What are the benefits of meditation.
Happiness and unhappiness exist on the surface level of our awareness. Deep inside each of us, there exists an exquisite treasure waiting to be discovered... an inner world full of magic, wonder and perfect peace... a portable heaven as the Indian sage Yogananda called it.
The mind may be relatively happy or unhappy but until we experience the joy of our true nature, the heart and soul will forever remain restless and finding inner peace will elude us.
I was reading an article recently about the growing number of
depressed men in their forties. They have the career, the big house, the
beautiful partner and the loving family but still feel empty inside.
Why is this? It is because happiness can never be found on the outside. Until we look inside and discover what is there, there will always be a sense that something is missing. True happiness is uncaused... it happens naturally when we discover who we really are.
"Life is meant to be lived in eternal joy, infinite freedom, unconditional love and unbounded awareness. Any other life is utterly missing the point of being born a human."
-- Maharishi Sadashiva Isham
One of the greatest benefits of meditation for me is an end to inner
restlessness and searching. In the past I was pulled all over the place
by my thoughts, feelings and emotions. It is much more peaceful to rest in the eye of the hurricane and allow everything to be as it is.
Peace can be experienced with a million chaotic thoughts going on. Isn't that incredible!
People are looking for happiness in the wrong place. For many years, I believed that if I could change my thoughts, fix my feelings and heal my emotions, that one day, in some future moment, I might stumble upon happiness... if I am lucky. This approach of course assumes that today I am broken and therefore incapable of experiencing contentment. Correcting this mis-perception was my main motivation for creating this website.
One of the main benefits of meditation is that it allows a direct experience of perfect peace right NOW ...not in some future moment when my problems are fixed... but right NOW. Regardless of your present experience, perfect peace is staring you in the face. Finding your bliss is simpler than you may imagine. It is closer than your next breath. Even for a complete beginner, this can be one of the immediate benefits of meditation.
Peace is a moment by moment experience which we can learn to choose for. There is no finishing line that we cross and experience only contentment thereafter.
We falsely believe that, because the peace we seek seems such a distant prospect, that it will take a lot of time and effort to find it.
Through meditation this is seen to be false. Rather than focusing on trying to fix our broken selves, meditation allows us to rise above the incessant chatter of the mind to directly experience the changeless state of perfect peace which awaits us there.
For me, the greatest benefits of meditation are inner peace and freedom from the tyranny of the mind. There are however many other benefits:
Physical benefits of meditation:
• lowers cortisol and lactate levels... chemicals associated with stress
• deep rest takes the strain off the heart and helps normalize blood pressure
• strengthens the immune system
• increases the oxygenation of the lungs (aiding conditions such as asthma)
• lowers cholesterol levels
• slows down the ageing process
Mental benefits of meditation:
• increases vitality and raises energy levels
• reduces stress / increases relaxation
• increases concentration
• increases happiness and inner peace
• increases creativity
• reduces depression, anxiety, fear etc
Spiritual benefits of meditation:
According to Indian philosophy, the purpose of human life is to realize that we are not a separate, broken, little "me", confined to this physical body ...that , in reality, we are Divine beings with all the attributes of God ...unbounded joy and bliss. Ultimately, lasting peace and contentment can only be experienced from this vantage point and meditation is the fast track to directly experiencing this as reality ...not as an idea or concept, but as a living truth.
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