Meditation’s Many Amazing Benefits and How to Gain Them
Meditation, sometimes called silent prayer, has many benefits: stress reduction, healing, peace of mind, a sense of well-being, love, joy, compassion, attracting people, circumstances and things, increasing creativity, being more productive, and reducing personal suffering. In this post we will explore them further and how to get them, along with an explanation of how meditation works. My free book The Amazing Benefits of Meditation provides even more in-depth information about this subject.
The Miriam-Webster Dictionary defines meditation as “the act or process of spending time in quiet thought. Continuous and profound contemplation or musing on a subject or series of subjects of a deep or abstruse nature; ‘the habit of meditation is the basis for all real knowledge.’” (unattributed).
Wikipedia does a better job in its definition of meditation:
“Meditation is a practice in which an individual trains the mind or induces a mode of consciousness. either to realize some benefit or as an end in itself.
The term ‘meditation’ (much like the term ‘sports’) refers to a broad variety of practices that includes techniques designed to promote relaxation, build internal energy or life force (qi, ki, prana, etc.) and develop compassion, love, patience, generosity and forgiveness. A particularly ambitious form of meditation aims at effortlessly sustained single-pointed concentration meant to enable its practitioner to enjoy an indestructible sense of well-being an while engaging in any life activity.
The word meditation carries different meanings in different contexts. Meditation has been practiced since antiquity as a component of numerous religious traditions and beliefs. Meditation often involves an internal effort to self-regulate the mind in some way. Meditation is often used to clear the mind and ease many health issues, such as high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety. It may be done while sitting, or in an active way. For instance, Buddhist monks (and others, ed.) involve awareness (called “mindfulness”, ed.) in their day-to-day activities as a form of mind-training. Prayer beads or other ritual objects are commonly used during meditation in order to keep track of or remind the practitioner about some aspect of the training.”
A Deeper Look at Meditation
Among the ideas expressed in these definitions and in the Wikipedia commentary that I think are salient:
- Meditation has been used for centuries to quieten the mind until thoughts cease for short or extended periods of time or to “induce a mode of consciousness” that, in spiritual traditions, brought the meditator closer to God or generated a heightened spiritual state. Meditation has been more often employed by the mystical forms of our familiar spiritual traditions, the Kabbalist form of Judaism, Yoga in Hinduism, Sufism in Islam, and Christian Hesychasm.
- The story of Gautama Buddha and his awakening is the one most directly tied to meditation. Enlightenment through meditation came after he spent years of exploring numerous spiritual traditions and studying with many different teachers in India.
- In Buddhist meditation the spiritual goal is to reach a state of Nirvana, an elevated state of awareness which very few who attempt this approach manage to achieve. Those who do get there are thought of, and revered, as enlightened.
- Traditional sit-down meditation is difficult because it assumes that the mind is a wild horse that needs to be tamed and uses sitting quietly, observing one’s thoughts, and being aware of one’s breath as its process. Sometimes, meditation incorporates the repeating of mantras (sacred words) and/or the use of objects (beads, a rosary, etc.) to self-regulate and/or subdue the mind. Unfortunately, such an approach often takes years and years of practice to be successful; to tame that wild horse is not easy.
Scientific Studies and Mindfulness Meditation
- Meditation has been used increasingly in the West for secular purposes, for the scientifically proven benefits it grants—including the easing of health issues, such “high blood pressure, depression, and anxiety” as mentioned above.
- Joh Kabat-Zinn, founder of the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program in the late ‘70s, has shown scientifically that his mindfulness practice increases the body’s ability to heal and includes a shift from a tendency to use the right prefrontal cortex instead of the left prefrontal cortex. This shift is associated with a trend away from depression and anxiety and towards happiness, relaxation, and emotional balance.
Mindfulness induces a state of “moment to moment non-judgmental awareness” using, among other things, thought and breath observation, body scanning, mindful walking and being aware of the taste and texture of the food that we eat. It’s a way, with acute observation, to quieten the mind and allow 5D consciousness to flow into 3d situations.
I have been meditating for over 45 years, beginning at Swami Satchiananda’s Integral Yoga Institute in San Francisco, and have explored a number of other traditions. I have found that the methods I tried are something of a quest--an engagement with my mind until it began to quieten down a little, and then more and more. I experienced it as a wrestling match, and many others have said the same thing, to take that wild horse that is the mind and tame it. This is difficult and many people quit before ever getting there. It’s hard. Worthwhile, for sure, but tough for most of us.
For that reason I developed my own form of meditation called Higher Consciousness Meditation, for beginners and experienced meditators alike, to make meditation easier to do and to bypass wrestling with the mind.
Higher Consciousness Meditation (HCM)
HCM builds on traditional meditation and is, in my opinion, the next step in the evolution of meditation as well as human evolution. I developed it as a process that is simple, straightforward, but very powerful. The process is described in detail in my new book Higher Consciousness Meditation: Living the Life You Want to Live available at Amazon in e-book and paperback versions.
If you let it, the process will lead you to an experience, an experience of your own Higher Consciousness and the higher vibration associated with this experience. This impact is hard to describe and is unique to each individual. However, the process will allow you to experience Yourself in all of your magnificence, the magnificence that comes when Spirit flows into and through your human, three dimensional limitations, and expands you into your Higher Self, your Soul.
