82-year-old expert meditator shares her insights on the power of spirituality, the excitement of ageing and the paradoxes of today’s youth
Who best to ask for life advice but
to someone who, faced with the question
‘what are your regrets?’ immediately answers ‘none’?
Françoise is a yoga and ex-French
literature teacher, who has practiced meditation for over 40 years. I had the
wonderful opportunity to ask her about how mindfulness transformed her life.
What amazed me the most about Françoise, is that despite her apparent wisdom and strong belief in her way of life, there was no wish to convince me of anything. She knows that her happiness speaks for itself. I hope that you will find this conversation as inspiring as I did.
A synonym for the word ‘meditation’?
Faced with this question, Françoise
first brought up the word ‘tranquility’.
She then paused. “Actually, this is
more of a state achieve through
“The real synonym of meditation is
“Engaging in meditation is about
embarking on a process through which we build real happiness from within. It
takes effort, and silence is absolutely necessary.”
Despite a difficult childhood and an
unaffectionate mother which left her with anxiety as an adult, Françoise was
able to find contentment that was less dependent upon external circumstances.
But meditation is not just about hard work. For Françoise, “Everything is easier now. I fight less with my husband. I take things as they come. And I am never waiting or wanting for things to happen.”
The biggest benefit of meditation?
“Thanks to meditation, there is no
bad weather. Every day when I wake up, whether it is raining or I see the sun
beaming, I am at peace.”
Whether Françoise means this literately, or as a metaphor for life, or both, I think this is a pretty appealing… Plus a particularly good investment for Belgium residents.
Your best argument for taking up a meditation / mindfulness practice?
“When you go buy a jacket, you know that spending 100€ as opposed to 15€ will usually get you a better quality one, right? Well, it’s the same with happiness. How can you expect to be more fulfilled, if you do not spend time on yourself?”
How can meditation transform life at work?
‘You know what a student of mine once
said to me? With you Ma’am, it’s different, you are the same person inside as
outside the school classroom.”
Françoise explains that meditation was critical for finding the confidence to be her authentic self, as a teacher. Equipped with less negative self-questioning, she was able to teach in a more instinctive way, making “every day different and full of new discoveries”.
How do you approach ageing?
“We tend to see ageing as a scary process, but for me, every day that passes, I feel better and better. So, ageing can only be seen as a gift”.
What are the main obstacles faced by today’s youth?
According to Françoise, today’s youth is plagued by a “bulimia of discovery”. « Young people are always on the move. They go to Bali expecting to discover themselves. You could have travelled the world, but as long as you have not done inner work, you will remain lost”.
Your take on religion?
Françoise is a practicing Catholic. In her view, “religion can be steppingstone to spirituality. But the latter remains the end goal. Many religious people are not spiritual. And religion is absolutely not a requirement for spiritual attainment.”
Any advice for meditation novices?
“It’s wonderful that you want to start. There will be ups and downs as part of the process. Do not give up! It can take a bit of time to start seeing results”
Any concluding words of wisdom?
“As a wise a person once said, human
beings are meant to be happy. But it takes a lot of work!
And meditation practice is one of the
best ways to undertake that much needed work.”
Meditation and mindfulness abilities may predict cognition level
and lower risk of dementia in later life
– A conversation with a ‘medit-ageing’ researcher
going for a run, eating blueberries… these are cited as protectors against
Alzheimer’s, the most prevalent brain disease of the 21st century. Yet, an activity
that is often overlooked, but powerful for shielding the ageing brain, is
This topic was the subject of Anna’s research project on meditation and cognition. I had the wonderful opportunity to ask her about some of her groundbreaking results.
looked at a group of around 140 people aged 65 or over from across Europe. We
measured their cognitive abilities as well as their capacity to be mindful.
What we found was a strong positive link between mindfulness qualities and
intelligence level in later life. And this is taking into account variables such
as educational level or socio-economic status.”
cognitive abilities we measured included memory and global cognition which are
strongly sensitive to dementia and Alzheimer’s. Basically, the study demonstrates
a possible protective action of mindfulness against Alzheimer’s.”
do you define mindfulness? I ask, “a term that seems to encapsulate many
different practices?”. I think back to images of yogis and Buddhist monks. I also record times walking in nature and focusing
on my surroundings… »Isn’t that also a form of mindfulness?’, I ask,
impressive takeaway from this study is that the findings were based on a group
of people that we call non-expert meditators, meaning that they only have very
little life-long meditative practice.’ So, no need to be Eckart Tolle to
experience mindfulness qualities’ beneficial effects on cognition.
