25 June 2018

Top-Ten-Reasons-to-Meditate

Many people these days are meditators. Many who read this blog are even regular meditators! Others? Part time. So what motivates us to make time to meditate; to take time to meditate? And how does that compare to others?

This week a top ten list of reasons to meditate, and a question … What motivates you?, but first



         Thought for the day


Learning to focus our attention 
And suspend the stream of thoughts 
That normally occupy our mind


             Definition of meditation 
from the National Centre for Complementary and Alternative Therapies in the USA




People make time in their busy lives to meditate for many and varied reasons.

For some, it is an essential element in their spiritual practice; for others, a far more mundane reason. Here is a suggested the top ten list with an invitation to comment…

Regaining balance
Meditation is a modulator. It brings things into balance. Actually, it brings many things into balance - body, emotions, mind and even spirit. It does this by helping us to let go of the stresses of life and re-establish our own natural, healthy, balanced state. Meditation leads to deep physical relaxation and deep mental calm and peace, and with these two - a natural state of balance.

Relaxation
Most meditation techniques lead of themselves to a good degree of physical relaxation. However, the technique I have found most useful over the years emphasizes and starts with deep physical relaxation.
This leads to a relaxed, healthier, more active, energetic body. This physical relaxation quite effortlessly can flow on to bring relaxation to the mind. And it feels great!

Stress relief
Meditation is well known for it stress relieving properties. Through a combination of relaxing the body and helping us to react differently in our mind to potential stressors, meditation provides rapid relief. This reduces the risks from the many stress related illnesses, has a direct positive benefit with relationships and leads generally to greater efficiency and wellbeing. Again, this also feels great!

Increased concentration
At the heart of good meditation practice is concentration. So as we practice meditation, we develop our concentration. This then flows into all aspects of life, meaning we can apply our minds to better effect.

Increased mindfulness
We all know how good it feels when someone gives us their full attention. And how unsatisfying it is when they do not. We all know how bad feeling judged by others feels; how good it is to be listened to, accepted and worked with collaboratively. All the positives here are to do with mindfulness - another of the core practices we develop as we meditate regularly. Mindfulness - giving whatever we do our full attention free of judgement or secondary commentary.


Increased energy
If we are stressed out, we are burning heaps of energy in the process.

If we are physically tense we are wasting heaps of energy in that tension.

As we meditate and learn to become more relaxed, calmer and clearer, a good deal of the effort goes out of whatever we do.

Things just seem to get easier, and there is more energy available within us for the things that really matter.





Better health
Prevention? Meditation is well proven to assist in preventing most of the things you would rather not have.
Healing? Better Immunity? Faster recovery from injury? Remember, meditation is a modulator, it helps to create the ideal conditions within the body and mind that enable good health - prevention and recovery.

Better decision making
Doubt, confusion, worry, indecision; all these things go hand in hand with stress. Meditation leads to a calm and clear mind. Many people notice once they begin meditation that choices seem easier to make. With a calm and clear mind we are able to think more clearly, what to do seems more obvious, we develop more confidence in the choices we do make and so we follow them through and get good results. This is a key to what we know as “positive thinking”.

Heightened intuition
The active thinking mind and emotions can combine to become a real double edged sword - could be really good, could be really bad - for us and for others. Yet we all know there is this deeper aspect to our mind that has an innate wisdom; that can be relied upon for good advice. When we learn to meditate, slow down the chatter within the thinking mind and allow our emotions to settle a little, we naturally come within closer contact of this inner wisdom. It is as if a veil lifts and that wiser part can speak to us - and be heard. This too can feel really good! And lead to great decisions about all aspects of life.

Heightened spiritual awareness and connectedness

So many lonely, disconnected people these days. So many people seeking some deep relief or inner high through drugs or destructive behaviours.

Many then are turning to meditation as they seek to find meaning and purpose in their lives.

Many seek answers to the great philosophical questions - Who am I?, Where did I come from?, and where am I going to? And What is life?

And the fact is that over millennia meditation is a proven pathway to personally satisfying answers to these questions.

Perhaps we left the best reason to meditate to last? 
What is it that motivates you? Maybe time for a comment below?





3 comments:

  1. Interesting post, thanks Ian. What about happiness? There is so much talked about "being happy" these days, what do you think about it as a reason to meditate?

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  2. Vipassana does indeed give balance and equanimity in our day to day living. But also a
    peaceful acceptance of gradual change in the mind/body relationship, which leads
    inevitably to the cessation of this relationship in life as we know it - to a journey
    to the unknown Beyond .

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  3. Ian enjoyed your post extremely important to get the message out about all of the positive health benefits of meditation. I have been dedicated mediator for 20 years essentially for me it's my daily spiritual practice and the healing benefits both mentally and physically can't be stressed enough. Thanks for sharing.

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