Mental Health Today
” Approximately 1 in 4 people will experience a mental health problem each year. In England, 1 in 6 people report experiencing a common mental health problem (such as anxiety and depression) in any given week.”
Statistics taken from Mind website.
Taken from the 2016 census for mental disorders the above statistics, however, were taken from studies that have surveyed people living in private housing in England. The figures do not include the number of people experiencing mental health problems in hospitals, prisons, sheltered housing or people who are homeless. Therefore, these figures may underestimate the prevalence of mental health problems.
These statistics highlight the size of the problem facing humanity today. The health services in the UK, Europe and USA are overstretched and unable to provide satisfactory support for those in their communities dealing with mental health issues. So, what can we do to help ourselves? In this article I look at how meditation benefits mental health.
Four years ago I was managing severe anxiety, depression and CPTSD. The mental issues were causing psychosomatic physical problems such as intermittent loss of feeling in my legs. When I started to have the problem with my legs I was unaware that the cause may be psychosomatic. It took 18 months of tests to discover that there was no obvious physical problem. When my consultant suggested counselling I jumped through all the hoops of the NHS system and was placed on a waiting list of at least 10 months.
I had to take immediate remedial action myself and get out of the spiraling financial debts that were exacerbating the depression. So, I bought a caravan and moved to a farm in the middle of Exmoor. I changed my diet and started on an intensive path of daily spiritual processes including meditation. Over a period of three years I gradually recovered until today I am almost completely free from anxiety and the physical symptoms arising from it. I consider meditation to be one of the major contributing factors of my recovery.
What is Meditation?
The process of mediation follows several stages.
It starts with Abstraction. This is the power to withdraw the outgoing attention from objective and tangible things and turn it within and focus it in the center of the head.
This is followed by Concentration or fixation of the mind. This is one-pointed living and involves also bringing the mind into activity in the place of the emotions. Thus, both the emotional and physical systems are controlled by the focused mind.
Only then does Meditation begin in earnest. This is prolonged attention or concentration and brings about the power to focus the mind upon a higher level of consciousness called, in arcane wisdom, the soul. This produces radical changes on all levels and substantiates the truth of, ‘As a man thinketh, so is he.’
Finally this leads to Contemplation which is the act of the soul upon its own level of consciousness as it looks out over the forms and contacts the energies found in the spiritual kingdom of nature. This is followed by the pouring down into the brain, by way of the controlled mind, of soul knowledge and energy and it known as Illumination.
How does it affect the mind
Meditation is a purely mental process. It is the result of an inward-turning of attention, and the abstraction of the consciousness from form and substance and a centering within itself. The meditation process necessitates the withdrawal of the consciousness from all physical forms and the abstraction from all feeling and emotion.
‘He dwells on the plane of the mind, persists in meditation, creates by an act of will and not through the helplessness of desire, and is a ‘free soul.’ a master and a liberated man.’
The Light of the Soul – Alice Bailey
How it helps mental health
The Basics of Arcane Health will be the focus of another article but suffice it to say that it is based upon the understanding of the seven centers of energy within the etheric body and their subsequent effect upon the endocrine glands of the body. The endocrine glands, through the production of the hormones regulate the health of the body and mind.
The results of meditation are the correct alignment, right relationship, and clear channels for the seven energies through the seven centers and there, by way of the endocrine system, to a clear balanced regulation of the health of the body and mind. The conscious direction of spiritual energy playing through the vital body and the centers should bring the physical body and the endocrine system eventually into such a condition that we should have perfect health.
This process can only be proven by the individual undertaking a serious commitment to a meditative process and experiencing the results for themselves. It can also be testified to by those that have undertaken the process and have thereby achieved satisfactory results.
Four years ago I could hardly walk, I was unable to drive and for a while I was so debilitated by anxiety that I was unable to leave the house. A lifetime of anxiety and dealing with emotional trauma had reduced me to a condition of constant fear and suicidal depression as a result. Three years later, through learning to withdraw my attention from my emotional issues and control the vicious cycles of negative over-thinking, I am able to live a normal life. Beyond that, my health on all levels has improved dramatically and I have never felt so happy and fulfilled.
Could the teaching of this form of meditation to those suffering from mental health issues be an answer? Mindfulness is now taught as part of the NHS support for mental health. How about taking that one step further? How about teaching meditation to children at a young age as a form of preventative medicine?
What do you think?