According to Anna, there are many ways of defining mindfulness capacity. In her study, she broke it down into different categories.
example, we looked at attentional mindfulness, or the capacity to place your
focus on different tasks. We also had demonstrative mindfulness – that’s the
ability to distance yourself from a thought. So, if you have a thought like ‘oh
I’m stupid’, it’s about seeing things as ‘well, maybe that’s just not me, and
maybe I can just decide to see it as a passing thought.’”.
of thoughts, I have a nagging one. Having often jokingly described myself as
being ADHD because of my difficulty focusing, my mind turns to all those
children with a clinical diagnosis of the disorder, “are these people doomed to
be less protected against Alzheimer’s because of less attentional capacity?”.
Anna explains that attentional mindfulness is not about the ability to get engrossed in a particular task for a long period of time. Rather, it’s about having the freedom to place your attention on the tasks you want to be doing.
also insists that the beauty of these findings lies in the fact that everyone
can learn to be more mindful, even those with concentration difficulties.
Studies increasingly show that mindfulness qualities can be acquired very
rapidly, starting with only a couple of minutes or hours of practice a week.
if the study implies that expert meditators, of the
‘spend-5-hours-a-day-on-the-cushion’ sort, have a bullet-proof vest against
Anna says that some evidence may show that the more we meditate, the higher the protective effects on cognition. But other environmental and genetic factors are of course at play in the development of dementia.
also says that no causal link can be established for now. “The study is only
strongly indicative a possible effect, but this needs to be substantiated by
further studies of different types. But this all very exciting and promising.
Especially given all of the other positive effects of mindfulness on mental and
physical health along the life-course”.
What is inspiring about Anna’s work is that meditation’s positive effects on cognition seem to stem from our general ability to apply mindfulness to our day-to-day life. So, the idea is not necessarily to spend X hours meditating on Headspace or watching daily ‘yoga with Adrienne’ videos. It’s about understanding and applying the principles of mindfulness to your day-to-day life. And this is where teachers or meditation mentors come in handy. They can be very helpful for truly inhabiting the spiritual lifestyle. More info to book a one-to-one free session in Brussels or online at Bruxelles Méditation can be found here.
If you are living a somehow anxious life, you may have heard that meditation helps to get rid of anxiety. But as you are a rational person you might want to get more information about whether your life can improve and if meditation really works before you go for it.
First of all, everyone has anxiety to some extent. Some more, some less, but all in all, all of us live in a modern society where mental disorders are frequent: worries about money, fear of the future – especially due to this virus – uncertainty about our work and complicated relationships. Not to mention the constant pressure from the media and society. No wonder we are at least a bit anxious at times!
One benefit of Meditation is that it makes you slow down which helps you wind off the daily anxiety and be more calm and at ease.
Another reason why meditation is the answer to reduce anxiety lies in the roots of anxiety. Anxiety comes from the life lived, the accumulated thoughts and burdens. If for example I was bitten by a dog as a child, I may be anxious when I am around dogs. Letting go of the negative thought from my childhood will free me from that anxiety.
Finally, knowing and looking back at yourself will gradually make you more conscious of who you are and what you truly want. Once you are aware of that, anxiety naturally fades away.
Many succesfull people testified that meditation helped reduce their anxiety
As you may have heard, many successful people are meditating. From Oprah Winfrey to Michael Jordan, Cristiano Ronaldo, Jean-Claude van Damme. They all have expressed several times that meditation helped them to reduce anxiety and the amount of negative thoughts about the future. Furthermore, they are willing to devote some of their time on a daily basis to meditate.
Meditation Technique For Anxiety
10 minutes meditation for anxiety
Find at least 10 minutes daily to sit down and observe all the distracting factors and the anxiety you are facing. Be aware of the situation and accept it, even though it could be difficult sometimes.
