The Benefits of Meditation – recent research

30 Aug

There are many research studies on the benefits of meditation. And here are just a few summaries from some recent studies, which point to meditation not only being good for quietening the mind, but it’s also great for supercharging the brain!

  • Meditation practiced consistently over a long period of time changes brain structure for the better.  A 2011 study shows that meditation can have a positive effect on the brain in as little as eight weeks.  Participants in the study showed increases in grey matter in the hippocampus, which is associated with self-awareness, social awareness, compassion, and memory formation. (Psychiatry Research: Neuro-imaging,Volume 191, Issue 1 , pp 36-43, 30 January 2011)
  •  Tonya Jacobs, a scientist at UC Davis’s Center for Mind and Brain, has just reported (on-line in the journal Psychoneuroendocrinology) that meditators show improved psychological well-being, and that these improvements lead to biochemical changes associated with resistance to aging at the cellular level. Specifically, an analysis of meditators’ white blood cells showed a 30 percent increase in an enzyme called telomerase, an anti-aging enzyme.  The scientists emphasize that meditation does not lead directly to cellular health and longevity. Instead, the practice appears to give people an increased sense of meaning and purpose in life, which in turn leads to an increased sense of control over their lives and to less negative emotion. This cascade of emotional and psychological changes is what regulates the levels of the anti-aging enzyme. (Wray Herbert, Huffingon Post)
  • Another 2011 study showed how meditation practice contributed to significant development of new neural connections throughout the whole brain which helped to regulate the emotions and behaviour.  (“Enhanced brain connectivity in long-term meditation practitioners,” Neuro Image. Volume 57, Issue 4, pp 1308-16, August 2011).
  •  Cases of Alzheimers are on the increase right across the world. In Ireland alone we have over 47000 sufferers.  A study published in 2010 in the Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease showed that meditation shows great promise for lessening and possibly reversing the effects of Alzheimer’s Disease.  A form of meditation called the Kirtin Kriya (a chanting meditation) which takes only around 11 minutes, practiced every day for eight weeks, was found to increase cognitive abilities and improve memory in Alzheimers sufferers.

Meditation Classes starting on Wednesday 26th September

23 Aug

A seven week programme  in meditation starting at Quills Cross, Farmers Bridge Tralee on Wednesday 26th September at 7pm.

You will be taught various meditation practices which you can use in your own time for the purpose of relieving everyday stresses. In the design of my classes I draw on the writings of Jim Cogley (Wood you Believe), Eckhart Tolle (the Power of Now), Bhante Henepola Gunaratana (Mindfulness in Plain English), and Jon Kabat-Zinn (Full Catastrophe Living) amongst others. We also do meditation techniques from Hawaiin Shamanism, Chakra meditation, Kriya Kirtin meditation and cardiac coherence mediation. CD copies of meditations are available at a nominal charge.

Time: 7pm prompt start (Sessions generally last a little over an hour.)
Fees:   €80 for 7 weeks to be paid in  advance – the fee includes Free Internet Access to Meditation Resources.
Sessions must be booked in advance as the number of participants is restricted to 10 persons maximum.

The classes are held at my meditation centre at Quills Cross, Farmers Bridge, Tralee  centre which is 5 miles south of Tralee town centre  just off the main Tralee to Killorglin road. For directions go to

SAT Nav co-ordinates:
520 13′ 39″ N and 90 38′ 54″ W

Contact: or ring 087 967 1237.

Relax …. Relax….. Relax……

23 Aug

Commit the next 9 minutes to listen to a guided relaxation session on


Derrymore Beach

The Voice inside your mind

1 May

I deal with a lot of clients for all kinds of personal issues including self confidence, public speaking, weight management, smoking etc. Many times clients mention the torment created by their inner voice, the voice inside their mind which is consciously expressing their thoughts. Some people refer to it as an inner critic.  Sometimes they don’t notice it and sometimes they wish it would shut up and give them some peace.  It is sad that sometimes it is saying nice things about them and they tune this out. More often than not, when this voice inside their head is stuck in a tape loop criticising, judging and recriminating them for some action or omission, they are listening to it intently and the more they listen to it, the more ammunition it fires at them, generating more and more negative thoughts which may transform into feelings of anxiety, worry, dejection or depression. What a great state to be in?

For more go to:

The Present Moment

19 Jul

Peace can only exist in the present moment.  It is ridiculous to say ‘Wait
until I finish this, then I will be free to live in peace.’

What is ‘this’? A job, a house, paying a debt? If you think that way peace will never come.

There is always another ‘this’ that will follow the present one.

If you truly want to be at peace, be at peace right now! Otherwise, there is
only ‘the hope of peace some day.’ Thich Nhat Hanh

Watch this little video and relax.

Peace in the present moment


18 Jul

For today, simply observe how you  breathe, following the air in and out of your body. Are there times when you hold your breath? Maybe when changing position, getting in and out of your car, or when concentrating? If you notice this, just breathe!  Simply breathe ……

Kilkenny Pasture

Kilkenny Pasture