The deeper truths of the human spirit too often remain unrecognized within individuals because of the nature of a modern, busy life. Our lives are often too busy for us to ever take the time to get in touch with our deepest, heartfelt desires. But behind the constant stream of input coming into our five senses lies a stillness and persistent joy that is the core of our identity. Meditation is the valuable tool that will help us find that part in all of us.
The following is a list of the many benefits a regular meditation practice will enable:
- Easier learning;
- Increased self-confidence;
- Improved mental and physical health;
- Better awareness of one’s deepest desires;
- Better control over one’s actions;
- A reduction and elimination of fears;
- Increased compassion and empathy;
- A desire to seek out and create experiences of love and peace;
- Increased patience;
- Better personal organization;
- More consistent moods;
- Better control over habits such as drinking and smoking;
- A heightened interest in living one’s deepest desires;
- Better understanding of spiritual concepts;
- A natural desire for ethical behavior;
- Increased intelligence;
- A steadily increasing happiness;
- Easier forgiveness of others;
- A higher tolerance for heat and cold;
- A greater appreciation for simple things;
Meditation is any activity that calms the mind and brings the conscious attention into the present moment, away from past or future concerns. This can include walking in nature, doing yoga, or any number of similar, calming activities. Another type is seated meditation, which is probably the most recognized form of meditation. Seated meditation quickly brings great benefit; it entails sitting still, in silence, on a pillow or chair, while trying to calm the mind by focusing on the breath. Practiced regularly, seated meditation is enormously effective at bringing lasting happiness and relief from modern stresses.
The many modern distractions of technology, entertainment and professional sports, among other things, have become so enthralling that they have caused us to attach more value to these external phenomena than seeking to know the internal values that lie within us. Without quiet time, a mind never truly cleanses itself from this external sensory data, which leaves the mind buzzing with an almost steady stream of noise. These noises distract us because they block access to a true and deep state of peace, concentration and awareness.
Without full awareness of our actions we are likely to act out of habit, and can easily become influenced by others. In either case, we act in a less desirable way than if we had been more aware of what we were doing in that moment. Through meditation, we learn to become more aware of our own behaviors, or the reasons that motivate our behaviors, which enables us to have more control over what we want to create.
Also preventing us from creating what we truly and deeply desire is our fear of change and our fear of the unknown. By enabling greater awareness of the causes of these fears and by reducing the intensity of these fears, meditation is also useful as the quickest means to helping us move past any fears that are preventing us from seeking new experiences. A greater awareness allows us to step on the path to achieving our life’s purpose by enabling access to deeper truths that might otherwise remain unknown or blocked by our fears. We additionally gain more self-confidence by learning to step out of our comfort zone and take more chances.
By quieting the mind, meditation is an important tool to help us attain new levels of awareness so that we no longer let our habits or fears determine our actions. By starting with ten to fifteen minutes each day, in the morning or evening, we will begin to understand ourselves in new and deeper ways, and we will discover that balancing our busy lives with quiet time will lead us to ever increasing states of peace and happiness.