meditation

In recent years meditation has become much more popular in the west. People from all walks of life have been trying meditation to find a greater sense of peace and learn to switch off the pressures of daily life. People may try meditation for quite a few different reasons, but these are a few of the benefits you might get from meditation.

Keeping things in perspective

In the hectic hustle and bustle of life, it is easy to let things get out of perspective. We can become constantly pressured by demands and deadlines. However, if we take time to meditate, we learn that our world doesn’t collapse around us if we take 15 minutes out of our day for quiet reflection. In fact, with a good meditation, our problems will seem less pressing and demanding. No matter how busy we are, it is always worth finding 20 minutes to find time for our own meditation.

Concentration

Modern life can make us increasingly distracted, and reduce our attention span. It seems like we are always trying to do several things at once, but not really doing anything well. Meditation teaches us the very important capacity of concentration. Concentration means developing the ability to focus on one thing at a time. This capacity to concentrate will help us in all aspects of life; ff we can focus on only one thing at a time, then we will be much more effective in a variety of tasks.

Practical stress relief

When we meditate we can substantially relieve the stress and tension we may have in our daily life. Unburdened of our thoughts, we feel a greater sense of freedom. From a practical perspective, this ability to let go of stress can help our physical and mental health. Quite a few studies have shown the link between a peaceful mind and a healthy body. If we carry stress around in our mind, we can be more prone to some physical ailments. This ability to de-stress both mind and body is a great benefit of meditation.

Learn to switch off from our thoughts

Sometimes our thoughts are our own worst enemy. If a train of negative thoughts gets into our mind, we can become depressed or unnecessarily worried. Meditation teaches us that we can detach from negative thoughts and emotions. This improved control and focus of our mind is a real secret of developing happiness.

Peace

Nothing is more important
Than peace,
And only meditation
Can give this peace.

– Sri Chinmoy (2)

Meditation can give many great experiences. But, perhaps the most powerful experience is that of real inner peace. When we enter into deep meditation, we can feel at peace with ourselves, and at peace with the world. This peace is not just a mental idea, but something that can fill our entire being. Whatever happens to us externally, this inner peace is like a very precious reserve we can use in difficult situations.

Learn more about yourself

Meditation is also an opportunity to become aware of our spiritual identity. Just reading about the soul and spirituality will never be able to satisfy our curiosity. It is only when we have an experience of meditation that we can become aware there is more to life than just our outer body and physical existence. We don’t meditate to prove anything to other people, but through meditation we can become aware of a deeper part of ourselves which is beyond mundane thought.

Often people come to meditation because they wish to seek for greater meaning in life; at the start we may not even have a clear idea what we are looking for, but meditation can open up a whole new inner dimension, which gives life greater meaning and a deeper purpose.

Seeing beauty in the world

When we live in the mind, spending time watching the news, surfing the internet and going through our daily grind of work, we are apt to be frustrated and perhaps be in a critical frame of mind. Meditation helps us to remember what is beautiful about life. Rather than worrying about the state of the world, meditation can help us to appreciate the beauty of nature and all the things we can feel grateful for.

In meditation, we don’t try to change the world, but we do endeavour to change the way we look at the world. Real meditation helps us to see the world in a loving way and helps us to be more detached from some of the problems.


Why I started meditation – personal note

tejvanOn a personal note, I began meditating during my final years at University. (I was studying PPE at Lady Margaret Hall, in my final year) I began meditating for a variety of reasons. Partly, I was stressed about upcoming exams and wanted something to calm my mind and relax. But, also I was increasingly interested in a spiritual perspective of life. I realised that – even if you have every worldly comfort and success – something much more meaningful can be missing,

Dissatisfied with my then state of mind, I wondered if meditation could give that elusive sense of peace and happiness. I also started meditation because I like trying new things. It seemed very different to other activities I tried.

 

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