Try to relax and find a comfortable position (possibly sitting) to be together with your own thoughts and feelings. Let all the random things come to your mind. Without judging them, just observe them.
Use the power of your mind to welcome all these emotions and breathe slowly and deeply at your own pace.
If your mind wanders or any random thoughts come up, let them go just as a cloud flies away.
Enjoy your meditation. Bear in mind that it is part of a process that you are going through and the journey is not less important than the final destination.
Finish the meditation by taking a few deep breaths and being grateful for the opportunity to let go of anxiety.
It is also scientifically proven that daily meditation helps substantially reduce the levels of anxiety even though you would commit only 10 minutes daily to meditation. Meditation affects the brain waves, which in turn generate a smoother energy flow in the body, parallelly reinvigorating body and mind. There is no one, who would not have at least 10 minutes per day to do something for their mental and physical health. Even doctors, scientists and practitioners are realizing the power of the mind, which is the key component in attaining balance, harmony and satisfaction in our lives. Besides, everyone can meditate! We all have inherent abilities to cure ourselves as the children of nature. If we discover this wonderful capability of ours, the meditation can do wonders.
First of all, anxiety is not our original nature. Our original nature is the pure, empty consciousness, void of all the humanly worries, anxiety and stress. The latter are things that we acquired while adding more and more thoughts to our minds by living a life of greed and dissatisfaction, contrary to our true self. Thus, if we eliminate these added minds, why would the source of our problem not disappear? Just like the world is very logical, the human mind is also logical. So if we keep adding more and more anxiety to our minds, it will be filled and overflown quickly, causing stress and pain, but if we subtract and delete them, it will be filled with joy, bliss and more and more happiness. The formula is quite simple: stop suppressing, start subtracting!
You do not need to be an expert in science to experience the benefits of throwing away your anxiety. Even those who do not know anything about meditation, medicine or have no spiritual background, can feel the positive changes that occur very quickly. You will feel the amazing changes yourself and would want to continue the practice of meditating. Thousands of people are already the living proof that meditation is not just a slogan but it really works. So many people are thankful for having given it a chance and making an effort. Do not forget, even small but steady steps bring huge changes on the long term and once you start, nothing can stop you from achieving an anxiety free life and future. As you are reading this article, you must have the willingness to do it, so why not start systematic meditation now at the meditation center in brussels?
Meditation Center in Brussels
Meditation to reduce anxiety
Are you looking for guided meditation for anxiety? The meditation center for anxiety is near you! our meditation classes are optimized for anxiety solution. If you want to try one session to learn about meditation, we offer free introduction session for you!
What would you do on this Sunday? Maybe you would work out for your body or stay home and get relax and read a book or you could go for ride to somewhere. and it might soothe your feeling at that momjent.
But Could it retain for a long time?
The most important for human is being happy and calm. The reason we hang out with friends, eat delicious foods, love someone, live together and all kinds of things like these is that we want to be happy. But, These things doesn’t always give you happiness.
Then, what should we do for our persistent happiness? I would like to recommend meditation. I can assure that meditation can give you real calm and happiness persistently.
Sunday Meditation Program
Before meditation, We do stretching for relaxing our body and mind. Not only it helps our body be healthy, but also it gives us perfect condition for concentrating on meditation.
We have to know how to meditate before meditation. Our meditation center teach you the concept of our meditation and inform you of How to let go of your stress.
Sunday is perfect day for meditation because we have enough time to concentrate on meditation. This is the reason Sunday Meditation Program is very important.
Literally, If you want, you can meditate for 4 hours at once. This intensive meditation will be very effective for your meditation.
Counseling for meditation and daily life
After meditation, you can ask guide to talk about your meditation status and variety of minds of your ordinary life.
Meditation guide will give you proper advice to empower your life and meditation
In our meditation center,
Try tea before meditation! it will help your body be relaxed and calm. then your meditation quality will go up!
After Meditation, you can enjoy different kinds of fruits, teas, coffees and snacks.
Meditation Center in Central of brussels
Location : Avenue de la Renaissance 1, 1000 Bruxelles
Phone : 0491 75 14 14
Thank you for reading. We will wait for your joining!
