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Why I Participated in Scientific Research: Insights from a Decade of Meditation Practice

For the past decade, I have been deeply engaged in the practice of insight meditation, having been drawn to Vipassana meditation after experiencing my first retreat. This experience was a revelation, showing me the profound potential of this practice and inspiring me to delve deeper into its methodologies.

In Western culture, the concept of turning inward is not a standard practice. Our daily lives are predominantly outward-focused, occupied with reading, listening to music, watching screens, or being absorbed in our thoughts. Meditation, however, introduces techniques to observe thoughts and sensory stimuli, allowing practitioners to see their reactions in a new light. When I began meditating, it felt as though my mind was placed under a magnifying glass, and everything slowed down. For the first time, I became acutely aware of my responses to various triggers, something I had previously been oblivious to.

Experiential training through meditation is crucial and cannot be fully understood through intellectual study alone. No amount of book learning can substitute for the direct experience of meditation. After more than 3,000 hours of practice, I am still learning and evolving, continually refining my understanding. This ongoing process is comparable to constantly filtering dirty water or wiping a misted glass—each time, it brings a bit more clarity.

The results of this intensive practice have been transformative. It gave more self-confidence, calmness, and clarity, along with a significant reduction in stress and tension. Furthermore, I have developed a deeper understanding of my psyche and noticed a shift in my reactions to the external world.

My motivation for participating in scientific research stemmed from my firsthand experiences with meditation. Having witnessed its powerful effects on my own life, I felt compelled, when being invited, to contribute to research that examines the impact of meditation on brain processes. I find it of great importance that the benefits of meditation are not just shared anecdotally but are also substantiated by scientific evidence.

This research aims to uncover the effects that meditation has on certain brain processes. 

By participating in this scientific study, I aim to bridge the gap between experiential personal change and empirical scientific data, enhancing our collective understanding of meditation and its capacity to unearth and clarify the processes of our subconscious minds.

Author Shima - Neurocalm Training Institute

Shima is the founder of the Neurocalm training Institute and author of the book ‘the sleep curator’. She is amongst others a certified yoga therapist and teacher, breathwork- meditation and trauma coach. With over 3000+ hours of formal meditation training which of 2 years spent living a monastic lifestyle, studying buddhist psychology.

Considered an expert meditator, she took part in scientific study on the effect of meditative states on the brain.

She provides experiential training to increase body mind awareness and release tension and stress.

She works with (ex) cancer patients, people with insomnia, burnout, therapists, psychologists, coaches and other professionals.

Overcoming amongst others Insomnia and anxiety attacks, has led her working from a deeper level of understanding.

She has worked with 100s people in her studio in The Netherlands and Internationally.

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