Did you know that meditating for just 20 minutes a day can significantly decrease your stress levels? Or, if you bump that time up to 30 minutes a day, you can actually increase the gray matter in your brain?

Many moons ago I took a course a Buddhist Psychology course as part of my graduate studies at the University of West Florida. The description for the class is as follows:

"A practical overview of the psychological implications of various schools of Buddhism. Topics include the 4 Noble Truths, 8-fold path,3 marks of existence, dependent origination, enlightenment, attachments, nature of self, concentration and mindfulness, sunyata, tantra, personal-spiritual growth, and the interfacting of Buddhist and Western Psychologies. The course will be lectures and discussions. The main requirement is one or two papers integrating lectures, readings, and personal thoughts."

Totally badass, right?

Part of the course consisted of practicing mediation for the duration of the term. I'll be the first to admit I didn't really take it seriously. With all the 'real' graduate work I had going on I viewed this class and it's meditation homework assignments as kind of a fluff course. Since then I've actually re-read a few of the books we used in the class and am going to work on reading them again now that I'm trying to find ways to keep myself centered and focused. If you have every  been interested in Meditation but have no idea where to start I'd recommend both of these books:

When people start to get interested in meditation I think it's very easy to get overwhelmed. Really, at it's core, you can get incredible physical and psychological benefits from just sitting, breathing, and relaxing for 5 minutes a day. Given how sporadic my life is at the moment that is my goal for now. 5 minutes a day just after I finish working out and stretching. How easy would that be to do?

I give it 2 weeks before I fall out of practice again.

But hey, it's something.