Since the past years more and more people are talking about how beneficial meditation is. Do you want to know what of this is really true and backed up by science? Perfect, here are you at the right place.
Until now, more than thousand studies have shown benefits of meditation. In this article you will get insights on the most important studies. You will be surprised to read on how many levels meditation has an impact on your mental and physical health. Here you see 25 science-based benefits of meditation, which are explained in this article.
25 Science-based Benefits of Meditation:
Meditation Reduces Stress
Increases the Quality of Sleep
Increases Attention Span
Improves the Quality of Relationships
Decreases Substance Abuse
Decreases Blood Pressure
Reduces Age Related Memory Loss
Enhances Self Awareness
Promotes Emotional Health and Well-being
Improves Problem Solving and Decision-making Ability
Decreases Chronical Diseases
Improves Learning and Memory
Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases and Stroke
Boosts Immune System
Increases Feelings of Compassion
Decreases Feelings of Worry
Decreases Feelings of Loneliness
Reduces Emotional Eating
Meditation Saves You Money
1. Meditation Reduces Stress
To understand what meditation can do against stress, we first have a closer look to what Stress actually is: Stress is the result of past experiences, unresolved traumata, painful experiences, negative thinking, inner conflicts and emotional pain. Being more specific: Stress is the physical feeling of the activated Fight-Flight-Freeze-mechanism of the nervous system. In this mechanism the body is ready to either fight, escape or freeze to face death. The whole energy of the body goes into the muscles, which are ready to act. The heart beats faster and stronger to deliver as much oxygen as possible and the body is fully alert for anything happening in your surrounding, so you can act as quickly as possible. In this state all energy, also by the Immune-system and by the part of the body being responsible for healing, is needed and taken. The short term result is that the immune system is inhibited due to cortisol. Thus, the immune system is not able to perform well The long term result is that the body is completely out of balance, unable to recover.
2. Meditation Increases the Quality of Sleep
Sleep issues come from:
There are many stuffs in your life. Job, Family, Friend, Money etc.. those things always distract our mind. when we have to solve problems from those, Sometimes we get serious Stress from that which cause different kinds of disease. and it connect to Insomnia.
‘What if I fail the test?’, ‘What if I have made a mistake?’, ‘What if my secret comes out?’, ‘What if something bad happen to me?’ All the worries start from ‘What if’. That’s true. Most of the worries is about supposition is not true. Let’s face it! All the worries that stop us from living present is fake. we don’t know it will happen or not and even though it happens, Having worries even before something happens would rather than No worries, just face it when it happens? We must get out of the prison of worry!
Meditation can be the answer
To get rid of those stresses and worries, We have to realize how those things are useless and fake. Meditation can lead you let go of those stresses and worries and realize that you have been controlled. and if you realize it, Insomnia will go away.
3. Increases Attention Span
What is the serious cause of low attention span? It is definitely a variety o thoughts that make us leak out of the way. Meditation is letting go of your distracting thoughts. By doing meditation, we can eliminate all the thoughts that stop us from concentrating on present. Take a chance to get high attention span
4. Improves the Quality of Relationship
What is the best way to establish good relationship with others? It is very hard to say. Maybe you need honesty or Sincereness or money or kindness or delicacy or confident or sensible… Actually it is going to be very different from every situations. What’s the solution, then? What If we can be always wise in the all different situations? What if we always can be objective perspective? then, we can truly understand other’s perspective and we can cope with relationship in best way.
How can we get those ability? Meditation is key for those faculties. Meditation help us to let go of our subjective perspective which stop us from seeing world as objective perspective. and when we get rid of our subjective things, we can be always objective and when we become objective person, we can be wise.
5. Decrease Substance Abuse
What is the reason of Substance Abuse? There can be various reasons.
mental empty and unsatisfactory that never be filled, chronic anxiety and
melancholy. Where these feelings come from? It is from our mind. Our mind world
consists of endless desire. even though you have made a big satisfaction, our
mind wants more pleasure, power, money, fame which cannot be satisfied forever.
Meditation can let you to control your various desires to be stable. It
makes your excessive desires gone and help you to realize how our desires are
useless, painful and toxic.
