About Hunter Cressman,
Hunter shares a few tips about how meditation can change your brain. The practice helped him quickly rise to a top-paying position with a New York City-based luxury jewelry designer. We discuss how twice-daily meditation helps the brain function better. It increases the size of the hippocampus and strengthens communication with the left hemisphere so that it is in sync with the right hemisphere
— Dani Bryan (@DH_DaniB) May 6, 2015
03:59 Hunter’s Journey: About 6 years ago, Hunter bought a one-way ticket from California to New York City. He had no plan, but things began to line up for him right away. He met a meditation teacher. Hunter was intrigued by Vedic meditation. After taking the man’s course, Hunter found immediate benefits. His sleep patterns improved. As an engineering student, he used his left brain heavily. He found that meditation calmed his mind and the chatter in his head. His improvements continued with continued meditation. It brought an inner sense of contentment. This form of meditation is easy and almost effortless. It uses personalized mantras and sounds that don’t have meaning, but allows the mind to transcend thought effortlessly. Hunter began working for a jewelry designer as a product development engineer and then as a process engineer. He meditated 20 minutes twice a day during this time. Eventually, meditation became like sleeping and eating. It enhanced and enriched every aspect of his life.
08:37 Vedic Meditation: It comes from the Veda, the source of knowledge where yoga and ayurvedic medicine originates, dating back 5,000 to 10,000 years. When Hunter learned advanced techniques, he felt a calling to share with others. When he was qualified, he spent 3 months in the Himalayans of India, meditating and studying. He has been teaching ever since. Vedic meditation allows the intellect to calm so the mind can connect with the intuition. The intuition guides the mind. The intellect is not necessarily a good decision-maker.
14:05 Meditation Benefits: As much as 80% of our illnesses are rooted in stress. People who practice Vedic meditation twice daily become sick less often. Our culture is in overdrive, which causes us to accumulate stress. Stress is not a bad thing. Accumulating stress and staying in a stressed state is a bad thing. Meditation enables us to release our stress from our nervous systems. The rest of meditation is measurably 3 to 5 times deeper than any point in your night’s sleep. This deep level of rest allows the body to release stress.
16:04 Stress Triggers – Primal vs Modern: Stress triggers are called premature cognitive commitments. They are memorized by the mind from whenever the mind has gone into fight/flight mode. Our primal stress responses are not relevant to our modern life. When the body goes into a fight/flight mode, stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline rise. Our skin becomes more acidic so if we were attacked by a predator, we would not taste as good. Our blood thickens so if we were injured by a predator, we would not bleed so easily. Our digestive tract and bladder release so you become lighter and you can be a faster runner. Our bodies can still respond with these physiological changes. The Vedic meditation technique helps us to release these stress triggers from our systems. When we are in stressful situations, we can react to them in a calmer manner and less reactionary.
18:23 Sensory Stress Triggers: When we think about the past or worry about the future, our mind is taken away from the present moment. When we go into fight/flight mode; our minds map the environment using our 5 senses and associates the experience of each of them with that stressful experience. When we encounter like sensory input, we are subconsciously triggered. The present moment is the mind’s natural state.
22:19 Improved Cognitive Functions: After 6 to 8 weeks of twice daily practice, there is more connectivity between the left and right hemispheres of the brain. The left brain is more rational, logical and thinking and the right brain is more creative and imaginative. These qualities become integrated, rather than moving back and forth. Twice daily practice allows you to tap into your natural energy. You are able to normally handle more projects and handle more things. You become more adaptable to a change in expectations or timing and things tend to line up naturally.
26:29 Beginning Meditation: Twenty minutes twice a day sounds like a lot. When you carve out that time for yourself, you are becoming more efficient and more effective throughout the day. It is like pulling back the string on a bow, building potential energy. There are many techniques that recommend different times and timing. Hunter recommends finding a teacher with whom you connect and resonate and a meditation style that intrigues you. In the Vedic meditation technique, you are given a personal mantra which you use to silently allow the mind to transcend thought. There are many meditation techniques and they yield different results in different ways. Vedic meditation allows the mind effortlessly to transcend thought completely. It is unique. You can find other Vedic meditation teachers at vedicnetwork.com. Activities that feel meditative are not meditation.
33:36 Techniques to Stay Present: There is a tool called “Come to Your Senses”. You take a moment to recognize whether your mind is in the present moment. Sit and close your eyes or sit still and keep your eyes open. Take a deep breath and notice one at a time, what each of your senses is experiencing. By noticing and taking note of what each sense is experiencing at that moment, it helps to bring the mind back into the present moment.
40:00 Hunter’s Daily Routine: He enjoys awakening early with the sunrise. He drinks warm water, sometimes with a little lemon or lime. He meditates and then makes a breakfast of something like porridge with apples, cinnamon, honey and raw cultured butter. Every other day, or so, he does a morning workout routine before meditation as well. It helps to prepare the body for meditation. Yoga poses are meant to prepare the body for meditation. Then he gets to work. He bikes everywhere in NYC. He goes to the farmer’s market for fresh local vegetables. When Hunter started his twice daily meditation, his evenings changed from ordering in and vegging out in front of the TV to having energy and being productive. Because of the twice daily meditation, he now cooks and teaches Ayurvedic cooking which helps to optimize one’s health and longevity.
46:48 Hunter’s Favorite Food Substance: Everything in moderation. It is always good to have variety. Hunter has seen benefits from raw cultured dairy products. It helps him to generate a sustainable heat during the cold New York winters. Raw dairy contains the enzymes and cultures that processed milk does not.
50:25 One Health Tip for America: Meditation. The president should learn the Vedic technique and show by example and experience. Presidents age dramatically because of the stress. The average American ages 1.2 times faster than their chronological age.