The Benefits of Meditation
by Jelena Duma
October 20, 2011
There are many different definitions of meditation as well as many different styles, so trying to define and specify something so broad, subjective and experiential seems almost impossible. Some practices require sitting silently observing the breath, some are guided by the teacher’s voice and some are based on chanting in sacred languages and holding different arms, legs and hand positions (called “mudra” in sanskrit). Some meditations can be done lying down on the floor, like in the case of Yoga Nidra (Yoga of conscious sleep). There are also walking, eating and breathing meditations, as well as active and dynamic ones.
Although meditation is practiced in search of enlightenment, obtaining absolute knowledge and ending suffering, no one can tell when, how or if enlightenment will happen. However, as you meditate, it is proven that certain processes in our mind-body start to happen and we reach a state of “sharper” awareness. We gradually become aware of our thoughts, feelings and actions, and relationships with other people.
The main benefit of meditation in everyday life is stress release and relaxation. Regular meditators develop a sense of calm and peace in their practice and bring it forth in stressful life situations. When the conscious mind is in a relaxed state, our creativity, imagination and inspiration blossoms and we reach our full potential. Albert Einstein was a daily meditator; he needed those states of calmness to invent his theories.
Most people think that with meditation we can stop our minds. The mind is a process that never stops, which is why Osho suggested it be called the “mind-ing”. We have a thousand thoughts in the wink of an eye (Kundalini Yoga by Yogi Bhajan), and it’s almost impossible to stop them. But what we can do is become aware of them, observe them, and see the message, the feeling and the root of these thoughts. When we become aware of what our thoughts are, we know how to change them. Also, a heightened relaxed state helps us develop better focus and concentration with our daily tasks.
Every mind-body has a great self-healing power. Meditation helps us find and connect to that power and use it for pain relief and physical balance. On a mental level, meditation helps us recognize our patterns of behavior and addictions, and by becoming aware of them, we become ready to change. In a case of trauma, meditation helps us find the peace and security within, so that the healing process can begin.
To find a meditation practice that works is a process of searching and trying. No one can tell or suggest which practice will work, we all have to do it and see how we feel about it.
Read also Strengthening Focus - Working With The Resistance In Meditation
Bliss Yoga Studio is presenting a new meditation workshop on Friday evenings. Read more at http://blissyogastudio.net/blog/meditation-to-heal-and-balance-with-jelena/