How Does Meditation Work to Improve the Human Conditions?
This is fundamental question I ask in my first book, a free e-book you can request , The Many Amazing Benefits of Meditation, and which I wilI amplify on in my upcoming fifth book, Meditation for Health and Healing: Getting Better Day by Day, The question is an attempt to discern the principal behind meditations’ efficacy. A principal that we can apply to every situation– health, wealth, better performance, and other human concerns.
I think that meditation works because, as a problem solving tool, it interrupts the momentum that gets built up within our biomechanical ego/body/mind around some problem or issue. The problem begins for some reason. Who knows–genetic, environmental, karma, dysfunctional childhood and the pain associated thereto; whatever.
While the cause within 3-dimensional reality can be hard to pinpoint, nevertheless a problem or condition arises, probably with a multiple swirling causes. And when a condition starts it begins to loop, especially in our thoughts and feelings. The problem gets bigger, it causes the causes to amplify, and feeds on itself. Kind of like when I say to Alexa on my Amazon device about a song I am listening to, “Alexa, loop it”, and the song plays over and over.
The Loop Effect
I’ll bet everyone reading this message will recognize the loop effect. Somebody does something mean or thoughtless to us and we begin to wonder what’s going on. We try to figure it out and also begin to think of that person as a “_______” (fill in the blank). We go over and over the mean thing, and the person’s motivations, and we can’t get it out of our minds. The loop effect has begun.
We begin to weave a web of upset, negativity, judgment, accusation, and desire to get retribution. It begins to take on a life of its own. We tell those close to us about it. We speculate together. We may confront the perpetrator for his/her rude behavior. An argument might ensue. More mass is added to the situation and the momentum intensifies. The loop is hard to escape.
Meditation is therapeutic because it interrupts the momentum. Sitting in silence and withdrawing attention from the condition, interrupts the influence of the condition. If only for a moment. The condition goes into abeyance. If for only a moment.
In addition, if, as in Higher Consciousness Meditation, we, in that moment of silence, realize our 5-Dimensional Nature, realize that Spirit is the lifeforce that animates our human body/mind/personality, we can allow Spirit to rush into the vacuum left by the suspension of the loop. Spirit, rushing, is a healing agent, going to all corners of our human condition to elevate it into our Eternal Condition. And we become our true Eternal Beingnesses. If only for a moment.
Being Human Can Be Tough
Human conditions exist only on in the third dimension. They have no exisence in 5-Dimensional Reality. My diagnosed glaucoma is not a condition in my Soul. My existence as Buddha Mind is unaffected by the condition of my human eyes. They are really not real, except in my human eye’s biological condition.
My approach to doing healing work on my glaucoma has been to go to the doctor every six months to get my eye pressure checked, to meditate before I go and to use mindfulness exercise while I am there to interrupt the momentum of the visit’s compelling but illusory nature. So far, in 3 years, my eye pressure numbers have not increased and I am having no symptoms.
As I write this, I am realizing that the theory behind the medical treatment, the eyedrops and the eye vitamins I am receiving, is similar. They interrupt the momentum of the dis-ease, the condition of the biomechanical system that I occupy, to arrest or reverse the condition that has been diagnosed. Similar intervention as meditation.
In my case, I think both my meditation and the medication are helpful. That my Spiritual intervention adds to the medical effects. Each can amplify the effect of the other. This is why I do a meditation the morning before going to the doctor and why I take a brief mindfulness moment when I put in the eyedrops and swallow the vitamins, which I do every evening.
Withdrawing our attention from any condition withdraws the human energy from it, allowing Spiritual energy, which is always there (Omnipresence/Spirit Within) to be the predominant energy animating the moment. Realizing that human conditions are merely a part of the illusory, dreamlike nature of our ego/body/mind’s functioning renders those conditions powerless. If only for a moment. If those moments come more and more frequently, the conditions become less and less powerful.
Help is Right at Your Fingertips
A poor health condition, lack of financial resources, lack of viable and enlivening relationships, whatever, all are part of the same dreamlike nature of the human condition. And all will respond, or more accurately, recede, when the process of 1. acknowledging and experiencing our true nature as Eternal Beings is accomplished through meditation and 2. withdrawing our attention from the condition, also through meditation, is practiced, recognizing the condition has no real power over us other than the power we give it.
In addition, if as in Higher Consciousness Meditation, we, in that moment of silence, realize our 5-Dimensional Nature, realize that Spirit is the real life force that animates our human ego/body/mind, we can allow Spirit to rush into the vacuum left by withdrawal from the human condition. Spirit, rushing, is a healing agent, going to all corners of our human condition to elevate it into our Eternal Condition. And we become our true Eternal Beingnesses. If only for a moment.
And in the process, we achieve the greatest benefit—contacting our Soul and having an experience of our Higher Consciousness.
Meditation’s benefits are amazing, but many people don’t know that, for example, scientific research has shown that many diseases respond favorably to meditation. I have developed a meditation process that accelerates the benefits of traditional meditation in my new book Higher Consciousness Mediation. It amplifies regular meditation by encouraging contact with your Higher Self, or Soul.
Do you meditate? Do you have your own opinion of how/why it works? Leave a comment below.
Give away for a share?