Meditation is the process of retiring into the quiet of the soul, the still place within. The process involves relaxing the body, letting go in the mind of the outer things, and relaxing into the peace and rest in which the Spirit can come forth and speak to the mind. Zen describes meditation as ‘sitting quietly and doing nothing’ because it is about non-doing, and effortlessness. Zen says that you cannot do meditation; you can only relax into it. However you must have a topic or idea that you meditate upon, that you contemplate without judgment. It has been the subject of many research studies since the 1930s as the Occident tried to figure out how the Eastern people benefited from meditation. They have found that meditation has a long list of benefits.
Spiritual Benefits of Meditation
A lot of people report feelings of joy after meditation. That is because through meditation, we connect with the Universal Mind (or the Great Spirit or the Universe), the only Power that drives everything. If you go on and on chasing money and other goals without stopping to connect to the Power within, you eventually burn out. Stop and meditate daily. Here is what one spiritual expert says about meditation.
‘In the great silence within, I become renewed, refreshed and excited to face the physical world. When I return from my moments of silence or meditation, I feel great waves of joy. I feel peaceful, secure and safe. Perhaps in the depths of my being, there is a place of beautiful silence where I meet my Creator and where I find renewal of body, mind and spirit. Perhaps true success and peace emanate from this silent sanctuary.’ ~ John Harricharan.
The Spirit of God, of which we are part, resides within each one of us. It is the best guru from which you get answers. The brain is simply the instrument used by the mind and during meditation you silence it. Then you can listen to your guru, God, who sounds as an inner voice or a hunch, and knows everything. He will always lead you on the correct path if you listen and trust your intuition. This is how great inventors have found answers to their invention problems. If you are engaged in any creative work or have to solve work/business problems, go within for answers.
Meditation teaches you to live in the present, forgetting the past and never worrying about the future. You are simply in the presence of God, in a non-ending “now”.
Benefits of Meditation on Physical Health
Meditation requires you to relax the body and let go of the mental chatter. As a result you come out of meditation feeling very calm. With a calm mind, you start looking at life with a different attitude. You stop fretting about small things and those things that you cannot change. All the problems related to stress disappear. Meditation:
Energizes the mind.
Decreases tension in the body.
Clears up illnesses caused by tension.
Prevents stress-related diseases.
Lowers blood pressure.
Strengthens the immune system.
Slows down the ageing process.
Meditation is definitely a stress buster! Make it a habit to meditate daily before you go to work or in the evening before going to bed. No stress means no illness and that means no early aging!
Benefits of Meditation on Your Mental Health
When you meditate, you withdraw from the outside world, and from your outside self that is known as the personality. You focus on your inner world and with practice you will find that still place where the soul resides. Meditation is a great opportunity to practice forgiveness and letting go of past hurts and grudges. It is the best time to heal the body, the mind and the emotions. Research findings over the past sixty years have shown that meditation:
Calms and soothes the mind.
Distances you from worries.
Brings clarity of mind.
Reduces anxiety and lifts you from depression.
Enhances the sense of self.
Promotes personal growth.
Benefits of Meditation on Your Work and Business
Most of our stress is work- related. Long working hours, strict deadlines, office politics, ambition for promotion, technical problems, problems with customers and suppliers, and ambitious targets all cause stress. Meditation brings:
Better focus and fewer tendencies for being distracted.
Accelerated learning, e.g. of languages.
Ability to stay centered and calm under pressure.
Better flow of creative ideas.
Answers to perplexing problems at work particularly those that need creativity.
After meditating for a few weeks most people find that even though their circumstances have not changed, they are better able to handle them. They remain calmer and more focused at work, improving relations with colleagues, customers and other stakeholders. Work performance improves and they benefit from financial rewards.
Benefits of Meditation During Leisure Times
Meditation helps you to develop a calm mind. Your general attitude towards life becomes more positive. You can even play with your friends and family, even though problems exist.
Meditation brings to play:
Heightened enjoyment through the senses.
Focus on the present.
Capacity for total involvement.
Family and friends usually notice the changed attitude and relationships improve greatly, making life more fun.
Benefits of Meditation in Relationships
Life is about relationships with colleagues, friends, primary family, extended family, customers and suppliers of goods and services. Stress negatively affects these relationships, and can even destroy them. Meditation brings more self-confidence, more tolerance, more sensitivity, and more authenticity which greatly improves how you relate with people around you in all circumstances.
As you can see meditation has a wide range of benefits. It basically improves your attitude, your physical, mental and emotional health, and your ability to live with stress. At spiritual level it connects you to the Higher Source of all good that is found within you and you begin to experience joy in the midst of trials. Take classes and start right away to develop the habit of meditation. Set aside time that you know you can be alone and quiet e.g. bedtime or dawn. Meditation becomes easier with practice. Once you master the technique, it will change your life in many ways.