6. Reduces the Anxiety
Most Anxieties come from worries about uncertain future. actually we don’t
need to worry about something. If there is we can do for the future, just do
what can do, but if there is nothing we can do, we don’t need to care about it.
Worries is , in any cases, very useless. we have to go out of it.
Also, Anxieties come from customary reason, Because of experiences of
past, Our body remember and get used to anxiety. that’s why sometimes we are
anxious without reasons.
To get rid of those worries and unprovoked anxieties, We have to realize
how those things are useless and fake. Meditation can help you let go of those
worries realize that you have been controlled and even eliminate chronic
anxieties by let go of all the memories that body remembers.
7. Decreases blood-pressure
One of the big cause of high blood-pressure is stress. when you’re getting a stressful moment, Your body makes a extreme increase of hormones. These hormones temporarily escalate your blood pressure by encouraging your heart to beat faster and your blood vessels to narrow.
Meditation can reduce stressful moments of your life and help to stay on calm and stable by eliminating all the causes which make a variety of stresses.
8. Improves Problem Solving and Decision-making Ability.
What is the most important elements for problem solving and decision-making ability. We would suggest that it should be strong mental qualities like being calm, wise and being objective perspective.
Meditation is key for those faculties. Meditation help us to let go of our subjective perspective which stop us from seeing world as objective perspective. and when we get rid of our subjective things, we can be always objective and when we become objective person, we can be calm and wise. then, we could make right decisions.
9. Reduces Depression
Where does depression come from? There are many reason that depression is made. Dissatisfaction, Having a tendency to worry a lot, low self-esteem, being sensitive to personal criticism, or are self-critical and negative. In other words, Depression comes from mental
Why is Meditation a Game Changer regarding Stress?
Meditation let you get out of the Fight-Flight-Freeze-Mode by deeply realising the constructed nature of stress and letting it go. You unrevel from stress and become truly free from it.
Then you can really feel what it means to be truly relaxed and at ease, because you can feel when your body releases and regenerates on a deep level.
You wanna have some proof? In a study of 3252 Participants,
Currently, we are working on this article for you. We upload new information daily. Please come back to us tomorrow. In any case, you can always pop in or call the centre and we have a chat about questions or the benefits itself.
In our life, we always confront many
difficulties. For example, family problem, job problem, friend problem, money
problem, love problem, human relationship problem, health problem etc. whenever
we conflict these problems we usually get anxious, frustrated, mad, depressed,
lost, lonely. These things make stress and Stress makes variety of diseases.
How can we get over these problems? How can
we feel real calm and happiness?
The answer is meditation.
Meditation is key for our happiness. Doing meditation,
we can look inside our whole life. Then, we can realize who really are, what we
really want, how to handle with everything we confront.
At that moment, we can find real calm and
happiness for ourselves and the most important thing of our life.
There are many images of meditation below.
Let’s check together.
Help to concentrate on meditation
Sometimes, we need places which is calm and
quite for relax our mind. Actually, it is perfect for meditation alone. Doing
Meditation alone help us to concentrate on our meditation to look inside our
mind deeply. At that time. It would be more clear for us to understand what is
the problem of us.
Whenever we are, Wherever we are
If we have method for meditation, we could
meditate whenever we want, wherever we want.
Frankly, doing meditation in our everyday
life is one of the most important thing for improving our consciousness.
Group Meditation gives you more power for meditation
When we meditate together, All of our energy
are gathered and it raises the quality of meditation. And it empower the
deepest of meditation and consciousness.
Everybody would be true friends
When we meditate together and raise our
consciousness, we can really treat each other sincerely.
We can be honest to each other, we can
share our difficulties and worries and meditate together again then every
stresses go way and always be happy.
Meditation center in Central
Our meditation center is located in Central of city. so you can get center as easily as your job. Our Meditation center open 9:00AM and close 11:00PM so you can make reserve sessions whenever you want and however you want.
Well-organized And comfortable environment for meditation
Our meditation room is perfect for meditation. proper chairs and blanket for meditation. Not only just equipment, But also we prepare variety of snacks, teas and coffees. You can enjoy whole-time in the meditation center.
