In my last post, I discussed meditation as a means of stress reduction. While this is a very valid reason to meditate and the primary motivator of most meditators in the western world, it certainly isn’t the only benefit of meditation.
Meditation brings the physical body a very deep state of rest, deeper even than sleep. Scientific studies have shown that the body gains a deeper, more significant rest from 30 minutes of meditation than it does from 30 minutes of sleep. A deep rest is an essential aspect of recovery and rejuvenation, which is something we all need.
Improved sleep is another scientifically proven benefit of meditation. In our sleep deprived, insomniac society, this benefit alone makes it worthwhile to consider beginning a meditation practice.
Why does meditation benefit the physical body so much? Though I’m not a scientist, I’d guess it has a lot to do with the deep rest experienced during meditation. A build up of stress in your body inhibits the free flow of information through your system. The more stress your accumulate, the less efficient your mind and body become.
Of course, not all of the benefits of meditation are purely physical. Holistic health means whole person health: mind, body, and spirit. I know of no better way to bring all three of these aspects together than meditation. Here’s how that works:
When you meditate, your physical body participates by going into a more relaxed state. You focus on quieting your mind in this process, even though you don’t resist or try to control your thoughts (more on this in a later post). When your mind quiets to the point where you have no thoughts, even though this experience may last only a fraction of a second, you have slipped into the “gap.”
The gap is where your spirit resides. It is the true you, the place of pure consciousness. Contacting this part of yourself will bring all sorts of benefits into your everyday life. You might experience stronger intuition, greater happiness, a more relaxed feeling, and you might even notice that your desires are being fulfilled more easily.
If you think about it, meditation truly is bringing the mind, body, and spirit together like no other practice can.
The purpose of meditation is to enrich your active daily life. You’ll experience physical and mental benefits, and through regular contact with your higher self during meditation, you will begin to experience it’s qualities of silence and infinite possibilities in your life.
When will you start to reap the benefits of meditation? As I mentioned in my last post, it depends on you. Everyone is different. Changes will happen naturally in a way that is most comfortable for you. Some people will notice changes immediately. For others, it may take longer. Sometimes it may be your friends or family who first notice the changes in you. However, as long as you are meditating regularly, the benefits will grow little by little every day.
To sum it all up, when our minds and bodies are less engaged in the overwhelming experiences of stress, we’re better able to express our creativity and enthusiasm for life. We spend most of our lives looking outside of ourselves for happiness, fulfillment, and approval. Through meditation, we turn our attention within to rediscover our self, which is the source of all creativity, peace, and joy. In other words, meditation allows you to reconnect with the perfection that’s already inside you and then bring it back into your daily lives. That’s why meditation is so simple. It doesn’t involve learning anything new, just remembering what you already know and then integrating it into your life.
Who can benefit from meditation? After reading this post, I hope you see that the answer is simple: everyone.