognitive function, like focus, memory retention, emotional regulation… Four weeks were not enough. They needed to complete a full 8 weeks of meditation. Also, another practice like for example listening to a podcast for 13 minutes a day did not deliver the same result.

So if you are going to practice this, just make sure that you have eight weeks where you can dedicate 5 to 6 days a week to this meditation.

3. Can some meditation methods be detrimental? Of course. As someone who works across many different modalities in order to elevate the quality of life, I believe it is very important to keep in mind empirical research but also our personal experience. It has been only recently that thanks to esteemed researchers like Dr Andrew Huberman or Dr Sam Harris, that we are breaching a little bit the world of neuroscience with ancient traditions.

An Insight that has emerged thanks to this is that some meditation methods can indeed be detrimental and this is when they are approached with a lack of balance between interoception and exteroception. Interoception is when we are aware of our bodily sensations. So when we are aware of our breathing, our heartbeat, our thoughts, that self-awareness and exteroception is when we are aware of external stimuli. Neuroscientifically speaking, when we have that internal focus we are reinforcing areas, networks in the brain, such as the anterior cingulate cortex or ACC or the insula, and this helps us be self-aware, which is great if we are not, but if we are already tending to be introspective or having too much rumination or negative self talk, this is going to make it worse, creating anxiety instead of relaxation. Because of that, it is important to balance it with exteroception and focus more on external stimuli.

So the practice that I shared in my previous video was the Joshin Kokyu Ho meditation, in which the first state is focusing on the breathing, focusing on the Hara or the area of the belly. However, on the second stage there is exteroception to then expand our awareness outward, and just by the fact of listening to a guided meditation, that’s somewhat balance between listening to the external stimuli of the person guiding the meditation but also focusing on our inner experience as we are doing what we are guided to do, such as focusing on our breath.

4. Can meditation bring happiness? There is an intriguing parallel between neuroscientific research and some ancient traditions of meditation. Specifically, in Joshin Kokyu Ho, the second stage of the practice when we are expanding and becoming almost like a glowing sun.

In parallel, there is a scientific research directed by Nummenmaa where there was a self-reporting tool showing the energy on the body… and before I share this I want to clarify that this study might have been a little confusing for some of us, at least it was for me, because when I saw the pictures with the glowing individuals sometimes more blue, more red, more yellow… I thought that this was actually measured scientifically, but it was a self-reporting tool, meaning that people just gave their impression of “oh, when I feel this emotion I feel the heat in this area or in that area” but it was a self-reporting tool.

The incredible thing is that across different cultures they all shared the same experience, that happiness was glowing, like shining this light throughout the whole being as you can see in the picture. So my question to you is, do you think that we can evoke neurological changes just by that intention of visualizing something? Have this cascade of chemical goodness just by stating our intention, our visualization, like in this case that we visualize that glowing experience and maybe we match the chemical signature of happiness.

I would love to hear what you think in the comments. And we’re going to move into the fifth point:

5. Timeless Wisdom. Imagine that you go to a movie theater, you’re going to watch a movie that you are eager to watch but as soon as you sit you start analyzing and dissecting every single scene. Would you get the gist of the movie? Would you enjoy the movie? Probably not. So that’s a little bit what happens with some of these ancient traditions. We know that things like focusing on our breath, letting go of past present and future so that we are present in the now, many of these things have inherent value and, when we start analyzing them so much, we don’t embody the practice.

So my invitation to you is let’s just practice it, experience it, and here is a meditation video of Joshin Kokyu Ho, the one I was talking about, guiding you a step by step in the practice so that you have firsthand experience. Let me know how it goes. 

TRADITION MEETS SCIENCE:

Unlock the power of focus and cognitive enhancement, with this traditional Japanese breathing meditation called “Jōshin Kokyū Hō” adapted to meet rigorous scientific standards. The13-minute daily guided practice has been clinically proven to deliver remarkable benefits when followed for 8 weeks.

Through regular practice, you can experience a significant reduction in fatigue, anxiety, stress, and low moods, while enhancing your ability to concentrate, boost mental cognition, and improve memory retention.

Rooted in the ancient Japanese Reiki tradition, this “Jōshin Kokyū Hō” meditation has been carefully adapted to align with clinical standards, ensuring its efficacy is backed by scientific research.

Embark on a transformative journey towards heightened focus, cognitive clarity, and inner peace with this powerful “Jōshin Kokyū Hō” meditation practice.