‘It is late. The body is tired and there is only the strong desire to fall asleep. But I can not. I try to not think about today or tomorrow. I try to not think about whatever keeps me awake, sometimes I do not even know why am I still awake. I try to not try to fall a sleep. I am so tired. However, I find myself awake on one side of the bed, then on the other side, then on my back. The next day I wake up and feel terrible, as If I would have partied all night or as I would have had to many drinks. I am tired, energyless and can not wait the day to be over, to catch up with my sleep again.’
Everyone has expierenced this. Some of us sometimes, some of us regularly and some of us to a very high extent, too. However, we expierenced that people who meditate regularly are happily stating that this issue dissolves, and how it completely dissapears over time.
But how can meditation increase the quality of sleep?
When the mind wanders, it is restless. Some thoughts or elements in life are regulalry returning to our minds. This keeps one awake and stresses the body. Due to meditation one realizes which thoughts are constantly coming into our minds, keep us awake and how to let go of them. We highly recommend to try out our free Seminar. With this one can see how the sleeping pattern will change over time. In our guidance and individual mentoring we offer an easy meditation method one can apporach before going to bed. It helps to easily let go of the day and to fall a sleep like a baby.
Images make our mind. People create their own mind world by taking pictures of their life. So, we are always taking pictures of our surroundings by our eyes, nose, mouth, ears and even by using the body. Through the creation of our own imaginary world, we create pictures which make our mind happy, sad, mad, jealous, fearful, guilty. As an example: the same event one has experienced can be seen from very different ways: when you in a good mood you see it as a beautiful memory, when you in a bad or sad mood the same memory turns into a painful event. It is not the event which created that pain, it is looking back to an non existing event and creating pictures about something which is not really existing anymore.
Our meditation is to let go of these false images to be able to see the true nature of events and life. We have a free Introduction Seminar where you can have a look at all the images you have. Our mentoring and guided meditation can support you to let go of these images, to be free from worry, pain or sadness.
How were you today? How was your job? Are you feeling well?
If you cannot reply on this question positively, maybe you are stressed. As well known, stress is the cause of all diseases. It can destroy your daily life. So, we have to let go of our stress regularly. But how? I can strongly say, that the key to eliminate stress is meditation. By meditating, we reduce stress and feel more relax, we even treat our body in the most possible way. It is important to handle stress immediately, before it gets worse over time.
Research on the Effects of Meditation
There is an interesting research about effects of our meditation on breast cancer survivors and their psychological well-being by the Seoul National University Hospital. There are two groups, one is participating in our meditation program, the other is taking part in a self-care education program.
The group MM (yellow line) is the group participating in the meditation program and the group SME (grey line) is the group taking part in a self-care education program.
Here we can see, people practicing our meditation have a higher reduction of their stress levels than people practicing the self-care education program.
This diagram shows a depression parameter. It is clear to see that the group with meditation reduced their depression more than the group with a self-care education.
The diagram above is presenting the test peoples’ score for Satisfaction with life. Here it is visible that there is a lot of improvement for the people practicing meditation, whereas the people practicing a self-care education almost haven’t got any changes at all.
Within this diagram we can see that people practicing our meditation have an increased Posttraumatic growth Index (PtGI) in a better way than people practicing the self-care education program.
So this research is clearly showing that practicing our meditation program has better results for reduced stress and depression, and improved satisfaction of life and PtGI than practicing self-care education.
Meditation Center near you
Our Meditation Center has an efficient method to let go of all causes of stress which are in our mind. The Center is open everyday, even on weekends, so you can take sessions as much as you want. For example: You’ve got a stressful week and you really need to get away and have a peaceful mind. Then, you can visit our meditation center on Saturday or Sunday for a short or even for a long meditation session up to 12 hours – whatever suites you best. Our meditation method will guide you to real calm and peace.
Meditation in peaceful countryside in France
We organize intensive meditation retreats in France with our members and other members throughout Europe.
Our meditation retreat centre is located in Sologne, Loir et Cher region amounst the beautiful forests and lakes which the area is famous for.
It’s a great opportunity to get away from the busy, stressful
environments we live in and reconnect with nature and the inner peace which
lies within all of us while immersed in these beautiful and peaceful